Annie Collum, BSN, RN
Annie Collum, BSN, RN is the RIA Senior Manager, Physician Liaison in Denver, Colorado
February 2, 2021care, team, ultrasound
Meet Your Care Team: Cynthia Preston, Ultrasound Technologist
Cynthia Preston is an ultrasound technologist at RIA Endovascular. Find out how she decided to go into ultrasound.
How, when and why did you decide to pursue a career in medicine?
In 2002, my Siberian Husky, Sierra, was diagnosed with liver disease. She had an ultrasound, and I thought it was really fascinating that I got to see into my dog’s liver. The imagery side of the field really was, simplistically put, super cool. I had already achieved a BS in sciences but was not sure what to do next. I was involved in zookeeping but, sadly, the money was simply not enough to, in any way, be prosperous. I wanted a secure career that had meaning and that paid well so I could pursue my dreams of traveling and volunteering with animals.
I found out about an ultrasound program in my town of Lincoln, Nebraska, and applied. I was accepted and graduated in 2005. Growing up, I had many health struggles of my own, some of which have persisted into adulthood. My father also died from an illness when I was a child. With my health issues, I spent substantial time in hospitals and missed out on a lot of normalcy of life. I know what it is like to be sick and the emotional struggles, as well as the physical struggles that accompany illness. I never forget that when caring for patients. I know what it is like to be on the other side. With my skills in ultrasound, I like to think I can help people, even if it is just in some small way.
What is your favorite way to spend free time?
I own over 20 rescue animals, primarily turtles and other reptiles, as well as four parrots and two very furry dogs, Sadie and Ava Bell. I get a great deal of satisfaction caring for them, although it is a big responsibility that is ongoing, as well as are the veterinary bills! I still do some volunteering with Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, where I have volunteered predominately in education and with elephants and with a Raptor Center where I worked a lot with raptors. I love to travel the world and volunteer with wildlife. I have been and volunteered on five continents, primarily with elephants. Africa and Australia have been my favorite continents outside of North America. I also love, love, love photography. Landscapes and wildlife photography are my passions. I am never happier than when I am photographing wildlife, especially in Africa and Yellowstone!
My husband and I take our dogs on many hiking and road trips around Colorado and the West, as well as home to Nebraska to see my family. I have loved a good road trip since I was a kid. But our favorite destination is Yellowstone National Park, where we actually got married in 2013. I also love playing guitar and, again, spending any time with my dogs. We are frequent visitors to many dog parks throughout the Front Range!
What do you like most about working at RIA?
RIA has been the best ultrasound job I have ever had. You really feel like you are part of a team, and I have been able to expand my skill set over the three-plus years I have worked with RIA. The management is excellent. I have found that a bad manager simply ruins the entire office morale. I do not take good managers for granted!