Radiologic Technologist Career Interview
Cathy Dressen has worked as a radiologic technologist for more than 19 years. She is the current affiliate relations program manager with the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT).
Radiologic Technologist Career Path
Cathy has always been interested in the medical field. “I liked to work with people,” she says, “and I wanted a career that offered opportunities to advance.”
Since radiologic technologist is a relatively stable career, who wouldn’t jump on it in today’s economy? Cathy also had the chance to learn about many different types of modalities, such as computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, mammography and interventional radiography.
Radiologic Technologist Experiences
For more than 19 years, Cathy has worked in radiologic technology, working as both a radiographer and as a magnetic resonance technologist. She also worked in the field as an MR supervisor/technologist at a hospital.
“I have worked in both hospitals and outpatient imaging centers,” says Cathy. , “I performed MRIs routinely both in hospital and outpatient facility. I also worked as a radiographer taking routine x-rays, emergency room portable radiographs and working in the O.R. utilizing a portable C-Arm.”
During her training, Cathy learned problem solving skills, multitasking, and communication skills. “I learned that radiologic technologists are an integral part of the health care team,” she says. “I also learned the ability to be compassionate and caring to people who are experiencing difficult situations.”
Radiologic Technologist Degree Programs
“There are a variety of ways to become a radiographer,” says Cathy. “Some individuals participate in two-year programs based in hospitals, earning a certificate when they graduate. Other students enroll in two-year programs at community colleges or technical schools, earning an associate degree. Others choose to attend four-year programs for Bachelor’s degrees.”
Whatever the program that a student pursues, he or she must take classes on written/oral communication, math courses, and computer courses. These types of classes will help a radiologic technologist in their career.
Radiologic Technologist Job Description
Cathy is the current affiliate relations program manager with the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, which is a professional membership organization for medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals. “We provide radiologic technologists (R.T.s) with the tools, support and services that they need to excel in their careers. We represent more than 134,000 R.T.s.”
Radiologic Technologist Daily Routine
“A radiologic technologist must be flexible and able to work in challenging situations with variable hours,” says Cathy. “Days, nights, weekends and holidays. You must be able to deal with people who may be in pain and are uncomfortable.”
Cathy sees patients of all ages and all types of emotional backgrounds, which requires, using all of her communicative and technologic skills.
Radiologic Technologist Steps to Success
Radiologic technologists must work a lot of hours with a lot of different people. “Good communication, problem-solving and analytical skills also are important for radiographers,” says Cathy. As with most healthcare professions, the amount of hours and work can be physically demanding. A radiologic technologist must assist with lifting patients, transporting patients on stretchers or in wheelchairs, and moving heavy portable imaging equipment throughout the hospital.
The environment of a hospital can be hectic and challenging, and it takes a lot to keep up with it all. “Radiologic technologists should be sensitive to the patient’s physical and psychological needs,” says Cathy. “They must pay attention to detail and be able to work as part of a team. In addition, operating complicated equipment requires mechanical ability and manual dexterity.”
Radiologic Technologist Favorite Aspect
As with most healthcare professions, radiologic technologists love to help people. Cathy says, “It is rewarding to know that you help people so they can get quick and appropriate medical treatment and that can make all the difference in their recovery.”
Radiologic Technologist Future Ambitions
Cathy hopes to move into teaching students about the profession of radiologic technology as she has always been interested in education. “I’m very interested in helping shape the careers of radiologic science professionals so that they can enjoy the profession as much as I have.”
Advice for Future Radiologic Technologists
“You must be flexible and have the ability to adapt quickly,” says Cathy. “A career in radiologic technology means that you are making a difference in the lives of the patients you take care of.” Cathy also recommends participating in a radiologic internship to find out about the different types of machines and finding more about the career.