Senior MRI TechnologistUT-Southwestern Medical Center
“The best part of the Radiological Sciences program was the patient interaction. Being in a hospital setting was an entirely new experience for me. I admit I was a little nervous at first, but I was able to overcome my fears and deal with people who needed care. My training, especially the clinical rotations, really prepared me to face the hospital setting.
“Once I was out of school, I jumped straight into the work force at Parkland Hospital, where I had finished my last clinical rotation. I worked there for a year weekends and nights while I went back to El Centro for its MRI program. You have to be a registered radiological technologist first to be accepted into the MRI certificate program, and it really prepared me to take the AART registry exam.
“The MRI specialization is less strenuous and has zero radiation, only a very strong magnetic field. Also, I love research, and the MRI field is one of the most outstanding in the imaging field for research.
“Becoming a registered technologist allows you to climb up the job ladder in so many ways. You can go into CT, MRI, sonography — there are so many branches to specialize in. Radiologic Sciences is one of the few medical fields where you can earn an associate degree, go right to work and then get your specialization in whichever area you want.”
Rani Varghese earned a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering at Manipal Institute of Technology in Mangalore, India, and worked in her native country for several years. She got married and came to the United States at a time when the medical field was booming and decided to change her career, earning an associate degree in Radiologic Sciences at El Centro College in 2005. She then completed a two-semester MRI specialization certificate at El Centro while working at Parkland Hospital, where she had been hired during her last clinical rotation in the Radiologic Sciences program. She has been working as senior MRI technologist at the Advanced Imaging Research Center department of UT-Southwestern Medical Center since 2006. She also holds a master’s degree in radiologic sciences from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls. She is credentialed as a registered technologist in radiography and magnetic resonance through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
Note: Varghese earned a Continuing Education certificate in the MRI program before it was changed to a college credit program, though the course material was virtually identical.