Radiologic Technologist, Parkland Memorial Hospital of Dallas
“My best advice is to never stop learning. There are so many opportunities in this ever-changing field, and it will not only benefit yourself but the community you serve if you keep learning and growing. The more health care workers know, the more they can share their knowledge with others. It is our job to make sure patients are well taken care of, and the more experience and knowledge we gain, the better we serve those who need us most.
“One misconception about this field is that we are only "button-pushers." This could not be further from the truth. Yes, we do push several buttons in order to perform an examination, but there is a lot that goes into which button to push when. It is up to us to make sure we set adequate technical factors to get a diagnostic image while also keeping the patient safe by minimizing their exposure. There is so much more to it than just pushing a button.
“Employers are typically interested in a person who is able to work as part of a team but can also make his or her own decisions independently through critical thinking. The technologist must be able to adapt to any environment, as well as associate with any personality. Technologists must be able to ensure patient satisfaction no matter the situation or stress involved. Employers also look for employees who are willing to go the extra step to improve the department and are eager to learn in this evolving field.
“I believe the best source to find jobs is through peers and technologists working in the field. This is why it is so important to network throughout the clinical process and as you work in the field. The imaging world is very small, and you are bound to encounter a fellow technologist somewhere down the road. Not only can your peers help you find a job, but they can be a source of recommendation for that dream job.
“There is no doubt that what I enjoy most about my work is the patients I have the pleasure of taking care of. When a patient who is in pain, upset or nervous tells you that you made them feel better or just simply tells you 'thank you' with a smile, it makes your hard work worth it. That is the reason I am in this field, and that is what will keep me in it forever.
“Some patients don't have anyone to take care of them when they are in need, and that is where we step in. No matter how stressful or difficult my job may be, I always make sure I show my patients that I am here for them and I want them to be comfortable. You never know what that patient is going through, so it is very important to show them that they are worth your time and effort. I love being a part of the health care team that takes care of those who need us most.”