One who is contemplating entering the field of radiography today can look forward to an ever changing technological environment. The number of advances in technology over the past few years is truly mind-boggling! When I started as a technologist 30 years ago, things were much different. Radiographic examinations that were once performed as “common-place” (i.e. IVPs – kidney exams, UGI – stomach exams, and LGI-colon exams), have been replaced by much quicker and more efficient examinations, which yield even greater diagnostic value. The scarcity of these exams today, is due in large part to equipment improvements and the use of more sophisticated imaging modalities. Even the physical environment of a radiology department has changed. Working darkrooms for processing radiographic films have become obsolete. Gone too are the light boxes that once hung near the processor and were used for viewing films. Today, high tech computer screens display images that can be manipulated in so many different ways, yielding greater diagnostic information without additional irradiation of the patient.
There are things you learn during the course of your education that may pique your interest or with which you feel an especially strong connection. It is part of a student’s experience to be conscious of those connections, and identify why those connections are so strong. For example, if you like reading through medical documentation and deciphering medical terms to determine the course of treatment, then you may exhibit the following:
- Increased attention to detail
- Interest in one or more of the following medical sciences: medical terminology, anatomy & physiology, pathophysiology, or pharmacology
- Interest in puzzles/riddles
- Methodical in nature
A well written cover letter is the best way to draw attention to your resume. It is your number one selling tool in trying to get your resume noticed in order to get the interview. You are selling yourself and your potential so your words need to be powerful and result oriented. Therefore, your cover letter needs to grab attention and maintain interest throughout. In most cases, your cover letter is more important than your resume, since your resume will never get a glace unless your cover letter entices the reader to want to review it. A cover letter should be short, only one page, and should tell a story about you and your qualifications. For the most part, cover letters contain the following three sections:
Have you ever been reading a textbook or an essay and wondered what the author was trying to say? Well, we can increase our ability to comprehend textbooks and essays by noting the similarities and differences between each, and by applying what we know about good writing.
In a story by Jack London entitled “To Start a Fire,” a lone man lost in the frozen wilderness is desperately trying to light a fire with the few remaining matches he has with him. He knows that if he fails, he will die. As nightfall comes and the winter chill becomes stronger, he seeks shelter under a tree and attempts to start a fire. One by one, each match is lost. One burns his fingers and is dropped; another is extinguished by a random fall of snow from the tree. Despite his desperate need for warmth, the woods and darkness are indifferent to his struggle. Eventually, he loses his last match and darkness ensues. The reader is left to understand that this man did not make it. During his attempt to survive, he never called out for help or expressed rage at the circumstances in which he finds himself. Instead, he went to his death doing everything in his own power to survive, but it wasn’t enough.
Becoming a radiologic technologist is a big step. But it is only the first step into a field that requires a dedication to lifelong learning. There is no way around it. Even if you make the choice to remain a radiologic technologist working in the general radiology department (which is, by the way, an excellent choice and destination of many R.T.s) you will still find yourself always furthering your education. Technology is always changing in this field and patient care is too. New equipment, new hospital policies, and new procedures will keep you on your toes. Then there are the continuing education credits required by the credentialing organization for R.T.s, the ARRT (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists). Twenty-four continuing education credits are required every two years to maintain your registration.
This is a common scenario. A student has been out of school for a few years (or many years) and he or she is very nervous about returning to obtain a degree. I am here to tell you that it’s never too late to continue with your education. I returned to school after being out for 20 years. After one year of juggling school, family, and work I was burned out so I decided to take a year off. Well, one year turned into two and two years turned into three. Suddenly it occurred to me that I would lose credit for the courses I had already taken if I didn’t get back to school. I returned and finished my degree at the age of 47. I worried about paying off my student loans before I collected my first Social Security check.
Some people enjoy writing papers and would rather write two papers than take one objective test. But others become anxious and frustrated when faced with a writing assignment because they think they can’t write well or that they have nothing to say about the topic. Viewing writing as a developable skill and as a discovery process helps reduce writing anxiety and build confidence.
One of the most effective ways to find a job lead is through networking. Spread the word that you are looking for a job. Start with the people you know – tell your family, friends, friends of your parents, parents of your friends, neighbors, people who are on your bowling team, people from church, your hairstylist, acquaintances from your children’s school- EVERYONE. Ask if they know someone who could help you get a job interview at one of your targeted companies. You will be surprised who can make a telephone call and help you set up a job interview.
Congratulations on considering taking your first online course! Online courses offer a lot of advantages over ground-based courses. While they are not self-paced, they do offer increased flexibility for students with busy lives and schedules. Online courses help students develop critical thinking and reading skills. Further, online courses help improve a student’s technical and written communication skills, which are highly desirable in today’s job market. Before you get started, there are a few items to consider to get off to a good start in your first online course: