TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – They’re not doctors or nurses, but the work of radiology technicians touches about every aspect of medicine.
This is Radiologic Technology Week, set aside to recognize the health care workers who capture the images doctors and specialists use to diagnose and treat patients.
At Stormont Vail, Mike Liberato and Hayley McGivern are two of the ‘rad’ techs who are stationed primarily in Stormont Vail’s Emergency Dept.
“We see all kinds of patients from newborns, all the way to somebody that’s in their 100s,” Hayley said. “Cancer patients, car crash patients.”
“I see all types of people, all walks,” Mike added. “A lot of trauma, there’s a lot of strokes, people that just have belly aches. It’s never dull.”
Radiology techs do the x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds helping doctors see what’s wrong so they can help you get better. They also work in the cath lab, interventional radiology, and nuclear medicine.
Stormont’s nuclear medicine area is where you’ll find Tim Mitchell.
“Injecting small amounts of radio isotopes into patients – that’s really cool, in my opinion,” Tim said. “I can actually help somebody see the progress. Pretty much the whole body I can do – just depends what part of the body needs the image.”
All agree, it’s something different every day – just like the paths that got them here!
“I didn’t even know I wanted to do it, but now that I’m doing it, I’m like wow this is really cool!” said Mike, learned he could get x-ray training in the Army. “That was about 20 years ago – and things have been different ever since.”
Hayley knew she wanted to go into radiology since she was in high school, and went on to study at Washburn University.
“I did some shadowing even before I graduated high school,” she said, adding she loves the blend of science and patient care. “It just challenges you every day. It’s always changing.”
Tim, you might say, was destined for it!
“I got into this field because I was the little kid always ending up in a radiology department for some reason with a broken bone or anything like that,” he said. “I came across nuclear medicine because it was kind of creative and a lot of scientific and I’m kinda nerdy!”
All three love having a front row seat to advances in technology. They say every year, scans are getting faster, the images clearer.
“You’re always learning. It’s fun,” Hayley said.
“It’s really, really interesting what you can do with these scans,” Tim said.
Knowing their work is the window to ensuring patients get the best treatment makes it even better.
“It’s a mission that makes me feel really good. It gives me purpose,” Mike said. “I like helping people. I come in every day feeling like I made a difference.”
Like all areas of health care, radiology techs are in demand. They work in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, labs and outpatients centers.
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