Carl R. Douglas submitted 2017-05-22

Life in the imaging department is not always what it has cracked up to be after watching television shows about hospitals. As a young child, I have always wanted to help other people. Honestly did not matter to me how I helped other people out! It was when I received an ankle x-ray that I had the lightbulb go off in my head. I had found my calling in the medical field and I was going to be Radiologic Technologist. I began my college career at Clarion University of Pennsylvania and am recently in school at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: Northwest School of Radiologic Technology. The medical field has so far been a career where it certainly does give back to me. But there are certain days where it does take a toll on my mind and health. But, when I started this career field I knew this was the challenge I faced and I welcomed this challenge with open arms.

Preparation is something that I have done since I was young playing baseball. Baseball is something every American can relate to, it is also a game of repetition and a game of preparation. From a young age, I always had to clear my head before stepping a foot onto the diamond. By clearing my head of the rest of the day’s troubles I could stay focused and help work with the rest of my team to achieve our goal of every game, which was to win. In healthcare, I feel as if the same goals and same mindset should apply. In the imaging department as a student, I am required to be competent in exams and treat each patient with the best care for their stay at our hospital no matter how long the stay. While here in school and as well as after my schooling is complete, I feel as if it is my duty to my patients to keep up with current position of patients as well as studying the current technology that we use in the imaging department to obtain a diagnostic image for said patient. It is my duty to make sure that patient is safe while they are in my department. We as health care providers owe it to the patient to make sure they are taken care of and receive the care they need in a proper fashion. By using the skills, I obtained playing baseball I feel as if that is the best way one should prepare themselves mentally every day before stepping into their hospital. This mentality could apply in any workplace honestly.

Preparation for the mental aspect of working in health care is only half the battle though. One must also be physically capable of doing some tough work. Now, in our scope of practice in the imaging department we must be able to move patients all the time. Like the emergency room, we work with patients who come from all walks of life. One important thing to remember and use as a constant learning point is to always treat the patient as if they were family. We must work as a team, and if one member of our team is having an off day, that could very well throw off the entire department for that certain shift and cause issues. Physically one should always be ready to help and assist no matter the situation. Even as a student, I never pass up an opportunity to learn about my patients and help them get from point to point in our imaging department.

Every day that I walk into this hospital I prepare myself mentally and physically for this work environment because I owe it to my patients. Working in a hospital or any healthcare scope of practice is going to be stressful. You will get stressed in this career field, it is a fact. You need to be able to find that way to destress yourself so you don’t let it affect your work. In the Imaging Department, we give our best efforts all the time because we know that our patient’s diagnosis depends highly on our work. I take great pride in my x-ray exposures I perform. From the time I was young to now, I have only ever wanted to help my fellow man. I think healthcare is one of the most rewarding career fields one could possibly find. I love what I do and I am only a student here at UPMC Northwest! I honestly cannot wait to see what the rest of my career has in store for me.