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Hi all, I'm a second year student in rad tech in Ontario. I have… - Radiology Students: Shades of Gray [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Radiology Students: Shades of Gray

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[Oct. 20th, 2008|11:56 pm]
Radiology Students: Shades of Gray
Hi all,

I'm a second year student in rad tech in Ontario. I have spent some time in clinical practice and have pretty much decided that rad tech is not for me. It was exciting when I first started, but after the first week I was pretty comfortable and pretty bored. I felt like a robot taking pictures of the same thing over and over again. OK I agree that each patient is different but there really wasn't much to it once you've got them in the right position. It was too easy. Also I was unaware of the fact that you had to do fluoro before I got into the program (enemas + extra radiation did not make the job anymore appealing to me).

I was thinking to pursue MRI or Ultrasound after I've finished my program but I'm having a hard time figuring out which one to get into. The downside to the ultrasound program offered here is that it's a 2 yr full-time program while MRI is distance learning + 4 months of clinical practice. I have also heard from some rad techs that ultrasound wears down the wrists and shoulders and after 8 years many sonographers stop working. Has anyone else ever heard about this? I have met sonographers who've been working for well over 8 yrs, granted they only did breast ultrasounds. I'm leaning towards ultrasound because I think the work will be more fulfilling to me (increased interaction with pts, making notes for the radiologist, etc). So my questions for you guys are:

a. Do ultrasound techs have higher compensation than MRI techs? And if so, on average how much?
b. What is the longevity of a sonographer's career? Do they usually switch out due to wrist and shoulder problems?
c. If there are any MRI techs in here, what do you guys like about your job? What's your salary like?
d. Maybe I haven't had enough experience in rad tech yet, so for the rad techs who've been working for a while, what do you guys like about your job? How do you feel about it after so many years of doing it? Do you find your work fulfilling?

[User Picture]From: simplymade
2008-10-21 05:43 pm (UTC)
I'm still a student, due to graduate in a few weeks, so I can't help you toooo terribly much but I can tell you what I've found from looking into other modalities.

Ultrasound is growing fast. Probably faster than any other advanced modality in our field. Other than many interventional/specials. The pay is better and there are ALOT of positions out there on the open market. Many with sign-on bonuses. Those might require a certain amount of experience though, but still.

I've debated going into both of these fields, and if it wasn't for the fact that I would have to do another 2 years, I would choose ultrasound. I've found a school that offers MRI in a 4 month course before you can sit for your registry. I'm not too keen on CT. I've also looked into Mammo as well.

Sorry if I didn't answer all of your questions. :)
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-10-24 02:58 am (UTC)
Ultrasounds sounds pretty awesome. I wouldn't mind investing that extra 2 years to do ultrasound if I knew that I was going to be in it for the long run and I wouldn't have to quit after a few years due to carpel tunnel. I'm not too keen on CT either. Mammo is not very appealing to me either, too awkward for me =S
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From: bio_superstar
2008-10-24 02:59 am (UTC)
oops, that was me ^
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From: bio_superstar
2008-10-24 03:06 am (UTC)
Ultrasound seems pretty different from x-ray to me (but then again I'm a n00b). Considering I've already invested almost 3 yrs into this program (1 yr prereqs + almost 2 yrs of rad tech program) I'd rather continue on and just see where it takes me (instructing/teaching one day perhaps?). I'm quite bitter about not going into pharmacy but competition in Toronto is fierce and since they are going from BScPhm to a PharmD, just thinking about all that extra schooling makes me nauseous.
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From: bio_superstar
2008-10-26 11:15 pm (UTC)
Excuse me. There's not a single person I've ever encountered in X-ray who LOVED their job. Actually I don't think I've talked to a single tech who even LIKED their job. Most people who are doing it are doing it for practical reasons. What's wrong with that? If the only people who were allowed to in X-ray were those who were PASSIONATE about it, there would be practically no techs at all.
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From: bio_superstar
2008-10-27 03:29 am (UTC)
You are WAY out of line. First of all, I never said that I didn't enjoy working with patients. I love working with patients, I DO have a friendly face when I work with them. It seems to me that you took offense from the fact that I find X-ray too easy and I don't enjoy it and would prefer something more challenging. Maybe I don't belong is X-ray, I at least agree with that but I don't see how you could reasonable extract the idea that I don't belong in the health care field. If you want to know what I think, I don't think the health care field needs people like YOU who are obviously ready to blow a fuse every single time they are irked by something someone says.
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[User Picture]From: rinrin_al
2008-10-26 04:32 am (UTC)
Hmm. Well, for me, the interesting thing about diagnostic imaging is how many different areas you can specialize in. I trained in CT for 2 weeks and started doing that, following up with more specialized angiographic studies. It's fun to do all three.

This is my opinion, but taking regular x-rays is boring only if you've only achieved a "weak" mastery of it. Everyone goes through such a phase, where you feel like you're going through the motions, and then the machine tears up, or you come across some really interesting pathology, and it's interesting again. I really like the challenging patients, torn up body parts, and the like. Maybe try working in an emergency room. Some of the injuries and conditions are challenging in a fun way. Or maybe challenge yourself by reviewing pathology. A good tech is able to pick out pathology and alert the doctor of possibly life threatening situations. :) Just some thoughts.

If you continue on and think otherwise, it's probably because you don't have your heart in it and need to try something different. No biggie. Go do some observations and ask lots of questions.
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