Q & A With Katelyn Haug, RT (R)

Katelyn Haug, RT (R), is a radiologic technologist from Buffalo, NY. She graduated from Niagara Community College with a degree in Radiologic Technology, and has been trained in flouroscopy and bone densitometry. She uses her skills to help doctors get the best possible images of their patients for diagnostic and treatment purposes. Taking her dog to the park, watching movies, and going to the gym are a few of Katelyn’s favorite things when she isn’t helping out doctors and patients by taking x-rays. Katelyn plans on pursuing training in sonography as well, and will continue to use her diagnostic imaging skills throughout her career.

  1. What is your official job title, and what are your primary responsibilities as a radiologic technician?
  2. What is your educational background? What kind of training did you take to become a radiologic technician, and how do you keep your knowledge and skills up to date?
  3. What are your most common daily duties? How is most of your time at work spent?
  4. What is the most rewarding part of your work?
  5. How many hours per week, and which hours, do you work? Do you ever have to be on-call or work nights and weekends?
  6. What kinds of imaging machines do you use in your work? Have you been trained in multiple types of diagnostic medical imaging?
  7. What is your favorite part about your job as a radiologic technologist?
  8. What are your long term career plans? Do you plan to continue using your radiologic technician skills throughout your career?
  9. What advice do you have for someone just starting out in the field of diagnostic medical imaging?
  10. What are the key features of a good training program for radiologic technicians? What was the most important thing you learned while you were in training?

1. What is your official job title, and what are your primary responsibilities as a radiologic technician?

My official job title is a Radiologic Technologist. My primary responsibilities are to prepare patients for the procedure, taking a medical history, position the patient and equipment to establish the correct image, shielding exposed areas that do not need to be radiated, and operate the equipment to take the x-rays.

2. What is your educational background? What kind of training did you take to become a radiologic technician, and how do you keep your knowledge and skills up to date?

I have an Associate of Applied Science degree in Radiologic Technology. During my two years of education, I did clinical work at a couple different hospitals where I gained hands-on experience within my field. Each semester I was expected to complete a certain number of competencies or procedures that I performed by myself in order to move on. To keep my knowledge and skills up-to-date, I am required to complete 24 continuing education credits every two years. Also, according to hospital policy, all employees must complete a number of mandatory exams per year.

3. What are your most common daily duties? How is most of your time at work spent?

My common daily duties are to perform various x-rays requested by physicians, position patients properly, and operate x-ray machinery. Another duty is to expose a patient to as little radiation as possible while still producing quality radiographic images. A large portion of my day consists of handling patients, explaining procedures, performing x-rays, and manipulating the x-ray equipment in surgery.

4. What is the most rewarding part of your work?

By far, the most rewarding part of my work is being in a position to help people. That is why I got into this profession. I find it extremely gratifying knowing that I was part of a process that helped someone get well again.

5.How many hours per week, and which hours, do you work? Do you ever have to be on-call or work nights and weekends?

I am currently a part-time employee. My hours vary day to day. Some days I work the day shift (7am-3pm), others I work evenings (3pm-11pm). I work at a hospital so my department never closes. Technologists at my hospital do not have to be on-call because someone is always scheduled to work.

6. What kinds of imaging machines do you use in your work? Have you been trained in multiple types of diagnostic medical imaging?

The machines I use at work are x-ray generators, or x-ray tubes, that emits the x-rays. When in the operating room, the machine that we use is called a C-ARM. The C-ARM can either do single shot pictures or fluoroscopy, which is continuing x-ray. I have been trained in regular diagnostic imaging, fluoroscopic procedures, and bone densitometry.

7. What is your favorite part of your job as a radiologic technologist?

My favorite part of my job as a radiologic technologist is being in the operating room. I love the setting and the cases are very interesting. I like working alongside surgeons helping them obtain the optimal image so that he or she can perform the procedure. I really like being in a team atmosphere where everyone has his or her specific duties, working together to achieve a common goal.

8. What are your long term career plans? Do you plan to continue using your radiologic technician skills throughout your career?

My long-term career plan is to one day find a full-time position. Hopefully in the future I can become a lead technologist. I am also considering going back to school for an additional year to get my certification in ultrasound. I absolutely plan to continue to use my skills as a technologist throughout my career.

9. What advice do you have for someone just starting out in the field of diagnostic medical imaging?

My advice for someone who is just entering the field of diagnostic medical imaging is to try to absorb as much knowledge in the clinical settings as possible. It has been my experience that students who do not take clinical seriously struggle after they graduate. Do not be afraid to ask questions and take initiative.

10. What are the key features of a good training program for radiologic technicians? What was the most important thing you learned while you were in training?

The most important feature of a good training program for radiologic technologists is to make sure the program is accredited. Without a degree from an accredited program, it will be very difficult to find a job in the future. The most important thing I learned while in training is establishing good patient care. You should treat every patient the same way as you would want your family to be treated.

Radiology Technician and Health Science Programs

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