"People who decide on a career in the health field should be compassionate to those they care for. Don't just see it as a job, but see it as if you were helping your own loved one."

Role Model Photo Melissa Bowen

Health Field: Radiologic Technician

Number of years in the profession:
9 year

Years in College: 10 years

Professional Credentials:

How did you know this career was what you wanted to do?
During my high school years I wanted to become a surgeon. However, my father passed away my senior year and I was from a very close family and did not want to move away. I did go to school and opened my own wallpapering business. After about 10 years, I was talking with one of my friends and she told me about the Radiologic program. I still wanted to be part of the medical field, so I signed up and have had no regrets since.

What other careers did you consider?
I considered becoming a psychiatrist.

What experiences in your life developed your interest in your career?
I have always cared for others and often looked for ways to help them. I even had an office in my family's garage, made out of boxes stacked up, when I was a child. Every member of my family received appointment slips, with dates and time, to come see "Lucy" for their therapy sessions.

What early preparations did you take (in high school and college) to reach your career goal?
There really weren't any such opportunities when I was in high school. It is more prevalent today and I believe very helpful to those students who participate. It helps in the decision process for your future when you get a glimpse of what you are seeking to do in life.

What things did you find to be difficult as you prepared for your career?
The closest school was over an hour away from where I lived, so I had quite a commute and held down three jobs during those first two years of my education. I knew what I wanted and was determined I was going to do whatever it took to achieve my goals. I know by doing so, I would have many more opportunities in life. Education is so important.

How did you overcome these challenges?
Mind over matter. You learn ways to get multiple tasks completed in order to save time in the long run. Example: while studying, I asked questions and then paused before giving my answer on a tape recorder. This allowed me to test while I was driving. I had 2 hours per day in the car, so it was great study time for me.

Was your family supportive of you through your college (or other training) years?

Did you have a job and work while you were going to college or other training? Yes

Present Career as a Radiologic Technician

Describe an average work day for you.
Got up and left my house at 6am. Got to school at 7:45am. Did classwork until 3-4pm. Drove home and was there by 6pm. Ate dinner and went to work. Worked from 7pm-midnight during the week and went home and to bed. Weekends - worked most of the day on Saturday and a few hours on Sunday. The remainder of my time was spent studying.

How many hours do you work in an average week?

What kind of health care setting do you work in?

What do you see as strengths needed for your career?
Experience...there will always be something to learn. Be willing to accept others' constructive criticism. You will make mistakes, but you can learn from them if you choose to.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The peace on a patient's face that says they appreciate you and the fact that you listen to them and understand how they feel.

What advice would you give to those who are interested in your career?
Take it seriously and pay attention to detail. Patients are counting on you and you will touch many lives, positively or negatively. Don't take what you do for granted and understand that the patients you serve are often afraid. Be a comfort to them.

If you could start over, would you still make the same decision to pursue education?
Yes I would. It has been a rewarding career.

Do you plan to pursue opportunities for advancement in your career field?
I will always pursue advancement opportunities, no matter what I am doing. I will always strive to be better.

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