Interview with Candice Moore, Past President of the Idaho Society of Radiologic Technologists
Candice Moore BSRS, RT (R) (M) (CT) RDMS began her professional career quest at the age of thirteen as a volunteer at a local hospital. There she was surrounded by a wide variety of healthcare professionals and became captivated by the field of radiology. She is past president of the Idaho Society of Radiologic Technologists. Candice’s discussion with us is a thoughtful and concise view of the world of the radiology technologist and her advice for professionals entering the field is spellbinding.
What event or series of events led you to pursue the field of radiology as your professional choice? Please elaborate.
I started volunteering at the hospital when I was 13 years old and was able to observe many of the different areas of healthcare. When I was in high school, I got hired as an ER tech. I really enjoyed the emergency aspect of medicine, and knew that I wanted to be a part of it. I realized that the radiology department is usually located next to the ER and I was fascinated by the magic of seeing inside the human body with a camera. I decided that I would apply for the Radiographic Science program. After graduating, I became a Registered Technologist in Radiography. I then went on to learn Mammography, Computerized Tomography, and Sonography. I have been very happy with the decision to be in the radiology field.
Name 1 or 2 guidelines you would offer the radiology professional just entering the field?
The field is very flexible as to what kind of hours you work and what kind of modality you do. A technologist can choose to work at an intense trauma center, a small community hospital, or at a laid-back doctor’s office. A tech can perform x-rays only, or become cross-trained into other modalities for variety. There is usually not a lot of charting involved in radiology which leaves the tech to spend more time with the patient. This field has advanced into digital imaging and requires a lot of computer work, but for someone that likes to “use gadgets and computers” it is really fun. It’s important to have the confidence to step right in and do what needs to be done. Be willing to learn new technology and keep up to date with it. Radiology combines working with high-tech equipment as well as personally interacting with the patient. On one hand a radiologic technologist has to feel comfortable working with computers, while on the other hand, he/she can’t be afraid to touch people and work closely with patients.
How would you advise an individual entering the radiology professions to proceed? What are the challenges, or obstacles that may be faced?
After completing a Radiology Program and passing the ARRT Registry Exam, an individual just entering the profession will have many decisions to make. I feel that a new technologist learns the most during the first year of entering the profession. My advice is to work in an area that will challenge you and help you grow as a technologist. A hospital or department that has a high volume and offers a variety of exams will keep your skills up and help to engrain the things you learned while attending school. There is also an advantage to smaller hospitals. They allow you to develop your patient care skills and spend more time interacting with the patients rather than shuffling them through like cattle. Decide what kind of environment you want to work in and what kind of technologist you want to be.
Can you give us an example of an interesting case or project that you have worked on and your role in helping to achieve a positive outcome?
Several years ago, a mother brought her baby into the emergency room. The baby had been congested for a few days and kind of fussy. The doctor ordered a chest x-ray to look at the baby’s lungs. After performing the x-ray, I noticed that there was a slightly visible radiopaque density on the upper edge of the image. I pointed it out to the physician and asked him if he would like an additional x-ray of the neck. He agreed and ordered an x-ray of the baby’s neck. Upon taking the x-ray, it was obvious that the baby had a foreign body lodged in his throat. It appeared to be a coin that was lodged in the airway. The mother had no idea that her baby had swallowed a coin, and the baby was showing no other signs of distress other than some congestion. The baby had to have the coin removed, and had it not been for the x-ray, the outcome could have been devastating.
What is the best career advice you have ever received? Name 1 or 2 guidelines you would offer the radiology professional just entering the field?
The other day, a patient said to me, “You seem like you really like your job.” A piece of advice that I once received was, “do what you love and love what you do.” If you enjoy your career and feel like you are doing your best, that happiness will reflect to the patients and those around you.
As an experienced professional in the radiology profession what role do you feel advanced technology is playing and what other advances do you foresee?
Through the years I have witnessed many advances in technology. We used to develop films in a darkroom and store them in large rooms full of file folders. Now, we use digital radiology with electronic storage and transmit images all over the world. Like video games have improved over the years, image quality in radiology is much more detailed. We are able to identify pathology, such as small tumors, much earlier because we can see things so much better than we used to. I foresee the technology improving even more through the years. It is amazing how much power and ability is contained in just our regular phones and tablets, and I can see where radiology is becoming more like the “Star Trek” devices we used to see on TV that were used to instantly diagnose a patient. The technology that we once only imagined is soon becoming a reality.
What is the key strength you bring to your career and how would you advise radiology professionals to mine their own strengths to further their careers.
One of my strengths is that I love to learn new things. I get excited when new advances in technology come out or new procedures are introduced. I look for new opportunities to grow professionally. I have allowed myself to further my career by cross-training into other modalities along with Radiology. (Mammography, Computerized Tomography and Ultrasound) I would advise other professionals looking to further their career to look for opportunities around them. Join their State or National Society and become involved in the profession. Become a clinical instructor or a mentor for students. Become an expert with the equipment and technology you use every day. Be the professional that others can turn to. There is no limit to what you can achieve and what opportunities there are to growing and advancing in your career.
We thank Candice Moore for sharing her career path and advice with our readers. Visit the Idaho Society of Radiologic Technologists website to learn more about the organization.