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Smith finds radiology field ‘dynamic’ PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, May 12, 2013 11:18 PM

BY STACY TAFF

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VAN WERT—The phrase “I can see right through you” is usually used hypothetically. For someone in the radiology field, however, the saying can be used quite literally. Using X-rays, MRIs and CT scans, radiologists and radiologic technologists can see everything from tumors to hairline fractures in bones.

 

Van Wert County Hospital Radiologic Technologist April Smith says variety is what keeps the job enjoyable.

 

“There are so many avenues of it, so it’ll never get stale or stagnant. The technology is always improving, too, so there’s always something new to learn,” she said. “The job is very dynamic. I can start the day doing emergency room X-rays and then to go working with the C-arm to provide imaging for surgeries. Then I may come down to help our radiologist, Dr. Jelinger, do drainages, special procedures or put in a PICC Line. I do outpatient X-rays for patients, both young and old. I take care of patient transfers and here at Van Wert, we’re even taking care of orders and answering calls.

“Another big part of our job is radiation safety,” she continued. “We put forth a lot of effort to keep the X-ray radiation dose to a minimum to prevent risk of injury to our patients. That’s a big topic in health care right now.”

Smith, 30, says the minimum education requirement for her profession is an associate’s degree.

“Typically, you do one year of pre-requisites and two of clinical studies and lab,” she said. “I went back and got my bachelor’s. There are a lot of different boards — state and national — that you have to go through to be certified by the state.”

When the time came to find a job eight years ago, Smith applied at Van Wert County Hospital because she wanted to work in a smaller community.

“While I was in college, I worked in emergency management doing secretarial and clerical work in Bluffton, Ind., which is where I’m from,” she said. “I had interviewed at Van Wert while I was in school and I saw they had a position open. I was interested in working in a small town, so I applied. I started out part-time and eventually changed to full-time hours. I’ve been here ever since.”

For Smith, the worst thing about her job isn’t even something she considers negative.

“It takes a lot of dedication, which isn’t really a bad thing,” she said. “Sometimes the hours can be odd. You don’t always get the normal 9-5 day and sometimes you might have to sacrifice time with your family to fill your role at the hospital.”

Unusual hours aside, the pros in Smith’s job far outweigh the cons.

“Within the last year, the hospital has really updated the department. I’m really enjoying the new equipment and learning about all the bells and whistles,” she said. “It’s nice to work in such a beautiful facility and that’s something we take a lot of pride in here. I love the investigative aspect of the job. I like that we’re helping to diagnose people, helping them get the treatment they need. It’s a very exciting field. You never know who you’ll be treating or what you’ll be doing. You go where the need is and I like that.

“My favorite part is the satisfaction I get knowing I’m helping people get well. We’re just another piece of the puzzle, so to speak. The field doesn’t get a lot of respect usually, but it is important. I take a lot of pride in my job and I try to give it 100-percent every day.”

Smith lives in Decatur, Ind., with her husband, Scott. They share three children, Bristol, Randal and Becka.

Last Updated on Sunday, May 12, 2013 11:36 PM
 

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