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Which Rad Tech Specialty Is Right for You?

Which Rad Tech Specialty Is Right for You?

By Cindy Mehallow | Monster Contributing Writer

MRI appealed to Travelstead, because “you could actually tell what was inside and make a diagnosis in a short amount of time.” As a former UPS driver with bad knees, Travelstead also saw that MRI operators spent less time on their feet than their rad technologist counterparts. Plus, MRI patients tend to be mobile, reducing the need for lifting or moving. He also liked the slow pace and relaxed environment associated with treating just one MRI patient each hour. In contrast, CT operators move more quickly and see more critical patients, often torn up from motor vehicle accidents. “Someone told me once that there’s no such thing as an emergency MRI, and for the most part, they were right,” Travelstead says.

Scope Out New Opportunities

For JoAnn Caudill, RT(M)(BD), CDT, the excitement of a new modality plus working with a dedicated colleague kindled her interest in bone densitometry. “For me, the attraction to densitometry was that it found me,” says Caudill, who now runs two bone densitometry programs for Erickson Retirement Communities in Maryland.

When Caudill was managing the Greater Baltimore Medical Center’s imaging center in 1990, her employer purchased its first dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scanner and hired endocrinologist Jenny Pavlov, MD, to run the bone health program and supervise the densitometrists. Caudill caught her colleague’s passion for quality, consistency and education and soon became involved in densitometry research, education and certification.

Assess the Market

No matter how attractive a specialty may be to you, make sure it is in demand where you want to live. Before settling on a dual CT/MRI specialty, Travelstead researched his local market. “There are seven MRI facilities within two miles of where I work, and three new ones are being built,” he says.

This article originally appeared on Monster Career Advice.

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