Behind the Machine

Seanna Firanek has a job that is crucial to determining the outcome of many patients. She is an X-ray technician. She is one of the first people to determine the extent of a patients injuries when they come into the hospital. She has been working in this field for about 14 years now.

1.)
Why did you choose this job?
Because I knew I wanted to do something to help people and I wanted to do something in the medical field because the medical field will be around forever and so I knew it was a job that’s going to be around for a long time. And I was interested in how x-rays worked and in pictures of the body.
2.)
When did you know that you wanted to be an x-ray tech.
At first I wanted to be a nurse but then I decided that didnt’t want to do that because it involved a lot of patient contact, cleaning up a lot of stuff. Then my aunt was talking to me about radiology and I decided I liked it and thought it sounded good. So I went into the hospital and did a visitation at the hospital and got it explained to me a little more. So id say after 2 years of college I really knew it was what I wanted to do.
3.)
Were there any other medical fields you were interested in? If so what fields and why?
I would say nursing. That would be interesting I think. Other than that the other things i've been exposed to already don’t really interest me.

4.) I know not all medical fields need the same amount of college. So what did you study or train in for this job?
I have an associate’s degree in radiology that was a 2 year course that was strictly based on learning how to take x-rays. But you can go further and get a bachelors degree in radiology which is what i'm doing now.

5.) What kind of things did you have to study/train in?
Basically you start in a 2 year program. It was class room work and clinical experience working with patients learning how to use the machines and getting lots of practice. And then you can get a higher education later if you want to go further with it.

6.) What kind of things do you do on a daily basis for your job?
Well we have a variety of different things we do. We cover the emergency room for people who come in with broken bones or that are having a heart attack or can’t breathe. We go to surgery and use the x-ray machine when repairing broken bones and putting plates and screws in for back surgeries usually. We also have out patients that come in for special tests. They have to drink barium which we can see on the x-rays and we watch it go into their stomach and we can take x-rays of that. Then we also x-ray patients that are in the hospital. We get daily orders for them. It’s a different feel but we also do cat scans, MRI’s, ultrasounds, nuclear medicine that are all part of the radiology department.

7.) What are your favorite and least favorite parts of your job?
My favorite part I guess would be, although it might not be fun for the patients, would be the broken bones or the trauma cases because its fast passed and its interesting to see how that works and what’s wrong with the people. My least favorite part would be surgery because I don’t actually get to see what’s going on in surgery so it can be pretty boring. I guess it would be more fun if I actually knew what was going on but, yeah, that’s probably the worst part.

8.) How do you balance work and home?
Its hard working full time and having children. When you have a family its difficult when you have to work weekends and holidays in medical fields. We have to take call so I have to make sure I have to have some one to watch my children when i’m on call on weekends. It can be stressful and it’s a lot of work to balance I’d say.





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