Are You A Late Starter?Apr 01, 2021
So the inspiration for this post comes from a relatively recent discussion on the ASRT CT communities forum. If you aren't already on the forum or a member of ASRT, I suggest you join. This is a great hangout, with topics covering everything related to being medical imaging technologist.
And the topic that I wanted to go more in depth on involved starting later in life in medical imaging. The context behind the author of the forum discussion had to do with his wife becoming a cardiac cath lab tech at 47 years old. So this got me thinking and I wanted to have a chat about changing careers and finding radiologic technology later in life after having done something else before hand.
Now, I’m not sure if he was looking for a larger purpose discussion here, something like finally finding your calling or your dream job? It didn’t really sound like that, it was opened ended and let the folks on the forum carry it away. As you can imagine, many people told a quick version of their story, what they did before radiology and when/why they made the switch.
Anyway, so I responded to the discussion, about remembering some of the people in my medical school class. Most of my class was basically right out of college. So in case you didn’t know, you can go through high school and graduate at 18 and then go to college for four years and graduate at 22 and then you can start medical school right after, at 22-23 years old. You’re hardly an adult with wisdom at that point, but they still let you go down the journey of learning to become a doctor. Well that’s the traditional approach.
A handful of students in my class were actually on the older side. Meaning they had a full career in some other field, before going through the rigorous process of getting into medical school. And many of them were pretty very successful. If I remember correctly, I think two people were in law. Not surprising, because a lot of people end up with a law degree, and then discover it's not like it is on TV. We have over 230 law schools in the US, so there's no shortage of graduates in this specialty. And not everyone can land a dream job. Anyway, I remember one person being in accounting, and no joke, we actually had a former magician in my class. He was quite entertaining and could in the blink of an eye, remove your watch and put it in his pocket and you wouldn’t even know that it happened. But now I’m getting off track. Anyway so what I noticed about these, let’s call them "late starters", was that they actually were very motivated people. In fact, I would say they were amongst the most motivated people in the class. Now why do you think that was so? My guess is that it had to do with them doing something else first in life, gaining some experience, and then discovering that they either didn’t like it, or maybe it just wasn’t their thing, or wasn't fulfilling??? One way or another, it wasn’t a fit and they made a HUGE change. Getting into medical school is actually pretty damn hard and after being in another career for 10 or more years and starting over, I would say you should and are likely very motivated to make this second path work. This takes some real wisdom and some real life experience to understand that.
Now for the younger group coming right out of college, they generally don’t have the same sort of wisdom or life experience to motivate them. Perhaps they are motivated just by the sheer competition of getting good grades and then getting into a good residency program. Or perhaps they’re so used to studying hard all through college, that they don’t know anything else and that’s just something you do to get the degree. Well, whatever the motivation was on their part, you could actually tell the difference between the late starters and the recent college grads. And I’m not talking about age here. I’m talking about attitude and drive. The late starters really wanted to get it right this time. Whereas some, but certainly not all, of the recent college grads, were a little more lackadaisical about things. After all, they were still very young and they may have been thinking that if they screw up, they can just try harder next year and it wouldn’t be a big deal because they were still very early in their career process.
So what does this have to do with being a Rad-Tech. Well, I imagine the same sort of motivations appear in these late starters in the radiologic technology field as existed in my medical school class. I’ve known a few late starter Techs in my time and from what I remember about them, they were all very professional, really cared about the work they were doing and they were very happy. It seemed like they had found their calling or at least found something to satisfy them in the employment aspect of their life. And all of them were actually really good at their job.
So, if you’re a younger Tech or maybe brand new to the field as a late starter who wants a leg up on everybody else they’re working with, I can help you with that. I have two courses that will put you on your SuperTech journey in CT. One course has to do with patient communication and will give you all the details you need to become one of the most desirable technologists in your department to work with. Both from the colleague point of view and from the radiology staff side. Everyone will want be like you and ask you how you became so competent and confident. My other course will tell you everything that I think you need to know about CT contrast. This is where I dispel all the myths and give you only the facts you need to survive on the job. This is the information you should’ve learned before starting your CT rotation. My courses aren’t the typical sort of stuff you get in those CT modules teaching you to pass a test. These are designed to give you real life wisdom, to launch you forward in time and make you more comfortable taking care of patients. Why not give them a look. I will post the links to the courses here, www.SpeakToPatients.com and www.CTContrast.com BUT maybe I haven't earned your trust yet, so I have a FREE COURSE for you to try out. YES, it's definitely FREE and will help you start your CT SuperTech Journey. Just go to www.CTSuperTech.com to get started.
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