The Annual Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) Summer Camp will be held on August 10-16 at Shekinah Retreat Centre, near Waldheim.
Laurie is a Medical Radiation Technologist (MRT) who is also a CLXT. She works in a one room X-ray department so there is only one tech working each day. She also has some days where she works in the lab. On weekends and on call, there is one person working in both lab and X-ray.Her responsibilities in this department mainly include taking X-rays. This involves greeting the patient and discussing with them the particular exam that has been requested by their physician or nurse practitioner. Once the exam has been ordered in their computer program, she then proceeds to position the patient following the standard procedure set out for that exam. When the exam is finished, she fills out & scans the necessary paperwork and completes the exam in the computer program so it can then be viewed by the physician and reported by the radiologist. She also performs the electrocardiograms and makes sure they are reported, distributed, and sent for billing. Laurie carries out and documents the daily, monthly and yearly duties of the department which can include: cleaning, testing, and quality control of equipment, downloading and completing the month end reporting, and supply ordering. Laurie finds this an interesting and rewarding job.
What Laurie loves about her job is the wide variety of patients she sees every day and that every day is different from the next. Working in an acute care facility, Laurie has no idea when she walks in the door in the morning how that day will go. X-ray can have its challenges because every person is different and, at times, may be limited in their ability to attain the positions necessary for that exam. Sometimes Laurie has to find creative ways to get a good image. She has great satisfaction in getting good quality x-rays, especially in challenging situations.
During her many years of employment, there wasn’t always work available in x-ray or in her home town, so she has had the opportunity to work in many different jobs & facilities over the years. Through this, she has met and worked with so many caring and dedicated staff - she knows that healthcare workers are truly amazing. It has definitely broadened her perspective and she has learned that everyone’s job is important. She also enjoys working in a small facility and the close relationships that develop with all the different healthcare professionals that Laurie works with.
Laurie says her reason for becoming an MRT is not very inspirational. She grew up on a farm and had parents who wanted her to take some type of post-secondary education and, for that, she is thankful. Things were different when she applied to the MRT program at the “Regina General School of Radiography” in 1975. Her grade 12 marks were good and she was called for an interview with the instructor at the Regina General Hospital. She was accepted into the program, so the interview must have went well. At that point, she honestly had no clue what being an MRT even involved. At that time there was no “google” and Laurie had done no job research. She only knew of the profession because one of her neighbors was an X-ray tech and as a naïve 17 year old, she thought “that sounds like a fun thing to do” - so she applied. Thank goodness it all worked out and she now thinks it was a great career choice.
Working during the Covid-19 pandemic has definitely been a learning experience. In the beginning, it was quite stressful as it seemed every day there were changes they were making in the departments and there were so many unknowns about the virus. It feels over the last year and a half that staff have adapted, and “Covid positive screens”, “PPE”, and "lots of cleaning" have become the normal. Laurie has noticed the fatigue in all the health care workers but everyone is coping as best they can. They do not have an ICU in their hospital and her heart goes out to all those who work in the larger centers and thinks about how physically and emotionally draining their jobs must be. She thinks she can safely say all health care workers will be relieved when things return to some kind of normal. It has been a long haul.
Laurie, thank you for sharing with us what you do and how you found this career. We agree that not a lot of young adults are aware of the different educational opportunities within the Health Care system such as MRTs. We hope that your story inspires someone to become an MRT or CLXT. You have made such a great difference for so many patients and so many coworkers.
Thank you to you and all the MRTs across the province for the amazing job you do every day!
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