I fell in love with healthcare while working as a radiology technician aide at a well-known imaging center in Dallas during college. I was working late one evening with one of our senior technicians, when I realized the profound opportunity a relationship between healthcare and technology could provide.
Typically evening shifts were quiet and uneventful, which made them a great shift for doing homework and planning out my life after graduation. On occasion, a shift would be sprinkled with a STAT order or two for patients at a nearby hospital. This evening proved to be one of those occasional shifts when a STAT order for an MRI scan was called in.
What was particularly interesting about this order was that it was for an abdomen and pelvic scan for a woman who was 8 months pregnant. (For those concerned, MRI scans do not use radiation like a CT or x-ray scan and are safe within the third trimester.) As you can imagine, the radiology technician scanned images not only detailing the mother’s injury, but as a by-product of the scanned location we were also given the most beautiful images of the infant.
As I sat there during my evening shift and watched the breathtaking images appear before me, I contemplated my own future in the industry that had provided me this opportunity. What direction should I pursue to make a difference for people like this mother? What will I accomplish during my career that will inspire another impressionable mind?
On that evening, I fell in love with health care technology and the opportunity uniquely available to us as health care professionals. Technology has enabled us to accomplish things that were unfathomable a century ago, whether that is providing an image of an unborn child or having an infrastructure that allows personal health information to be available wherever a patient decides to go for care. Using technology effectively, health care professionals have been able to save peoples’ lives, and families, because someone believed that technology would work one day, and they took the project in their own hands.
Each of us has a different story on how we fell in love with healthcare. For some it was a personal experience as a patient, for others it was a result of an opportunity to help someone in need. What is important though is to remember our story as we continue on in our careers. It is imperative that we do not forget why we are here and working on “this” project together, and what inspired us to get started on this journey in the first place.
Erica Olenski currently serves as the marketing communications specialist at Corepoint Health and managing editor of HL7 Standards. Erica has focused her research and professional experience in healthcare communications and new media opportunities in the healthcare IT industry. She is a leader in the healthcare IT social media community and additionally moderates the #HITsm (healthcare IT social media) tweet chats on Twitter held weekly from 8-9 p.m. CT. www.hl7standards.com