Melissa Wallschlaeger has worked in radiology for 40 years and said the profession’s technology is light-years from when she started.
About Radiologic Technolgy Week
Each November, radiographers celebrate the X-ray's discovery in 1895 during National Radiologic Technology Week and honor pioneers of the field.
“In the beginning when you think of Wilhelm Roentgen and Thomas Edison, who had a huge part in fluoroscopy imaging, they actually experienced radiation effects and now the devices and everything that is in the equipment is to protect the patient and yourselves,” Wallschlaeger said.
“When I graduated from my program, CT — computer tomography — was just coming out so, for us, that was really exciting,” Wallschlaeger, the radiography program director at American Career College-Ontario, said.
Now, Wallschlaeger said, health care workers are able to get better medical images than ever before, in faster and safer ways.
“The digital technology has just grown since then and new advances in some of the imaging modalities, of what they are capable of doing and the diagnoses they can to provide patients is incredible,” she said.
As digital technology continues to advance, Wallschlaeger hopes some of her students at ACC-Ontario will be at the forefront. She said she loves when a student’s face lights up as they have that “a-ha” moment in class and she knows she’s helped energize her profession’s next wave.
“That’s the ultimate for me,” she said.
What options are out there for radiography graduates?
There's lots of opportunities out there for graduates besides diagnostic X-ray. You can expand into CT, you can expand into MRI, mammography, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, teaching — come back teaching in an education program such as myself. You are part of an incredible team that helps patients.
What inspires me is when the light bulb goes off on a student's face — understanding the information. What inspires me to be in education is that I am further advancing the profession through students that are coming through the program.
It's fun that our initials are RAD because we're "rad," right? So just kind of a little sense of humor thing but yeah, I just have enjoyed my whole 40 years and enjoy the education part of it. We'd like people to come in and see what we have to offer.
ACC cannot guarantee employment. Programs vary by campus. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student. For graduation rates, median debt of graduates completing this program and other important information, visit americancareercollege.edu/disclosures.
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