(Closed) Any Radiology/Ultrasound Techs/ Dental Hygienists- Need Advice!

posted 4 years ago in Career
Post # 2
Hostess
3882 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

 

kenz29:  I am not in any of these careers, but my sister started off on the radiology path.  Her program was very competitive – I believe she had to do her pre-reqs for two years and then apply to the radiology program, but I’m not sure whether that was just how her school did it or if that is normal.  She ultimately was accepted, but decided it wasn’t the career for her.  My best friend’s mom is a radiologist and loves it!  She does have to work some holidays, but her hours are decent (I believe she has four 12 hour days and three days off, but one may be on call).  She always has great stories about work too!

My Future Sister-In-Law and an aunt are dental hygenists and also seem happy in their careers.  The only complaint I’ve gotten from my Future Sister-In-Law is that the dentist she works for talks down to her a bit, but he’s unprofessional in many other regards and I’m sure if you had a good boss, that wouldn’t be an issue.  My Future Sister-In-Law has an associates, not sure about my aunt. 

Post # 3
Member
848 posts
Busy bee

missinthecity:  Is your best friend’s mom a Radiologist or a Radiologic Tech? Two completely different things. One is a doctorate and the other is an Associate’s degree. And honestly 12 hour shifts in being a Radiologic Technologist are VERY rare so I wouldn’t go into wanting to be an xray tech expecting those shifts because I’ve never heard of a place doing it. That’s more in nursing than anything unfortunately.

 

kenz29:  I’m an Ultrasound Tech, 2 years prerequisites, 2 years Radiology (X-Ray or Radiologic Technologist) program, 1.5 years Ultrasound program. I got in on the first try to both, but I also had stellar grades and a slight background with Ultrasound. I know several people in my x-ray class that tried 3 times before getting accepted. It depends on your area though as far as competitiveness.. so don’t go by me for that! Same goes for finding a job! My area is kind of saturated because they graduate 30-40 xray techs a year and then 10-12 ultrasound techs a year so finding a job is a little hard out here.  As far as the job goes.. I LOVE what I learned, and the fact that I learn something new everyday, some people are techs for 20 years and then see a new pathology that they’ve never encountered before and it’s amazing.  I wish we had 12 hour options like nurses because 8 hours a day 5 days a week isn’t for me. I’d rather work long hours and have more days off. I like what I do in that I’m good at it, but have come to realize that it’s not really for me. Nothing specific, just not fulfilled with it, not sure how to explain it. I don’t feel like I’m making a difference really, I feel like I’m at a factory and the patients in and out all day are an assembly line. There are techs I know that absolutely love their job, though! My co-worker is one of them!

Downsides to it is that everyone thinks we only scan babies.. I scan maybe 1 baby a day. We also scan prostates (through the rectum), scrotums, thyroids, uterus (part of it is a probe that goes inside your vagina), etc. I think that part drives me crazy more than anything. I am very emotional and when I have people come in who are 12 years old and pregnant, or have husbands who are literally ANGRY when they find out it’s a girl and not a boy, or have people who outright tell me they don’t even want this baby and how mad they are that they’re even pregnant, or the people that seek no prenatal care the entire pregnancy and this is their first ultrasound at 38 weeks along but they tell me mid conversation that they paid $100 to find out the gender at a 3d ultrasound clinic.. or men who try to flirt with you or make disgusting jokes while you’re scanning their testicles..  it’s all very draining.. LOL.. I don’t deal with alot of crap.

Other techs don’t get bothered by any of these things, though lol. So my opinion is just that, my opinion, and it’s just not what I want to do forever.  And you might not even experience these things, ever, because every location is different, different clientele, etc!

I DO know a dental hygienist.. actually 2! They LOVE their jobs! I don’t know alot about it, but I do know they’re both completely happy with their choices and their work everyday!

Post # 4
Member
329 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

Hi! I’m a diagnostic sonographer! To answer your questions, the program was 3 years long. I was accepted the first time I applied to the program. I had a 4.0 with my prerequisites so I didn’t have any trouble being accepted in the program. I will be honest and say I didn’t have any social life during school to keep my GPA up. Make sure the program is accredited at any school you are looking to attend.

To answer the last question, I love my job! I am a maternal fetal medicine sonographer. All of our patients are high risk pregnancies. Some of these patients we see once a week for most of their pregnancy and you become very close. I work clinic hours so M-F 8-5 with weekends and holidays off. I feel like I hit the jackpot with office hours in the medical career. I would really recommend diagnostic sonography. There are so many different fields you could branch into like OB, vascular, pediatric, and fetal echo. The pay is just a bonus, waking up and not dreading work is an awesome feeling. 

Post # 6
Member
329 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

zoey0317:  Hi fellow tech! Yes I totally agree about feeling like you are working at a factory with general sonography. I had days I felt that way too. I really felt fulfilled when I decided to go into a specialty. Are you thinking of trying a specialty or going into a totally different field? 

Post # 7
Member
35 posts
Newbee

Dental Hygienist- Depends on the program. Some programs you can go into with just high school diploma and graduate in two years with an associates. I did 2 years of pre-reqs at a university and then 2 years at the school that offered Bachelor of dental hygiene. Some classmates had to apply multiple times before they were accepted, just depends on your background. 

Depending on where you live it can be difficult to find a job once you graduate. Many hygienists only work part-time. This could be ideal for some! But if you need the income, you may have to work multiple part time jobs to get the income. Many offices don’t offer benefits. 

It is a fun job. Never boring. Pays well. Patients are great most of the time. If you can find the right office it is absolutely wonderful! But it is very taxing on your body. I do not practice hygiene anymore and am grateful that I obtained my bachelor’s degree, which opened many other doors for me.  You can get a master of dental hygiene and teach. So, many options with this profession depending on how far you want to take it. 

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by  DZ_Squared.
Post # 8
Hostess
3882 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

zoey0317: My bad! My best friend’s mom the only one I know (I’m pretty sure she’s a tech now that you mention the distinction, but I could be wrong) and those are her hours.

Post # 9
Member
848 posts
Busy bee

kenz29:  Definitely! They’re always so peppy!! Lol. I’ve actually only encountered one in my lifetime that wasn’t.  I did like X-ray when I did that for a little while but the pay in Ultrasound is much better and Ultrasound was my goal to begin with so I got out of x-ray. I may eventually go back to it if I don’t figure out what else I want to do πŸ™‚ I know that Ultrasound is one of the most physically draining as well. If your posture isn’t 100% perfect while scanning, alot of people end up with shoulder or wrist issues early in their careers. :/  I already have bad wrists before doing this so I’m already feeling it 1.5 years in. Blah.

missinthecity:  Okay, I’m not doubting that those are her hours, I was just saying that from what I know, that’s very rare in that department πŸ™‚ If those are her hours, that’s awesome! I’d love to find an xray job that had 12’s!

wontonsoup:  I am honestly not sure what I want to do! I’m hoping my Fiance gets a better job soon so I can be a stay at home mom to be honest haha. But if I have to work, I would definitely consider branching out into MFM! It interests me so much, there’s just not a lot of work in that out here where I am. As well as I don’t know how to go about it.. I’d want to go to seminars and things to broaden my education on OB sonography. I have also considered nursing strictly for pediatric or NICU nursing. I’d only need 18 months more school to have a BSN with my current degree (the school I went to has an accelerated B.S. to BSN program πŸ™‚  )

I just don’t feel like the average adult that I see daily is very appreciative of life or anything, sense of entitlement, etc. I love kids and their innocence and I’d feel so much more helpful in this world if I were helping a kid or baby feel better or get better! They don’t deserve to feel badly πŸ™ When I’d go up to the NICU to do xrays, I’d just be in love with those little babies and the tiny life that was in those incubators!

Post # 10
Member
848 posts
Busy bee

kenz29:  I guess I could have responded about the Radiologic Tech aspect of your question too.. lol. I did like that better, but you still deal with patients who are completely lacking common sense sometimes. πŸ™‚  But as a job overall, I feel like I enjoyed X-ray more.  The pay in my area (and most likely most areas just because Ultrasound is much  more responsibility/schooling) for xray is just alot better and I need it right now!

Post # 11
Member
824 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2017 - Sea Cider

kenz29:  I’m a dental hygienist. 4 year degree for me (strongly reccomend getting a BSDH over an Associate degree – more flexibility/mobility), and I bartended while I was in school to get away without the debt. That plan worked, but it was rough – hygiene school is competitive, you need to maintain a good GPA, and I genuinely remember being tested every. single. day. from second semested of the first year onwards. Made great friends in the program, though, and would do it again in a heartbeat.

Finding a good job is tough. I won’t get into details here, but if you PM me, I’ll tell you about what I’ve experienced in an effort to get a job I like. I DO now have an awesome boss, with a better hourly than average in my area, and a rotating 3-4 day a week schedule. 

It is VERY tough on your body. I’ve been practicing for 5 years, and even with ergonomic support, I have chronic low-grade back pain, wrist pain, neck pain, and numbness in my fingers. My Fiance and I are both looking forward to making me a “half week housewife”, working 2 days a week.

Great job if you’re bright, people oriented, and could support yourself on part time work.

Post # 12
Member
161 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

I’m not in any of those fields but my school does have an xray tech program which is a year of pre-reqs and then two years of the program. I have a couple friends who just graduated and are having a hard time finding jobs because our area is so full of them since the school pumps out 30-40 new xray techs each year. So that may be something to consider if you do a local program, but that wouldn’t be an issue if you are willing to maybe travel a bit for work or go to a program that is further away from you.

Now I KNOW that you didn’t mention nursing, but you did say healthcare and you want fast paced and flexibility- nursing is all of those things, and you could do an associates program just like any other of the fields you listed and be done in three years. I’m in my last semester of a nursing program and am overwhelmed with trying to decide what I want to do because there are SO many different areas. Peds, geriatrics, ICU, OR, oncology, ortho, etc. The list goes on and on. Doctor’s office, hospital, nursing home, home health care, case management, flight nursing, etc. Just want to throw that out there since you said “or something alone those lines” πŸ™‚

Post # 14
Member
101 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I am a cardiac sonographer and I love my job! I did two years or prerequisites and 2 years specializing in cardiac sonography. My program is extremely competitive and I got into mine the second time I applied even though my GPA was a 3.9 and I already had a bachelor’s degree. People wonder if my job ever gets boring because I only scan hearts, but NO, it doesn’t!. Everyone’s heart is different and the technique to get the image you need is different and extremely operator dependent. We can also further specialize into pedicatric echo and fetal echo. I work 4-10’s and I take call about once every six weeks (so be prepared to get up @ 2am and head back to work if you want to work inpatient). I’m not so thrilled about call but the money is great. Definitely go to an accredited school that has a good reputation. At least for my area, your ability to secure a job depends greatly on the reputation of your school and where you intern at. 

Sonography is not an easy career-  it’s hard on your back, shoulders, and wrist because we use very fine micromovements to scan. There is also a lot of responsibilty. We are the doctor’s eyes. The doctor only sees what we choose to take. If we miss pathology, so does the doctor. It’s not just picture taking, it’s a skill that needs to honed…. how diagnostic an exam can be very operator dependent. 

 

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