My journey in becoming a radiologic tech

For as long as I can remember, I knew healthcare was my calling. I needed to be an active part in today’s multifaceted healthcare system to help change the field for the better.

Fulton-Montgomery Community College helped me do just that. Right out of high school I obtained an hourly position at St. Mary’s Healthcare in the Food Service department and was accepted in FMCC’s nursing program.

I soon realized nursing wasn’t for me. I went on to get my associates degree in Human Services through FMCC. The internship portion got me in the door at a local ARC working as a direct support professional.

As time went on, I had the opportunity to internally transfer to a unit coordinator position on a medical surgical nursing floor at St. Mary’s. I am forever grateful for everything I learned about the nursing aspects of healthcare and the networking it provided me within the hospital.

However, I soon realized a better way for me to reach my goal and have a wider variety of opportunities. Radiologic technology provides a great foundation to explore alternative modalities such as Ultrasound, CT Scan, nuclear medicine, mammography, and MRI.  

I didn’t know much about these imaging modalities, but FMCC’s radiologic technology program fits that rotation into your senior year. In addition to the clinical experience courses, I was able to become a tutor for the program and help my fellow classmates with positioning and physics concepts.

Through this experience, I realized I enjoy teaching and helping others find ways to learn and recall information.

Between my passion for healthcare and my love for the sciences, radiology could not have been a better fit for me. I came out of the program not only as a New York state licensed radiologic technologist, but also a more wholesome, self-aware individual. I have my two mentors to thank for that, Karlyn LaBate and Kullen Bailey. They have molded the program to not only create radiologic technologists, but to put out professional individuals with the best patient care and clinical skills possible. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to be able to keep my longevity with St. Mary’s and internally transfer into the imaging department as a radiologic technologist as soon as I graduated in May.

Currently, I am enjoying getting to know more people in my community and refining my skills as a radiographer. My next step is beginning my Bachelors of Science in the new Allied Health program at SUNY Empire state college. 

If it was not for a representative guest speaker, my now program mentor, coming into one of our classes during the radiologic technology program, there was a very good chance that I would not be pursuing my bachelors today.

The most attractive feature for me was the ability to continue pursuing my educational goals and work in the field that I love at the same time. I was sold by the end of her presentation and I’ll be starting in September.

I don’t know what the future holds for me in my career. Whether it being healthcare management or becoming a radiologic technology adjunct to continue my new found passion for teaching, I’ll be ready.

Chelsa Hutchins, class of 2018 graduate from FMCC radiologic technology program.