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She acts as doctors' photographer


Stephanie Woodward

Radiology/X-ray technologist

Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Glen Burnie

Age --38

Years on the job --19

Salary --$55,000

How she started --She learned of a radiology technology program during a career day in high school. A director of the radiology technology program at Harbor Hospital talked about the classes and showed some slides. "They explained it was an X-ray school and, after two years you could have a great career and make a good living. Right out of high school I started."

Training --Includes a lot of clinical time. There were about two hours in the classroom and about five to six hours of clinic a day. "You're thrown right in to all modalities - X-ray, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, CT scan and, now, MRI. It was never boring because there was always something going on."

Typical day --She works from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. most days, covering the operating room, X-ray room, fluoroscopy (type of imaging). "I'm like the photographer and the doctors read the photos."

The good --The state-of-the-art technology is always changing. "We're always learning something new, so it's never stagnant."

The bad --"It's really hard when you have a child that has been abused or a baby found unconscious or a person who comes in for a standard X-ray and you find something terrible that no one knew was there. Those are the most devastating moments."

On being around X-rays all day --It's not as dangerous as in the past since the machines give off very little radiation. "Still, it's about being smart. Wear protection when you need to ... and you will be safe."

Philosophy on the job --"I always try to treat people as I would hope to be treated. When people come in they are vulnerable and want to know what's happening. It is a balance and I love it all."

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