After seven years of working for Canadian Blood Services, Kasi Schnablegger decided she needed a change and signed up for the medical radiography program at Camosun College, which trains people to become x-ray technologists.
Schnablegger says that although she loved her job, she felt like she had gone as far as she could in that field. Looking for something similar in the health care field that allowed her to work with people, Schnablegger decided radiography was the right fit.
“The program is intense,” she says, having already gone through the rigours of studying biology for her undergraduate degree at the University of Victoria. “But I really love it. The classes are small, so we get a lot of lab time and one-on-one time with our instructors. I think it’s so valuable. You’re not lost in a sea of people.”
In addition to the technical skills Schnablegger is learning, she’s taking advantage of Camosun’s interdisciplinary learning model by working with other sectors in the health care field. Schnablegger was part of a group of medical radiography students invited to do a simulation with nursing students. The hands-on experience allowed students to work on dummies with a pulse, a heartbeat and verbal skills to recreate a real hospital scenario.
“The medical radiography students x-rayed their chests. We talked about the process with the nursing students before and after the experience, just as we would in a hospital setting,” she says.
For Phillip Yee, an alumnus of the program, one of the biggest draws of the program was that there is no typical day, something he wanted after leaving a career in finance in Vancouver back in 2014.
“On a regular day, I arrive at work around 8am, show up to my department, and then I start taking x-rays right away.” Yee thrives on the variety, whether he’s in the operating room, the x-ray clinic, stationed at Victoria General Hospital or Royal Jubilee Hospital as an employee of Island Health.
Yee explains his passion for technology and working with other people meets in his new profession.
“When you take an x-ray, you don’t just put the body part in the machine and press a button,” he says. “You have to get the room ready, prepare the patient, and make sure you’re clear about what you’re supposed to x-ray. You have to balance what the doctors want and what the patient can do, so you need to get very creative about how to get the images.”
For more information on the Medical Radiography program visit camosun.ca/learn/programs/medical-radiography.