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The Experience of a Lifetime

Posted: March 28, 2018 — by Abbie Reed

Photo taken at the Valley of Fire State Park

Photo taken at the Valley of Fire State Park. Left student standing: Cassidy Quinn, Senior. Front row (far left) Tamara Pasanen, Rad Tech Class of 2017 graduate, and Abbie Reed (striped dress).
Back Row (far left) Jade DeGuair, Senior Student and Teresa Gale, Senior Student.

Earlier in this spring semester, the senior class of 2018 Radiologic Technology students in the Medical Imaging Student Association (MISA) club attended the Association of Collegiate Educators in Radiologic Technology (ACERT) Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a group, we had prepared and fundraised for months leading up to this monumental trip. Students had the opportunity to spend five days in the western part of the country. We attended lectures provided by some of the most ingenious people in the field of Radiologic Technology, including William Callaway and Dr. Stewart Bushong, both text book authors. Dr. Bushong is a leader in the radiologic physics community who spoke on the topic of “normalization of deviance” which left a powerful impact on the crowd regarding proper methods in radiation protection. I can confidently say for much of our class, this was an experience of a lifetime!

During the lectures, we attained a wealth of vital information. The speakers discussed pertinent topics that will translate over to when we become Registered Technologists in Radiography. A memorable lecture was titled, “A Walk in Their Shoes: Let’s Make a Difference in the Patient Care Experience,” where we were reminded that the patient isn’t just a number, they are someone’s mother, sibling, father, and/or grandparent. This session was a reminder to keep our patient care standards as high as possible and to treat patients with empathy during their hospital visits as they may be stressful.

Aside from lectures, we were able to experience Las Vegas firsthand. Some of us rode a Ferris wheel called the High Roller – it stands 550 feet tall! Students ventured to the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and The Grand Canyon. We visited the Valley of Fire State Park; I could endlessly talk about the amber mountain ranges contrasting the clear blue skies – truly a sight to see! The Valley of Fire holds some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. Of great note, the entire class had dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant where we were privileged to meet Craig St. George, the Director of Education for the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). This networking opportunity allowed us to begin thinking ahead towards joining some of our professional societies.

I am a single mom who made the most of this experience. I am thankful to my fellow classmates, teachers, and family members for all the support and hard work put into fundraising. Collectively, we were able to raise approximately $12,000 to attend this conference. FM’s Student Senate Association lent much support of which I am very thankful. And last, but certainly not least, I am thankful for FM’s C-STEP program. The program acquired funding to fill in the few gaps we had in our personal budgets.  Without this assistance, it would have been difficult for a few of us to attend the conference.

Making this experience possible has created a profound impact on my vision for what is to come in the future.

Abbie Reed is a senior in FM’s Radiologic Technology program.

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