I completed my observation of the radiology department at the hospital yesterday. It was a different instructor taking me around to different areas to observe different things going on, and discussing things with me. He wanted to be sure a radiography job would be a good fit for me, considering my deafness. He's never worked with anyone who was deaf or hard of hearing in the medical field, so he had no idea that some deaf people work in different sorts of medical fields. One thing he was concerned about was the phone use, so I told him there were captioned phones available that could possibly help with that. He was also concerned about how much I hear or don't hear in certain situations. There are situations, like going into the ER or OR with the portable X-ray units, which could be tricky hearing-wise. But I do have an FM unit (I told him I had an assisted listening device), so I could either put the transmitter on the person doing the talking (or place it on something close enough to that person) to hear a little better, and of the different programming options I have on my CI and hearing aid. At the end of the observation, he felt a little better about my wanting to go into radiography. If I get into the program, graduate and get my degree, I don't necessarily have to work in a hospital setting; there are clinic settings that might be better for me. Who knows!
But anyway, the observations were rather interesting. Saw a couple more CT scans (one of the head and neck; another of the abdomen), various X-rays (ankle, hip/pelvis/spine, chest portable, regular chest), a fluoroscopy swallow study, interventional radiography where a team remove a filter from a vein and an interventional/fluoroscopy where they were trying to figure out why patient was having the issues he was having.... Definitely saw a lot in the 5 hours I spent in the radiography department. I still feel the radiography career would be a good job for me, regardless of my hearing issues. Yes, there will be issues that might arise, but I will do whatever I can to remedy those situations (like getting a captioned phone to use in the radiography office, using my FM unit, etc.). I've also looked at other jobs in the medical field, like physical therapy, respiratory therapy, etc. I just feel like radiography will be a good fit for me. I really appreciated that the instructor would lead me to a quiet area so we could discuss what I just observed, discussing my deafness and solutions for possible scenarios where hearing would be tricky, etc. He was truly curious, not aware that there were special technology developed for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.
Got my 8 hours of observation time done, paperwork has been signed off! Now I need to answer the questions, explain the different radiography areas I observed, etc., make sure the application is properly filled out, and have everything turned in by Feb. 15th. They will let applicants know if they've been accepted to the program or not in April. In the mean time, I'll have to keep on top of my school work, and get good grades!