It has been almost two years now since my first book Finding Comic Relief in Radiology was published . Why did I write the book ? Why did I sound so angry in the book ? Was my sarcasm in the book really compared to Howard Sterns sarcasm ? Was there any truth to that book ?
The answer is …… it’s all in how you interpret it . I wrote the book because I felt like I got asked by so many people , especially high schoolers who were thinking about career choices and by many people who simply wanted a change in career “ so , what is it like working in Radiology and what is your typical day like “. I have also been asked by many patients “ do you like your job “?
As I take a big breath writing this , I want to give an honest answer. I can remember sitting in one of the monthly work meetings when I worked as an MRI Technologist in Virginia. I remember sitting in the meeting with every single Technologist I worked with and the MRI manager and I remember all of the Technologist were upset and every single one was just exhausted with their career. In fact , two of the techs admitted they were in the wrong career . They hated everything about working at that hospital and everything they had experienced in this profession. One of my fellow techs actually turned to me and said “ you know , things are just so ridiculous in MRI that you could write a book on this, you can’t make up the shit we go through”. I remember starring at her for a second thinking , “ you know , she is right “. After all , we had been eaves dropped on by management , we have been getting called in at 2 am constantly for routine exams , we were never getting lunches or breaks , and the lack of staff we had with the huge patient load was just beyond draining . All of the MRI techs were constantly getting out late , and we had no support from managers , radiologist , or Human Resources.
However , those short comings didn’t just happen at that one particular hospital . It happened almost every single place I worked. So what gives ? Why is working in MRI so stressful ? It doesn’t have to be, but it is . I just started resenting this career .
I experienced severe burnout.
I remember having more then one occasion sitting in my car and crying . Crying because I didn’t want to go to work . Crying because I was tired . Tired of never getting a lunch break or any break. Tired of not knowing when my day would end. For any of you reading this and have never worked patient care , just know there were many days that I would be scheduled for 8 hours but would get out in 12. Many nights I slept at the hospitals because the floor doctors and ER doctors kept paging me in for routine exams such as back pain of 5 years , or diabetic toes . Exams that could wait for the next morning. I had worked 18 hours straight on a few occasions ( holidays ) I was tired.
So I decided to write about all of my experiences working in radiology .
The back of the book gives an explanation of what the book is about. It clearly states that the tone of the book is similar to Howard Stern, Kevin Hart, and Kathy Griffin . I’m assuming some people who ordered the book had no idea who Howard, Kathy, and Kevin were because boy did they rip me apart in some of my reviews.
Some of the reviews it became obvious that the reader either didn’t REALLY read the book word for word or was one of those crazy rude patients that I describe in my book who just thinks the world revolves around them . No joke , working in patient care with so many personalities is a struggle. I can’t even begin to tell you how many patients actually walk into the MRI department and tell the tech how he or she should do their job. I’m sure nurses understand where I am coming from .
One of the reviews left on Amazon said something about poor me who had to come in to scan a patient who was dying of an Aortic Aneurism obviously did not read that chapter because if he did he would have CLEARLY understood that the part in the book where I talk about being pissed for being called in at 2 am for an aortic dissection made me angry because at that moment I realized I was taking pager call for a health system that I did not work for and was never told during my interview that I would be taking pager call for a total of 4 hospitals . My pissed off mood had nothing to do with scanning something as urgent as an aortic dissection. I know that is life threatning and I would never be upset to come in and save someone’s life. It had everything to do with the beginning of the lies that slowly creeps into working in this career. I was a brand new Technologist when that happened. I was clearly taken advantage of and management knew that .
Yes the book could have been written a little less insulting to this career. Yes I could have been a little more tactful in the way I said some things in the book. Yes, those of you who hate sarcasm and find Howard Stern offensive will probably hate the book. After all, I dedicate an entire chapter on patients who had the attitudes of the biggest ass holes I have ever seen. So if you are one of those patients who walk into radiology and refuse to get changed into a gown , refuse to take off your jewelry when asked , refuse to fill out the MRI screening form , show up 10 min past your table time , show up on the wrong date you were scheduled and scream at the front desk that you ARE getting scanned , or tell your Technologist that you do not need to go to the bathroom prior to the MRI but request to go 5 min into the scan ….well…. you just might get a little pissed after reading this book.
Finally , to answer the question that I still get asked to this day “ do you like working in MRI”?
The answer is no. I am beyond burnt out to the point that I just do not find anything in this career interesting . I do not care to learn anything new most of the time. I completely checked out of this profession . In my book I did bring up the fact that I actually hated radiology school. I discussed dropping out of Radiography school after the first year . One of the instructors assured me there were other areas in radiology I could venture out to. So I stayed in school and I have regretted it ever since . So to all of you new grads in any career, if you feel like it’s just not what you thought it would be or if you just really hate the classes you are taking in school , please just stop and take some time to figure out what you really want to do . Don’t just stay in a career or in classes because your family member or counselor suggest you keep at it .
Funny thing about Finding Comic Relief in Radiology is the book is selling more then I thought it would . It is selling more then my book “Silenced” about the paranormal . I didn’t think Finding Comic Relief in Radiology would actually sell 5 copies. It was just a book I felt like writing to get all of my feelings out about this awful career in hopes of letting the world know it’s time for a change . It’s time to take care of your nurses and radiology staff who work under a large amount of stress and miss out on so many family events etc because they choose to help others and save lives . All I wanted was to get the conversation started . I just wanted to see some change for those healthcare workers who work so hard every day and night and I think it’s about time hospitals and out patient centers recognize that and not just in pay , but a work / life balance that hospitals advertise . Please give your nurses and radiology staff breaks and listen to them when they say they need help.
So for those angry reviews….. here is what I have to say 🖕🏻….. get the conversation going .