Bethany Woolary, born and raised in Glendale, AZ, is a very recent graduate of the Medical Radiography program at our Carrington College Phoenix Westside campus. In fact she graduated so recently that she will be ‘walking the stage’ this Friday with other recent graduates of a number of different programs at our Phoenix Westside campus.
It promises to be an exciting month or two for Bethany, aged 22, as she and her fiancé Jeremy are getting married on December 15 after more than four years together. Our congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple!
After graduating High School Bethany wasn’t entirely sure of the direction she wanted to take in her career. Although she comes from a family of teachers, she felt she wanted to work in health care; perhaps she was influenced a little by her mom, an orthodontic assistant. Not sure of what else to do, Bethany decided to go to ASU West to study Health & Life Sciences.
“It was a pretty broad program; I chose it because I didn’t really know what area I wanted to specialize in. It’s basically a program for people who know they want to do something in the health care field, but have no idea what.”
It was while she was studying this program that Bethany decided that she wanted to focus her education on a career in ultrasound, and would use Medical Radiography as a stepping stone to get there. She also took some advice from various people she met along the way.
“I’ve worked at a restaurant since I was 16, and I’ve met lots of great people and listened to their stories. One day I was talking to an older gentlemen about careers, and he said if he could go back and do it all again, he would do something in the medical field like ultrasound. I thought that sounded like a good idea, so I researched the field and it sounded great.”
Once she had made a decision on her career direction, Bethany researched a number of different local schools before she committed to joining us at Carrington.
“Carrington College seemed to offer everything I wanted; the wait time to start the program was a lot shorter than the other schools, and it was a fast track program. I’d heard of Carrington through word of mouth, so I did my research and felt that this was the best school for me.”
Bethany started the Carrington program in the fall of 2010. Now that she has completed her studies she can look back on her time at Carrington with a sense of accomplishment, even though she wasn’t entirely sure about attending a vocational school when she started.
“To be honest I was a little nervous at the beginning, but I had a great class with a lot of friendly people, and all my instructors were very nice, and very helpful. Some of the students in my class were young like me, but there were also some who were older, more middle-aged. They weren’t all fresh out of high school, and everyone had a different story. It was interesting meeting all of them and learning about their past careers – it was a good experience.”
Medical Radiography program students receive an education that covers a wide range of material. After first building a solid knowledge base, students progress into coursework that is focused on the information and skills they’ll need in their future career. Then, to help them become more secure in their skills, students receive hands-on clinical instruction in approved healthcare facilities. Bethany spent four months as an intern in an orthopedic clinic, and another eight months at the Del E Webb Memorial Hospital in Sun City West, AZ.
“I learned a lot about patient care working in the hospital – it’s a good feeling when you’re helping someone who is sick or injured. Even though, as an x-ray tech, we play a small role in the overall process, it’s still a good feeling when a patient smiles and says thank you for taking the time, and for showing that you cared.”
The clinical instruction has been very beneficial to Bethany, who admits that she was initially a little unsure if she could cope with the demands of being a medical professional.
“I was nervous going into health care. But being in a hospital setting, in that kind of professional environment where you’re helping people, I guess I surprised myself with how well I’ve dealt with people with broken bones and other injuries.”
The moment when Bethany knew that a career in health care was the right decision for her came during her time at Del Webb Memorial.
“Working in the hospital was far more intimidating than the clinic; it was stressful at times because there were so many things going on, and the patients were more critical. It was a real challenge at first but once I got the hang of it, it was a good feeling to realize that I could do this.”
Bethany will soon be taking the national certification examination administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists; after that she will start applying for positions as an x-ray tech. But she knows that she has another 12-18 months of further study ahead of her to get an ultrasound qualification. But that’s all part of her career plan.
“In three years I hope to be working as an ultrasound technician. I’m not sure which specialism yet, maybe cardiac, but somewhere in the ultrasound field. Since I want to specialize, I think it more likely that I’ll be working in a clinic, rather than a hospital…but who knows. It’s going to be interesting! It would be awesome to work my way up and one day run a department. It would be a lot of responsibility, but as I’m still young I have time to gain experience.”
As a recent graduate, Bethany is in a great position to offer some advice to any prospective students considering Carrington, and particularly those thinking about studying the Medical Radiography program.
“I never had any problems at Carrington College, I really liked it. It’s definitely fast-paced, there’s a lot of information to learn, so stick with it. It will be worth it in the end. There is one year of classroom work, and the second year is all on-site clinical training. It’s very interesting to be hands-on, out there learning every day. It’s hard work, it’s also a lot of fun, but it’s worth it. I’d definitely recommend it.
When you’re in a program like this it’s really exciting to be focused on your career. It’s not at all like High School. I’ve learned so much in such a short period of time, and I’ve met so many new people in the last two years in class and as an intern, I feel very accomplished. It’s good to feel well-trained.”
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us Bethany; congratulations on your graduation and best wishes for your upcoming wedding. And good luck with your future career.
For comprehensive consumer information, please visit carrington.edu/degrees/xray-technician/
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