Profile – Imaging Specialist
Bridget Thompson, RT (R)(CT)
Imaging Specialist III
Northwestern Medical Center
St. Albans, VT
A local museum and an aptitude test in high school pointed Bridget Thompson in the direction of her career in Diagnostic Imaging at Northwestern Medical Center (NMC).
“When I was young I was really interested in the St. Albans Historical Society Museum because it had a medical section,” Bridget recalls. “And when I was in high school, I took an aptitude test that showed radiographer as the career I was most suited for.”
In high school, Bridget enjoyed sciences, and was part of the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) group of students that met monthly for career counseling sessions, during which she researched the radiography program at Champlain College. In two years at Champlain College she completed her Associates in Science degree (Radiography) and passed the ARRT registry exam. She then began working at Northwestern Medical Center as a radiographer, meanwhile completing her final two years in liberal arts at Champlain and earning a bachelor of science degree.
She has been trained in CT scanning and has passed her registry exam in that specialty, where she is the lead staffer at NMC.
When she talks to young people about entering the field, she advises them to try to job shadow someone who is already working as an imaging specialist. She also notes they should be,
“dedicated to studying, interested in science, organized, with good communication skills.”
“It is only a two-year program to become an Imaging Specialist and the pay is good,” Bridget points out. “There is always room to go into other fields such as MRI, CT, ultrasound, mammography, and bone density; you’re always learning because the technology is always changing, and you need to accept change.”
Bridget now trains new techs in the department, and is also a clinical instructor for students from the Champlain College program when they train at NMC. “I became a teacher unexpectedly, but I like being a resource, and helping to train people in an important role for a person’s health care” she remarks.
“I like to see my hometown get good quality care: it’s satisfying.”