Medical imaging grads enjoy range of career options in world’s largest med center
03.07.2017 | By Jeannie Peng Mansyur
PASADENA, Texas – The Texas Medical Center is filled with what is regarded as some of the world’s best physicians and nurses, but there are additional medical professionals that help keep the Center’s highest standard in health care.
Jessica Lowe, a radiographer/radiologic technologist with Houston Methodist Hospital, is one of those professionals. She enjoys the career that medical imaging has brought her. Each day brings new challenges as she reports to the hospital’s Outpatient Center in the Texas Medical Center, producing radiographic images and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans because she holds an associate degree in radiography and a certificate in the advanced imaging modality MRI from San Jacinto College.
“I feel like this is the type of opportunity so many people pursue,” said Lowe, who sought a career in medical imaging after working in the restaurant industry. “Where I am in my life right now, and knowing that I did it with a two-year degree and am debt free, I couldn’t be happier.”
Lowe’s story is like many who choose to work in the health care area of medical imaging. The opportunities within this field are endless, according to Dianne Phillips, San Jacinto College medical imaging department chair. At San Jacinto College, the medical imaging department offers two associate degrees, radiography and sonography; and certificate programs in the advanced imaging modalities of MRI, mammography and computed tomography (CT). All candidates pursuing the advanced modalities must be registered through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists in radiography and hold a Medical Radiologic Technologist License from the Texas Medical Board.
“There is an abundance of opportunity with a career in medical imaging,” said Phillips. “It offers graduates many employment opportunities and the ability to grow within a very exciting field. They may take different tracks to earn associate, bachelor’s and even master’s degrees. They may take the administrative track and work their way up through the hospital system. They may choose to do what many of our graduates do and stack their credentials with advanced imaging modalities to allow for greater marketability within the health care industry.”
Janna Phillips worked as a surgical technologist before deciding she wanted to pursue a career in sonography. She now holds two associate degrees in both health care fields from San Jacinto College and works as a sonographer at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital. She and Lowe completed multiple clinical rotations while studying in their programs at the College, which allowed them to network with future employers.
“I feel super lucky to have this opportunity,” said Janna Phillips. “I think the program really prepares you for the job. It is challenging and looking back, I’m glad it was. This is rewarding career, and I love it.”
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. As a fiscally sound institution, the College currently holds bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively. San Jacinto College is a 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 10 finalist and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. Approximately 30,000 students each semester benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success. The College offers seven areas of study that prepare a diverse body of students to transfer to a four-year college or university or enter the workforce with the skills needed to support the growing industries along the Texas Gulf Coast. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.