Radiology Technologists Embrace Cross-Training in CT Imaging

Chau Hiyagon Radiology TechnologistCross-training technologists in new imaging modalities is one way that UCSF Health promotes career advancement while also increasing the efficiency of our radiology operations. Chau Hiyagon, CRT, RT(R)(CT), ARRT an experienced radiologic technologist from our Mission Bay Hospital, and Elijah Chan, CRT, RT(R), ARRT a recent graduate of the City College of San Francisco’s prestigious diagnostic medical imaging program, have taken the initiative to expand their expertise with comprehensive computed tomography (CT) training. In May, Hiyagon and Chan joined our Parnassus site, where they are receiving on-the-job experience in CT imaging.

Hands-on guidance by experienced technologists is a crucial component of CT training, allowing Hiyagon and Chan to gain firsthand experience in consulting with radiologists on protocols for CT imaging studies, optimal positioning of patients during imaging exams, operating state-of-the-art CT scanners, and generating high quality images while ensuring patient safety. This immersive approach fosters technical proficiency and cultivates critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, which are essential for navigating the complexities of CT imaging. 

Elijah ChanTheir supervisor, Will Sylvain, MBA, ARRT, RT (R), (CT), Interim Manager of CT Operations, emphasizes why training matters, “Here at UCSF Biomedical Imaging (CT), we pride ourselves on creating a path for growth with our cross-training efforts, through the foundation of positive culture and talent that already exist within the Radiology department.”

With 14 years of experience in diagnostic X-ray, Hiyagon had always known she wanted to advance her career in radiology, “When the opportunity came to cross-train in CT, I did not hesitate. With the full support of management in x-ray, I was able to transition over without any delay in training. It has been an amazing training experience. CT leadership, Jessica Pfannenstiel, Will Sylvain, Doug Avadikian, and the entire CT staff have been supportive, patient, and so welcoming to me these past few months. I only look forward to advance training in this modality and I am proud to be a part of the CT department here at UCSF.”

Chan appreciates how this training builds on his foundational experience, “The CT department has fostered an amazing team of technologists, who have been extremely welcoming and supportive. In the time that I've spent here, I've had the opportunity to advance my technical proficiency with CT scanners, and I’ve improved my problem-solving skills in combining multiple exams that require contrast. I'm looking forward to learning more about the crucial role that CT plays in the diagnostic process!”

CT technologists at an academic medical center like UCSF must be familiar with around 200 specialized protocols, whereas a small community hospital might have approximately 50 CT protocols. In addition, as part of their cross-training, Hiyagon and Chan will take the advance modality certification in Computed Tomography by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT). This national exam has eligibility requirements, including clinical, educational, and ethical standards, that candidates must meet. 

By adding CT imaging expertise to their qualifications, Hiyagon and Chan are poised to contribute their unique perspectives and experiences, ultimately enhancing patient care and driving innovation. We  look forward to witnessing their invaluable contributions to our diagnostic imaging services.

By David Poon, CRT, RT(R), ARRT