Be Forewarned, I am a Fey and Quixotic Creative Writer

Be Forewarned, I am a Fey and Quixotic Creative Writer
And in the End was the Word, Amy's Word

Total Pageviews

Follow by Email

Friday, October 6, 2017

Radiology Secretary 1980

What was it like to be a radiology secretary in 1980?  It was not an easy job.  I had to man the window, schedule procedures, type reports and file films in a big room of xrays in paper folders.  It was an interesting time in the field, as ct imaging had just come out.   We also had a nuclear medicine department.  I was newly married to my dairy farmer husband.  I got pregnant right after I got married, so I was pregnant and working around x rays.  My daughter was  born normal and has had three healthy children, so I don't perceive any ill effects.

I took secretarial classes after I dropped out of Ithaca College.  While at IC I took medical terminology because I knew that I wanted to work as a medical secretary.  I dropped out of the secretarial program because I got the job in radiology.  I have only ever been able to type about thirty words a minute.  They are big words, though!  (as you shall read.)

This  was a time when people were still allowed to smoke while they worked.  There were ashtrays everywhere and my manager, Terry, smoked as well as most of the technicians. I recall being upset when a dying patient had to lay on stretcher breathing the smoke from the cigarette that the technician was puffing away on.  While pregnant I would take fresh air breaks from the cigarette smoke in the department and go sit my swollen body outside on a bench next to the duck and swan pond.

I can recall being frustrated that I was consistently pulled away from what ever I was focussing on.   Typing a report, had to answer the phone.   Checking people in at the window was interesting.  One time there was a policeman off duty showing off his gun.  We thought he was a nut case.  I recall typing a report and mistyping and having to correct three copies with white out.  The reports were three layer carbon.  I recall spelling Highland hospital 'hyland" when I sent out films in a big brown package.

One time I scheduled the doctor to do two procedures at the same time.  "How is dr Braff supposed to do an IVP and a barium enema at the same time?" they asked.  (Must have been my lead poisoning.)

I was getting married, but I had a little crush on Roger.  He was tall, with Native American ancestry.  He was one of the technicians.  He showed me his pride and joy, from his wallet, two little pictures of pride and joy detergents.  Tom another technician who had lived in nyc did not like roadstand sweet corn because of the bugs.  Road stand sweet corn is ten times fresher and tastier than grocery store corn, Tom!  He also laughed at my peeled carrot that I brought in as part of my lunch,  It was not cut into sticks.

Dr Braff was the radiologist and he and his wife gave me a lovely woven baby blanket.  He was tall and thin and Jewish.  I really liked him.  I complained to him about the cigarette smoke.  I was ahead of my time, apparently.

Terry, the manager, he was watching the television series, Dallas.  He would take his children for happy meals at mac donalds.

There was also Paul, a tech, he said I had a radio voice, a very nice compliment.

I recall, Marie, a gruff professional and then Edith, another technician.  Eddie gave me a lecture about how you must remove the cotton from medicine bottles as it gets germs on it.  She could not believe, that I, a doctor's daughter, did not know that bit of important info.

Chris was the name of the greatest nurse in the hospital.  She was extremely professional and kind.  She attended to the people during the procedures and placed iv sites.

My coworker, Cheryl, was trying to get pregnant for years.  It did not happen until she got a different job.  The secretarial stress was keeping her from getting pregnant.

I can recall hearing doctor Braff's voice pronouncing "spondylolisthesis" and "pace maker pack overlying the sternum..."   "No acute infiltrate." on the dictophone machine.

  I only worked there about a year.`

I recall my first employee evaluation.  I was not perky and friendly enough.  (I was nervous and a little over worked.)  He chocked it up to my being pregnant.  I was surprised that they brought in two or three new positions to spread the work out better after I left.

Thank you Mark, the administrative assistant, for inspiring this memoir of my first full time job as a radiology secretary.

No comments:

Post a Comment