More than pushing buttons

Medical Radiography Technologists provide crucial support

3/16/2017 10:01:06 AM

Despite spending the majority of his childhood in and out of hospitals, Cory Molloy was intrigued by the hospital environment. It eventually led him to College of the North Atlantic’s Medical Radiography program and a position with Eastern Health in St. John’s.

After spending the majority of his childhood in and out of hospitals, you would think the last thing Cory Molloy would want to see is the inside of another medical facility. However, the Peter’s River, St. Mary’s Bay native says the hospital environment intrigued him from the start, and when it came time to choose a career, he gravitated towards the medical field.
“As a kid I was more the type to be admitted in the hospital than be visiting someone there. I have a rare blood condition called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). My body destroys its own platelets so I would bleed a lot longer than the average person, depending on the amount of platelets in my body,” Molloy said.
“When my platelets would drop significantly, I would be admitted to the hospital for a few days at a time. I basically got to see every portion of the hospital; lab technologists, doctors, specialists, nursing and anything that was thrown at me.”
While Molloy knew where the X-ray department was he never required one. Maybe it was the curiosity of the unknown that drew him towards that speciality for his career.
“I saw X-ray technologists around the hospital as a kid but I didn’t know what they did. Funny enough, the only thing I didn’t experience in the hospital was what I ended up wanting to do as my career.”
He briefly considered becoming a doctor but didn’t want to spend that much time in school.
“I have always wanted to do something medically related but the 12 years of school to become a doctor deterred me because I never liked school or being told to learn. I knew I wanted to do something radiology related so I researched programs and found the Medical Radiography program at CNA.”
Molloy is a hands-on learner so it was this trait that allowed him to excel in the program.
“As good of a visual learner as I am, in order for me to want to learn, I have to do it myself. It’s the same concept of being told as a teenager how to change a tire. You might have the concept in your head, but until you do it yourself you don’t really have the knowledge of knowing how to do it.”
Molloy graduated from CNA’s Medical Radiography program on May 15, 2013. He easily recalls the date, as it’s the same day he was hired by his employer, Eastern Health. Cory hit the ground running after graduation day and is now a permanent employee at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s.
“If everyone believes the nurses are the foot soldiers for the hospital then we would be the support team. We provide the clinical support by using the appropriate imaging techniques to give the doctors visual aspects to help with their treatments of the patients. There are a lot of things we do that the public doesn’t know. People assume we push buttons all day, but there are many other aspects we assist the doctors with that are not realized.”
In reality, his medical field encompasses much more. From providing portable X-ray images for patients unable to move and gastrointestinal studies, to lumbar punctures for the spinal cord and injections of the hips to help patients with pain or difficulty moving, Medical Radiography Technologists constantly provide support for operating room (OR) imaging.
“I like a lot of the OR perspective. You get to actually watch some of the surgeries performed. We also have special procedures; we recently started doing peripherally inserted central catheter lines to decrease the wait time for patients who need injections, medications, chemotherapy drugs, etc.”
Molloy admits he can retain a lot of information and learn things quickly, which he says helped a great deal, not only while he was enrolled at CNA, but also in his current position at Eastern Health.
“There are so many changing factors that we deal with every day. A few people in each department get selected as super users for certain pieces of technology so they can train others who are coming in or need a refresher. I’ll be taking on some of those roles in the future,” Molloy said. “They look at who would be the person most likely to use the machines and the most senior. I’m one of the least senior but I spend most of my time in the OR, so they opted to train me on one of the new OR machines so I would be able to train other people.”
He has no regrets about the career he chose.
“It is a pretty interesting field, dealing with the patient aspect, learning about broken bones and how to fix them. There is no boring part to the program and you’re constantly doing something to challenge yourself.”

Media Contact:
Glenda McCarthy
Public Relations Specialist
College of the North Atlantic