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HEALTH CARE CAREER DISCOVERY

This seminar series was organized by Lehigh Valley Health Network and featured presentations from different medical professionals on their specific careers in medicine. I heard from a dietician, radiation therapist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, environmental health and safety manager, sports medicine specialist, and radiologist on the different aspects of their jobs. Each speaker discussed the basics of their job (what they do) and then also told us about the upsides and downsides, the salary, the job outlook, the required education, and special programs. Through HCCD, I was introduced to many interesting careers that I would not have otherwise considered in my career search.

Shadowing Experience
Further, because I participated in the program, I was given the opportunity to shadow both a physical therapist and a radiation therapist. I spent a day shadowing each of them and gained a lot of insight into what goes on in their career and what a typical day looks like. I shadowed Physical Therapist Cory Kukuvka, PT, DPT. She worked with many patients while I was there, sometimes multiple people at one time. She led her patients through stretches and exercises, keeping in mind that each person had a specialized plan fit to their specific injury, pain level, and stage of recovery. I learned that to be a physical therapist you must be patient, encouraging, active, and good at multitasking. I had a good experience shadowing Cory and am interested in becoming a physical therapist.

In addition, I shadowed Radiation Therapist, Judith M. McDonald BA, R.T. (R) (M) (T). Her job was to set up patients on the linear accelerator machine and then, in a different room, check the computer program to be sure the patients were positioned to receive the radiation treatment in the correct, exact location. She dealt with many precautions to keep the patient comfortable and to protect the patient and her team from overexposure to the radiation. I learned that to be a radiation therapist working with mostly cancer patients, you need to be very compassionate, friendly, and comforting. I enjoyed shadowing and will keep radiation therapy in mind as I continue my career search.

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Cory
Judith McDonald