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Graduate Success Spotlight on Ryan Arellano, ARMRIT

Ryan Arellano is an accomplished MRI technologist who graduated from WCUI’s MRI program at the Phoenix campus in 2010. Before WCUI, Ryan had done his share of work in the sales field and was looking for an opportunity to get into a more meaningful and stable career in the healthcare field. He found his calling in MRI and passed through the WCUI program with flying colors, setting a high standard for his fellow students and leaving a lasting impression on faculty and staff. Throughout his externship and after graduation, Ryan hit the ground running by setting an example of hard work and professionalism that got him hired at his externship site and led him to work with some of the top radiologists and MRI technologists in the country at SimonMed, his current employer. It is obvious that Ryan loves his work, and is proud to demonstrate that you can become a leader in the MRI field with an ARMRIT certification as long as you put in the time to master your craft and maintain a reputation of dependability and humility. See below for full interview. 

1.   What got you interested in MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)?  Was there a moment when something “clicked” and you knew you wanted a career in Radiology? 

 I was doing sales and was getting burned out with inconsistent pay and schedules.  I wanted do get back in the health field and do something different. In High school I finished a two year course at a Mesa campus called  EVIT (East Valley Institute of Technology) for Firefighting and loved it.  I did my homework on the different technologies in the medical field and decided on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

2.  What have you accomplished in Radiology that you are most proud of?

 I'd have to say overcoming adversity with the ARRT/ARMRIT debate to not only land employment, but set a new standard. Thus proving that an ARMRIT technologist is more than qualified to not only be a technologist, but a leader.  After having the operations manager at my clinical site tell me three weeks in that she'd never hire me without the ARRT x-ray cross-trained MRI license with no legitimate reason. I'm very proud of the fact that she called me four months later to offer me a full time position based on performance, not the title on my license. That kind of kick-started my journey to where I'm at now with Simon Medical. 

3.  What obstacles did you have to overcome to get to where you are today in a position of success?

 I knew I wouldn't be perfect. There was just too much to know. My approach was to master the basics during externship (punctuality, attendance, keeping an open mind to others critiquing) and befriend the techs so they would allow me to maximize my time. In accomplishing that, I worked at all six sites by the end of my time. At the end, sometimes covering two different sites in one day and doing whatever I could to stay in front of a scanner. Doing all of the little things right builds you a cushion - kind of like managing a bank account. Keep making good deposits and rarely make withdrawals (errors). You do this so that when you do make a mistake, they will be more apt to work with you to correct the mistake as opposed to focusing on it. The bottom line is that if you have a good work ethic and understand your craft no matter what it is, and know how to work within the system, your ceiling is limitless.

4.  Who are the role models in your life and how have they inspired you and helped you become successful? 

 My first five years in radiology has been quite a journey. I've met some amazing people at all levels, my favorites being Dr. Janet Martin who is one ofthe most renowned MSK Radiologists in the country. She eventually led me to work with hands-down the best MRI Technologist in the country, Kevin Oliver, who is currently the MRI Director for Simonmed, one of the largest outpatient radiology groups in the country.  These are by far the most influential people in my career that saw everything in me that I’ve been talking about. 

5.  Tell me about some of memorable patients that you have scanned/cared for.

I've been fortunate enough to work with some of the best radiologists in the world who have cared for countless pro athletes and celebrities. 

6.  What advice would you give a student who is just starting out in a career in radiology?

When you go to your clinicals, remember that you are like a guest in their home. A humble, respectful, helpful attitude will go a long way. Just keep in mind you're getting trained on their equipment. Make yourself valuable and they won't want to let you go. Think about it - you just had a six month audition and they trained you for free. There is no reason that you shouldn't get hired. 

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