Adilene Castaneda works as a nuclear medicine technologist with Digirad to provide mobile nuclear imaging. Based out of Tinley Park, near Chicago, she travels to different medical practices across Illinois as part of Digirad’s mobile diagnostic imaging service.
Adilene’s journey to nuclear medicine started at Triton College, where her original plan was to specialize in ultrasound. After attending an information meeting about Nuclear Medicine, she changed direction. “I had never really considered nuclear medicine, but after learning about the field and the types of careers I could have, I knew it was a great fit for me,” said Castaneda.
Working as a Team
As part of the Digirad mobile imaging team, Adilene travels with a Cardiac Stress Technician (CST) on her routes to provide MPI stress tests. While the CST manages the stress test portion of the study, she performs the imaging, so it’s a team approach where both members work closely together.
“It’s been great partnering with my co-workers, and we’re able to work as a team to manage the entire stress test process and image patients,” said Castaneda.
Digirad offers several paths for advancement, and Castaneda recently was cross-trained to become a Stress Technician and completed ACLS training. Being able to understand and run both functions of mobile cardiology service is an important part of providing the best service for patients.
On the Road
A crucial part of providing mobile imaging is the fact that technologists are on the road and in a different office each day. This facet of Digirad appealed to Castaneda; “It’s never the same place, and you are always meeting new people. I love being able to interact with different offices and be in new environments.” She also added, “as an outside vendor, you never know for certain how members of the imaging facility will receive you. So far, it’s been a great experience and I feel like I’m part of the family, no matter the location.”
Working independently is another unique aspect of providing mobile cardiology with Digirad. Adilene stated, “there are no micro-managers and technologists work with their teammates to get the job done. The job requires you to work independently and be a self-starter.” Client locations can be an hour away from the hub, and for technologists to succeed, they must handle challenges and issues on their own so that the team can continue imaging patents.
The Digirad mobile cardiology service is different from the traditional hospital environment for nuclear medicine technologists. “A big reason I chose Digirad was for the work-life balance they offered. We may occasionally work long days, but there are no weekends, no holidays, and no on-call,” said Castaneda.
Unlike large nuclear medicine departments, mobile technologists at Digirad work regular schedules with no late nights or weekends. When you’re done, you don’t have to worry about anything until your next shift. Working in mobile nuclear imaging is a way to be in the medical profession and still maintain a regular schedule.
After starting in such an unusual year, Adilene is happy for things to be settling down and is getting in the rhythm of mobile imaging with Digirad. “I’ve really enjoyed it so far and Digirad has given me a lot of room for training and growth. I know I have the opportunity to do more and grow my skills at Digirad.”
We’re glad Adilene is a part of the team and can’t wait to see what is next for her journey at Digirad. If you are interested in joining Digirad, check out the career center to learn more about what we do, and view our open opportunities.