Meet Asaju Walker, BS, RT(R) | Radiation Sciences Programs
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Meet Asaju Walker, BS, RT(R)

Meet Asaju Walker, BS, RT(R) Asaju Walker

Tell us about your background: As a senior in high school I started working under my uncle, Akwasi Boateng (George), who was a manager in the kitchen at UIHC main hospital. I started to get an introduction to the clinical environment by delivering food to patients rooms as a food worker. There were some times I would see radiology techs would be in a patients room performing portable x-rays, and I remember being really fascinated by the portable x-ray machines. When I started college I transitioned into a position in the PACU as a nursing assistant. There I was able to learn a lot and work closer with x-ray techs that came to do post-op y-ray films. My dad knew someone at the hospital - Russell Johnson - who worked as a x-ray tech. My dad asked me if it would help to talk to him. After having one of conversations about what I should try learning in college, I said yeah, so my dad let Mr. Johnson know. After I sat down with Mr. Johnson, that is when I got all the remaining insights into what the world of radiology was like. I applied to the UI the next fall, and following the advice I received from Mr. Johnson, I was lucky enough to get in. Now I’ve been working for a year and some change at the UIHC outpatient clinics in Iowa City, Coralville, and some other outreach clinics in the state, too.

Why did you pick RT/CT as your career field: I picked RT based off a series of conversations with my parents while reviewing the list programs being offered. The radiology programs sparked a lot of conversations. Those talks with my parents reminded me of  a PBS program I saw when I was younger about different kinds of imaging technology. I remember feeling a kind of nostalgia and wonder I watching the program and how cool it all seemed to me, and then how the technology was used to learn information about the human body without intrusive methods. I still couldn't decide so I ended up starting at Kirkwood to get some of my gen eds out of the way. Then once I was close to finishing my gen eds at Kirkwood, I was talking to my dad, Ernest Walker, who did security for the UI for 26 years, about what I should pick up as a field of study to graduate with. My dad suggested I try to look into the imaging programs again I might like it, and I thought about how the technology must have advanced and how cool working with the technology might be. I would also be able to offer help to people while working with powerful tools to do so if I chose to be a rad tech, so that lead down the path I mentioned earlier.

What’s your favorite exam? At these clinics I do plain films, so out of theses exams I would say the shoulder Y-view is my favorite.  I say that because the image, just like the name suggests, presents the shoulder anatomy in what appears to be an upper case letter Y. We use this view when you’re looking at the shoulder blade for any fractures that you wouldn't notice in an AP, and that's also cool to me how much angles play into what information we can recognize.  

Advice for anyone interested in the RT career field: My advice for anyone is interested in the radiology field, or any career path in medicine, would be to try and find a way to do a job shadow for it while you’re in high school or starting college. Going to job fairs are also useful, sitting down with people that do the job you are interested in early on is a good way to root things out. Ask all the questions you can think of, and let them know you’re interested and ask for resources so you can better understand what each career entails. I was just really lucky that my dad as well as my uncle worked in the hospital, and that one of them was able to get me started working in healthcare. Equally as important is that from there, just by helping out sometimes, you’ll learn things that might be a good fit for you and help you grow.

Also, find a good study group or a close friend that you can meet with to explain what you have learned so far. It goes a long way, and it keeps you from getting overwhelmed.

Never be afraid to ask for help. My wife was my biggest help when it came to staying organized. I wouldn't have graduated had it not been for her at the end of my college experience.



Sunday, November 7, 2021