Secretary – Heather Radtke, ARRT RT(N), CNMT
My passion for nuclear medicine began in 2008, with the suggestion and guidance of my dad and professor John Radtke. I was barely 23 at the time and was interested in becoming a veterinarian because I love medicine and animals. I decided that a decade or more of schooling wasn’t for me and my dad said “why don’t you come to some of my classes and see how you like it?” I remember driving to Charles Drew University and keeping an open mind. After the first class, I was sold. I found my calling for being able to expand my love for the medical world, I just wasn’t so sure about working with people versus animals haha!
I completed my only internship at Presbyterian Intercommunity in Whittier Ca and graduated from Charles Drew University and was hired with my first employer at an outpatient facility as a solo nuclear medicine tech, performing general nuclear medicine as well as PET/CT in 2011. I was on top of the world professionally speaking. I was able to be a science/ medical nerd and a compassionate, understanding human being all in one. Being someone my patients could trust and respect was the ultimate reward for me. Being a new graduate managing these 2 modalities was very challenging and rewarding personally.
In March 2013, I began employment with my second employer performing general nuclear medicine. I again worked as a solo technologist at this hospital for almost 5 years. In those years, I became the solo full time tech for another sister Hospital 5 miles up the street and I would also assist 2 other sister Hospitals when the full time tech needed me.
Towards the end of 2017, I decided to volunteer for the secretary position in the SNMMI so that I may be able to reach out to other technologists as well as make a difference in the field by being myself and holding true to my core values. Nuclear medicine has shown me the value of humility and connectedness amongst us. It has helped mould me into who I want to be as a human being which I believe will surpass any career achievements I make and will continue to make.
It’s hard to write about myself and not include how my dads influence really helped shape who I am in my soul. I credit him with showing me the importance of right and wrong, showing compassion to those who need it and those who don’t deserve it. He showed me how to work hard and persevere through life’s hardest battles and not give up which has helped me on those very hard days that we all face. What he didn’t teach me was when to say no, that’s enough.
I had to learn the balance of life as well as my own personal balance. I learned how to be able to share my gifts without feeling empty handed in the end. I also learned the value of making someone’s day by doing the littlest things from my PET/CT patients. My dad taught me the importance of being selfless and seeing a situation from someone else’s perspective.
I will end with a statement from our 2018 president Dave Skydel, “nuclear medicine has been very good to me.” Like Dave, I will also do my best to reciprocate the rewards and lessons both professionally and personally.
2018 here we come!!!!
Heather E. Radtke
ARRT RT(N); CNMT