Foundation Supporter Shares His Best Career Advice for R.T.s

Sep. 27, 2017
Michael DelVecchio

Recently we talked with Michael DelVecchio, B.S., R.T.(R), FASRT, to find out what’s behind his passionate support of the profession. We quickly discovered that Michael’s motivations are based on a lifelong commitment to learning, self-expression and service to others.

For 30+ years, you’ve served as a board member for the Massachusetts Society of Radiologic Technologists, the ARRT, the ASRT, the ASRT Foundation and, most recently, the ABII. What motivates this kind of commitment and dedication?

I have a deep love for the profession, and I’ve always been concerned about advocating for the workforce, including how technologists do their jobs, what they have to work with, what’s happening in the workforce, what kind of education they need and where they want to go.

The role of technologists is changing so rapidly, it’s critical they have the resources available to them for further education and competencies — not only students and new grads, but the R.T.s who want to advance in their careers, whether that means moving to a new modality or obtaining additional education and degrees. But it’s just so expensive.

I feel a deep responsibility to helping others obtain the education they need so they can take better care of their patients. I just want to give back. It’s in my DNA and it’s how I was raised.

Let’s talk about that for a minute. Who was it from your childhood that had the biggest impact on who you are today?

My father. He was not an educated man — he only went to school through the 8th grade — but he was a lifelong learner. He was always reading, always trying to learn more. He absorbed everything he could, especially about how to do things. He was amazing.

Some day, I hope to set up a scholarship of my own in his honor.

You mentioned having a deep love for the profession. What do you love most about your job or the profession in general?

I’m in a workplace that’s constantly changing, so I’m always thinking about what people need to do their jobs better. For me, it’s all about figuring out better workflows and better ways to provide patient care. For example, with electronic medical records and a more digital environment, you would expect that automation would make things better, but a lot of times, it doesn’t.

Trying to figure out ways to take advantage of technology and make things more efficient...that’s the challenge, and I love a challenge.

What are you most proud of in your life?

I probably don’t say it to them enough, but I’m very proud of my family. They have been an important part of the journey.

When I started out serving on the Massachusetts Society of Radiologic Technologists board, my wife traveled with me all the time and she added a lot to my speeches. When I was on the ARRT board, my daughter traveled with me. And when I was with the ASRT board, my son traveled with me, especially in the summer, making friends with the staff of ASRT and their families. In fact, when he was 14, he played a trumpet solo of the national anthem in front of the House of Delegates at the annual governance meeting. I was so proud of him.

You’ve had a long and distinguished career — working your way up from technologist to educator to manager, and now serving as the technical director of radiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. What advice would you give to R.T. professionals looking to advance in their careers?

First, I would say networking is key. The profession’s not very big, and we need one another.

I was very fortunate in that I had a lot of great mentors and some great people behind me — Jim Lampka for one, as well as my friend Barry Hall. Throughout our careers, Barry and I kept crossing paths. When I first got into x-ray, he gave me a my first job. Years later, I got to hire him. It is a story we always tell students.

Second thing is, always embrace change and keep learning new things. The field changes so rapidly — there’s one technique this week, and a whole new one next week. It’s important to stay in tune with what’s going on.

Third, never be shy to voice your opinion, whether people like it or not. It’s important to try to shake things up and spur conversation.

With so much change taking place not only with regulations but also with technology, how do you view the future of the profession?

This profession is only scratching the surface of its potential, and with the Foundation and the ASRT supporting the technologists, the future is only going to get brighter.