MRI says it all for UU technologist

2002 02 06 16 20 34 706

SALT LAKE CITY - Stepping up to challenges is just Nicole Sacco's way of doing things.

In 1998, two years after graduating from the technologist program at Colorado Mesa State College in Grand Junction, CO, she applied for a slot in an MRI technologist program sponsored by her current employer, the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. And while several other applicants threw their hats in the ring, Sacco was one of only two radiologic technologists accepted for training.

"I really enjoy working with MRI," she said. "There’s an incredible amount of satisfaction working with the patients, the technology, and doctors to get a great image."

2002 02 20 16 51 35 706
MRI technologist Nicole Sacco at the controls of the GE Medical Systems 1.5-tesla mobile Signa Infinity EchoSpeed MR scanner at the Olympic Polyclinic.

Sacco has brought her enthusiasm for new adventures to her volunteer work at the Olympic Polyclinic. In addition to the seven shifts she is working at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, she will also put in five shifts at the 2002 Paralympics, which commence in the week following these Olympics’ closing ceremonies.

"Working with the athletes has been wonderful," she said. "Even though they’re in a lot of pain and suffering, they’ve been friendly and have done their best to hold still and work with me when we’re trying to get images. Their coaches and team doctors have been incredibly patient and helpful when we’re trying to do scans."

Most of the scans she's done so far have been of the knees, hamstrings, and lumbar spine using short tau inversion sequence (STIR) and T2 protocols on a Signa Infinity EchoSpeed MR scanner from GE Medical Systems of Waukesha, WI. The system is not unfamiliar to Sacco, who uses the same equipment in her day job.

"There’s a new version of software (9.0) on the unit at the Polyclinic, and I’m really looking forward to seeing it on our system up at the university," Sacco said.

When her time at the Polyclinic is through, Sacco plans to continue her work as an MRI technologist, while also studying for a career in radiology administration.

"I like working in radiology a lot, and the university provides a tremendous amount of support if you want to further your career," she said.

By Jonathan S. Batchelor staff writer
February 21, 2002

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