Thursday, July 3, 2014

Who is Taking Your X-ray?

I'm an RT-R, a registered radiography technologist qualified in radiation exposure to humans. I have completed 6 semesters of college and passed a national registry test which certifies that I have the knowledge and practical experience to make medical images using radiation. In other words, I am a certified x-ray tech.

Colorful Skull Mug
Colorful Skull Mug by VincesVisions
Look for more mugs at Zazzle

Did you know that some states don't require a person to receive training before exposing another person to x-rays? Currently, only 37 states require a person to be accredited through an educational program. It is scary to think it may be a doctor's aid or his/her secretary who is shooting x-rays through your body. By not requiring a person to be professionally trained, those 13 non-certifying states are putting people at a higher risk of unnecessary radiation exposure, or a medical misdiagnosis due to low quality images.

NC is one state where certification and licensing is not required. According to, in February over 200 certified x-ray techs spoke with legislators about requiring licensing standards. Brenda Greenberg, R.T.(R)(CT) said, "Medical radiation can be dangerous when administered incorrectly, so it's crucial that we make sure that every medical imaging and radiation therapy professional is educated, competent and understands the importance of making sure patients receive the lowest dose of medical radiation possible."

Why do some states not have laws regulating radiology technicians? Some point their fingers at lobbying by doctors who operate small clinics and who wish to keep their costs down by not paying the higher salary a certified technician demands. Others blame the expense of setting up a state run licensing office.

Whoever is to blame, patients need to speak up about their concerns over radiation exposure. If you live in one of the thirteen states without certification standards, make sure your doctor or local hospital uses only registered technicians during x-ray, CT, and other medical imaging procedures. Your health may be at stake.

How I Learned to be a Good Boss

The first time I, as an owner of a landscaping company, entered into the role of "the boss," I wasn't prepared for the responsibility. I assumed everyone would work as hard as I did, would be able to follow directions well and would take good care of my expensive equipment. I would get frustrated and angry with the employees when my expectations were not met, and I'm sure that they did not enjoy working with me.
When I had the opportunity to be in a supervisory role again many years later, I was more prepared and mature. I used what I learned from my own past bosses, good and bad, and incorporated those experiences into my own "boss style."

I lowered my expectations.
Not every employee is going to work as hard as you will. Acknowledging that fact lets you concentrate on ways to maximize each worker's unique abilities.

I listened to my employees.
Listening is important to avoid and/or resolve conflict. With multiple personalities, you will have multiple interpersonal conflicts. By listening, I could schedule conflicting employees on different shifts and help make the work environment calmer for everyone. I made it a point to listen, but I did not let myself get personally involved in the arguments.

I did not play favorites.
Nothing destroys morale at a workplace faster than giving some employees the impression you favor one or two people -- even when you do.

I identified each worker's strengths.
Some employees have excellent customer service skills, so I scheduled them at times when the store was at its busiest. Other employees did not have these customer service skills and were utilized at stock delivery and restocking times.

I was flexible, but fair.
Life throws everyone a curveball occasionally, and a good boss recognizes this and understands. No one should fear losing their job for situations beyond their control.

I praised each employee's efforts.
Working for low and part-time pay can be stressful and demoralizing. To counteract these feelings, I made it a point to find something good about every employee and praised them. Everyone appreciates being recognized for their efforts.

I stood up for my workers.
Inevitably, a customer is going to complain about someone. If the complaint reached the higher management levels, I defended my workers. Loyalty is a quality that helps lower employee turnover rates and makes an employee more willing to put in extra effort for her boss.

What is the Shelf Life of Foods in the Fridge?

I came across an opened jar of mustard in my fridge while doing some spring cleaning last week. An expiration date is meaningless after a package has been opened, but being a thrifty person, I didn't want to throw it out quite yet. After some fact checking, I created a list of commonly used foods that we open and then wonder how long they will stay fresh.

Processed luncheon meats and hotdogs

Did you make sandwiches for the Little League team last week? It is time to throw out the unused meats if they have been in the fridge more than seven days. If the package is vacuum sealed and unopened the meats will stay good for two weeks.


Store bought processed mayonnaise is made with pasteurized eggs and is good in the refrigerator for two months after opening. Homemade mayonnaise made with fresh eggs is only good for three days.


Fresh eggs are good for four to five weeks if they are stored on a shelf in the fridge. A handy way to check if an egg is fresh is to put it in a bowl of water. If it sits on the bottom horizontally, it is still good. As an egg ages, air infiltrates the shell and will cause the egg to become more buoyant.

Fish and shellfish

Fresh fish, shellfish, and shrimp will be safe for only two days in the refrigerator. Cooked fish and canned tuna will be good for four days if stored in an airtight container. Smoked fish can be safely eaten for up to two weeks in the fridge.

Ketchup and BBQ sauces

The acidity of the tomatoes in ketchup and barbecue sauce allows it to be safely stored in the fridge for four months after opening.

Cooked Ham

Not sure how long to keep cooked ham after a holiday meal? The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recommends using or freezing it within five days of cooking.


Relish has a long life if kept in the refrigerator after opening - one year! If the consistency, color, or smell changes, toss it in the trash.

Salad dressing

I always have worried about keeping salad dressing too long because I am not a big salad eater. Both vinaigrette based and creamy salad dressings are good for up to nine months in the fridge.


Open jars of vinegar based pickles are good for one year - if you can keep the kids from reaching into the jar and grabbing a pickle with their bare hands! Toss if the pickles become mushy.


I didn't have to throw out my jar of mustard! An opened jar of mustard keeps for a year in the fridge. When mustard goes bad, the smell and/or the color will change unpleasantly.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What Does Your Writing Say About Your Personality?

have always been a voracious reader. Books, magazines, cereal boxes - whatever is handy. Reading other writer's material on the internet has exposed me to many unique voices. I wonder if my favorite  writers' real-life personalities match the personality of their pieces. I picture them as these: the Brain, the Professor, the Good Host, the Best Friend, the Humanitarian, the Techie, and the Romantic.  
The Brain
This writer is highly intelligent and well educated. Her articles are so filled with knowledge that I wonder if she doesn't have a computer chip instead of a brain. I imagine her personality to be straight forward and efficacious. I see her home as sleek and modern.
The Professor
His writing is similar to the brain's writing. He is also knowledgeable, but his thoughts are tempered with wisdom and life experience. I imagine him as a personable, highly intelligent man. His home may be a warm, cozy place. I see his home office as filled with books and papers.
The Good Host
She writes about her travels with warmth and graciousness. As she describes the atmosphere and the food, you can see the texture and colors of the decor, and you can almost smell the food simmering on the stove. I see her living in a chalet, with a large brick fireplace, and a warm inviting kitchen.
The Best Friend
Her writing HAS to be a reflection of her personality. Her good humor, modesty, and concern for others is always evident. Reading her articles will leave you feeling like you just had a good talk with a best friend. I see her as busy keeping her family functioning well, not with an iron fist, but with love and laughter. Her home is modest, but neat and filled with family mementos.
The Humanitarian
He uses his voice to speak for others who cannot speak for themselves. Intelligent and passionate, I imagine him as the type who spends every spare dime and spare minute working for the betterment of mankind. I see him living frugally and driving an old car, as material possessions are not important to him.
The Techie
His writing makes your head swim with technical stuff, but he writes it in a way that is easily understood. I imagine his home as being filled with computers, pieces of computers, and all the latest tech products and games.
he Romantic
She is a poet, and her poems are lovely creations that you want to sit and wonder about. I see her as a shy, quiet woman who favors feminine clothes. Her home is decorated with a feminine touch, with flowers perfuming the air.