From our radiologic technologists to radiologists and the specialized IT professionals who support them, the Imaging Services team is central to overseeing the many tests that assist in diagnosing illness. Carmon Allen, clinical instructor for Imaging Services and primary educator for the radiologic technologists, is a staff member who has a long history with the hospital and imaging field.
Carmon, who has worked in the field for almost 30 years, always knew she wanted to go into healthcare – many of her family members also work in the profession. She started out in nursing school, but quickly realized it was not for her. Instead she felt a calling for medical imaging, and after graduation, began her career as a diagnostic radiologic technologist. Carmon recognized the breadth of opportunities within the field and became certified to perform mammography and MRI exams, eventually moving to specialize in MRI and CT exams, where she has worked for more than 20 years.
“Radiologic technologists often serve as the patient advocate. Patients heavily rely on our understanding of their needs and concerns. We can act as the missing link by ensuring the radiologist has the best quality image, in order to provide a quality diagnosis,” explains Carmon.
In her current role as the clinical instructor for Imaging Services, Carmon works with local college students to help pass on that drive and love for the often overlooked field of imaging.
“I love working with the students from Foothill College/El Camino Hospital training program, and I would recommend that anyone looking into the healthcare field consider a career in medical imaging,” she shares. “It’s not necessarily as well-known as other specialties in healthcare, but there are so many niche areas you can transition to within the field.”
Carmon is especially proud of the partnership between El Camino Hospital and Foothill College to educate future radiologic technologists. The collaborative educational endeavor started in 1959 when Dr. Claude R. Snead, El Camino Hospital’s first radiologist, noticed a need for properly trained radiologic technologists to perform imaging tests. He worked with Foothill College to develop a program that trains students in the classroom and provides hands-on learning experiences in a hospital/healthcare facility. The program is now in its 55th operating year.
“El Camino Hospital is a thriving community hospital and our rad tech program reflects that,” says Carmon. “Our students consistently graduate with a higher than national average job placement and success rate, and report that the quality of our program and dedication to patient care is part of the reason why.”