It Only Took One Day for This Radiologic Technology Grad to be Hired into a Well-Paying Job

Aerial Valenzuela knew radiologic technologists were in demand and now she’s a full-time radiologic technician with a bright future ahead of her
August 22, 2023

After Aerial Valenzuela graduated from CNM’s Phlebotomy program she knew she wanted to continue in the healthcare field but wasn’t sure how to take the next step. Then she found out radiologic technologists were in high demand and figured that was the perfect next step.

“I decided to give it a try and the rest is history,” she says.

Aerial started CNM’s Radiologic Technology program in 2021 and learned about radiographic exposure, anatomy, patient positioning, and the operation of specialized equipment. She also completed 300 clinical hours per term, which gave her important hands-on training.

“Through my clinical hours I met and learned from so many different radiologic technologists,” Aerial says. “Each of them taught me something new, which helped me grow and become a better technologist myself.”

Along with her rigorous course schedule, Aerial worked as a Science Laboratory Technician at the CNM South Valley Campus, served as the president for the Radiologic Technology Association, and was a member of CNM’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society

That was a lot to juggle at times, but Aerial was grateful for the support and community she built through these activities. 

“Having a work-study job was so great because I could still make money and have time to work on my homework,” she says. “I also got to know a lot of different people on campus, not just people in the Radiology program. It ultimately gave me a place to focus on myself and my education.”

Aerial graduated from the Radiologic Technology program on Aug. 3, and just 24 hours later started working as a radiologic technologist at Duke City Urgent Care in Los Lunas. In this role she takes and processes patient x-rays before sending them off to the doctor. 

She’s still settling into her new position but is excited to have entered her career field so quickly. She also plans to eventually attend UNM to earn her bachelor’s in Radiology and then work on becoming a physician’s assistant. 

Even though Aerial completed her degree and got a job in just two years, there were times when she felt like giving up, and she wants to encourage other students who might feel the same way to keep going. 

“There were times where I felt like I was never going to graduate,” Aerial says. “But I knew once I got that degree it would feel so good, and it really does. Things really can and do get better, and I’ll be the first to tell you that.”