Alumni News

Transporter Inspired to Become X-Ray Tech

Preview image of Cristian Paucar - AHU Alumni Success Story Watch Video

Cristian Paucar is in the thick of the high-energy operating room during major orthopedic surgeries, making sure the procedure is going exactly as planned.

As an X-ray technologist at AdventHealth Orlando, Paucar is taking X-rays during a surgical procedure, to make sure a prosthesis is the right length or that all bones are aligned.

“I enjoy helping people,” said Paucar, age 26. “Even though they are in pain, I do my best to ease their pain. That part of my job is very satisfying, very joyful.”

Radiography is not a career path Paucar imagined when he graduated from high school. He was hoping to go to nursing school and took a job as a patient transporter to “get his foot in the door.” He was not accepted into nursing school but was inspired by the caring environment of the hospital.

“I was around radiologists and X-ray a lot. I saw what they did, and I could see myself doing it. I never thought it was something I could do until I saw it in person.”

He learned about AdventHealth University and enrolled in the Associate of Science in Radiography program in 2018, using AdventHealth’s tuition reimbursement program to grow his career.

AdventHealth University is a private Christian university with degree programs in Orlando, Fla.; Denver; and online. Its smaller environment fosters development of highly skilled individuals who live the healing values of Christ.

“It was a different kind of college experience,” Paucar said. “AHU is very, very small. The classes were smaller than I expected, and I liked that. I could ask more questions.”

AHU faculty played a vital role in his learning as well, he said. “The radiography professors were great. They really tried to help you understand what you were learning. They took the time to explain.”

At the same time, Paucar found support from his workplace. “While in the program, I still worked in patient transport. They were great about working around my class schedule.”

AdventHealth University’s relationship with AdventHealth allows for onsite job interviews, job fairs and sometimes guaranteed job offers. During his final semester in 2020, Paucaur earned a job offer to join AdventHealth Orlando as an X-ray technologist in the Emergency Room and learned so much.

He now works in the hospital’s Orthopedic Surgery department and is thriving. “I definitely wanted to work in surgery,” he said. “I enjoy watching the surgeon work. It’s amazing what they can do. I never thought I’d be able to do that.”

He finds taking X-rays while the patient is being operated on an inspiring challenge.

“It’s not as physically demanding as working in the ER, but it’s more mentally demanding. I am very happy where I am.”

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