Radiology manager ready for retirement
With retirement looming next week, St. Luke Hospital radiology manager Ewing is looking forward to getting projects done at home and spending more time with family.
“I didn’t know what I was going to be like when I turned 65,” he said. “I’ve seen some situations where you retire and aren’t able to do anything. In the back of my mind I kind of planned for that.”
His 61st birthday isn’t until April, but Ewing decided to retire early after seeing his wife do so.
Being in the business 31years allowed Ewing to establish connections with patients over the years, but that made saying goodbye to the job even harder.
“You develop a relationship with these people because you see them often,” he said. “A lot of times you don’t see them when they come into the hospital, but you develop relationships where they’re like friends. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go.”
Ewing said he learned the importance of separating work from family time.
“I tried to be a good father when I went home,” he said. “Usually as soon as I got home it was time to eat. The kids would sit down at the table and we’d talk about their days.”
Ewing has seen a lot of change during his 30-plus years at St. Luke, particularly the institution’s size.
“The size of it now is a lot bigger,” he said. “Registration area and the lobby have increased. I remember when the lobby was just a little couch and two chairs.”
Ewing served as radiology manager the past three years and as a radiology technician before that.
One of the biggest changes during Ewing’s career was switching to digital photography for X-rays and dumping film.
Moving to digital meant no longer dealing with the nuisances of processing film, Ewing said.
“For some people that wasn’t a good thing, but you didn’t have anybody out there watching your patient,” he said. “You were in the dark room running the film through developer, fixer, and water. It was a three-part process to get an X-ray.”
Since they don’t have to develop film, technicians spend less time away from their patients, Ewing said.
“The patient was always the most important part of the job, and getting results out to providers as soon as possible,” he said. “That’s never changed. Those things go hand in hand.”
His predecessor, Joe Pickett, made an impact because he was willing to be a public voice for St. Luke’s radiology department.
“He was instrumental in getting new equipment,” Ewing said. “Before he came, we got a lot of refurbished equipment. He was active in getting us up with the times.”
Last modified March 26, 2020