DOMINIQUE ZWICKER - Mentor Spotlight
Interventional Radiology Technologist
NOVA SCOTIA HEALTH AUTHORITY
Q: When did you realize you had a talent for your field?
I first realized I really enjoyed physics after my Techsploration role model visit — our role model was a Physicist. I loved the combination of math, science, and critical thinking incorporated in her career. This ultimately led to Radiological Technology. My specialization in Interventional Radiology was terrifying. It was something I hadn’t known a lot about and seemed difficult, but I decided to take the leap and challenge myself. I found that this field is team-oriented and engaging, which is what I was looking for in a dream career.
Q: As a kid, were there any formative experiences that helped to shape your path?
Growing up I always loved to take photos. I would borrow my mom’s fancy camera and be occupied for hours. I enjoyed the creative process of making a beautiful image by creating a story and fine-tuning it with editing. Now I take and post-process photos of things like a patient’s blocked blood vessels, their heart’s pumping function, or a tumour that requires a biopsy.
Q: At what point did you realize your chosen career path was for you?
In high school, I never really knew what I wanted to do. I discovered Radiological Technology, where my passion for art and science was combined. Every day I take images of people’s anatomy that may require an intervention to fix something that is decreasing their quality of life. Seeing these patients improve from what our team does is amazing. Every day is a reminder of how happy and proud I am to work in this profession.
Q: Was your experience at Techsploration what you expected it to be? How did it impact your career choice or chosen career path?
My group at Techsploration had a Physicist, Svetlana Barkanova, as a role model. At that moment, physics was not something I was very interested in and it almost seemed like speaking a foreign language. Svetlana ended up explaining that “physics is the basis of any profession, whether it be music, medicine, or astronomy”. I did not expect this at all, but this really impacted my career decision. I decided that since physics was so versatile I would give it a try and enrolled. To my surprise, I ended up enjoying it. I not only took physics throughout high school, but then also in university and later in my career. One simple, yet inspiring quote from a Techsploration role model led to a physics-related career in radiological technology.
Q: Do you have any role models within your career field?
As an Interventional Radiology Technologist, I work with a team of many different health professionals. I look up to my entire team of nurses, doctors, and other technologists. They are so incredibly passionate and they push me every day to be the best I can be. I am so grateful to have them as co-workers, but also as a family.
Q: What would you say to people – especially women – who might be considering a career in your field?
Don’t be afraid to follow your passions even if it is intimidating or it scares you or if you feel you may not “fit in”. The world needs different opinions and different people to evolve and become a better place. “Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life.”- Jerzy Gregorek
Q: What’s one fun fact about you (i.e. your favourite hobby, a significant achievement, etc.)?
One of my biggest achievements is an award I received from my national association, the Canadian Association of Radiological Technologists. I traveled with my co-author to Ottawa and accepted the Dr. Marshall Mallett Award at the national conference. This experience was amazing and just reminded me that I could do anything, including being acknowledged at a national level!