Ofelia Hoelter

As Interviewed by A.G., March 30, 2019

Ofelia Hoelter :In Her Own Words

I went to work for the doctor as a receptionist first, and then since he was never there in the office, he started teaching me how to take x-rays just like small x-rays like lung x-ray for pneumonia or a fracture on a leg or fracture on a hand and stuff. Those were the ones that I started with just taking pictures of those things. And then he started training me on a lot of fluoroscopy.

Fluoroscopy were x-rays that, where people would drink like chalk a variam and it would cover their stomachs could and see if there were any. We would do that; we would do fluoroscopy. So after working for the doctor two years, the certification board decided that they were not going to certify people anymore unless they had two or three years of schooling and they were given the opportunity to people to have been working to the doctor for two years to go and take a test and get certified.

So I decided to take the test. I read books. Physics on physics and science and everything else and there was a hospital down the street that was training for technicians also -- and they had like four people training there. And when it was time to go take the test we had to go to corpus and take the test, and it was to me not a very hard test. It started at eight o'clock and by ten o'clock I was done -- I had already read it twice and I just turned it in because I didn't think I could do anything more. So, I passed it, I got my certification.

The four people that were training at the hospital did not get their certification. I had a coworker that was working with me and they had been working for the doctor longer than what I had. She didn't want to go take the certification because she didn't think she would pass it. After she saw that I had passed my certification, she and they got another opportunity. They were given another opportunity to take the certification six months later and she took her test then and she got certified also. The test at that time cost $25 to take. I had nothing to lose but $25 if I didn't pass it, but I passed it and I got my certification.

There were four women and later on, they hired two men and at that time we had been there longer and yet one of the men was promoted and given higher pay than what any of the women were and so that was experiencing the difference in how men were treated and how women were treated at that time.