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Taking Care In This Section

Robert Wulpern

Robert WulpernNuclear Medicine Technologist, Radiology

What is your fondest memory from your 25 years working at Dartmouth-Hitchcock?

About 15 years ago I cared for a little girl with a chronic life threatening disease. She was in frequently for testing and her parents made her appointments so that I could provide her care. When she learned to talk, she called me Uncle Bob as taught to her by her parents. After a few years of care at D-H, her care was transferred to a Boston hospital. For many years I continued to get Christmas cards with pictures, but about four years ago they stopped and I often wondered how she was. Last year to my great surprise I cared for her grandfather, who scheduled his procedure with “Uncle Bob.” The little girl I cared for is now a beautiful young lady.

What about your job/work inspires you?

By far the patients. Every day I meet and get to spend time with different people of all ages from all walks of life. Most patients come in very nervous about the procedure and more nervous about the results. My primary goal is to educate and support every patient to complete the procedure to the best of their ability. I do a lot of talking when the patients first get in, explaining everything that I will do and what is needed from them. During this time I also allow the patients to share their thoughts, fears, questions, and anything else they need to share. I believe this builds a trusting relationship. This conversation continues as long as the patient desires. Some like to close their eyes when the test starts and relax or sleep, others like me by their side and continue the conversation. I enjoy hearing their stories and learn many lessons along the way. The “thank yous” I get, and "I can't believe I did this,” is what inspires me to continue to care for each patient as I do. I also like teaching students, and I act as the coordinator for University of Vermont Nuclear Medicine Technologist students who complete their last clinical rotation in our department.

What do you like best about working for your department?

I like the structure yet independent style of work that our team supports. My room assignment rotates on a weekly basis supporting the necessity to stay current on all procedures. For the most part, I care for the patients that are scheduled to that room independently. As a team, we are all there to support each other in all aspects of our job as needed. The direct contact with the physicians is a bonus. They are considered part of the team, and we can’t do our work without them and they can’t do their work without us. We all support each other to the best of our ability.