“Take a deep breath”

Celebrating Delaware strides in radiology

Date Published: 
November 11, 2016

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: DTCC has a full rad tech set-up, allowing students like Devon Matthews and Katelyn Roberts to practice their X-ray skills.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: DTCC has a full rad tech set-up, allowing students like Devon Matthews and Katelyn Roberts to practice their X-ray skills.Radiology lets doctors look inside the human body to diagnose health problems, most notably with X-rays. Delaware celebrated a handful of anniversaries in radiology and education at a Nov. 3 open house at Delaware Technical Community College.

In the science wing of Georgetown’s Jack F. Owens Campus, Governor Jack Markell signed a proclamation designating Nov. 6 to 12 as Radiation Protection Week, as 17 second-year Radiologic Technology students looked on.

For 30 years of its 50-year history, DTCC has offered a two-year Radiologic Technology associate degree, now at the Owens and Wilmington campuses, which helps students to earn national credentials in rad tech, nuclear medicine technology and dental assisting.

Markell applauded DTCC’s role in improving employment rates in Delaware. He also thanked the radiology students for investing their time in such a worthy, but challenging field.

“When you can combine a good job for those involved [with lifesaving skills], it doesn’t get any better than that,” Markell said.

New technology is good for patients, but these students must be lifelong learners to keep up with the times.

“It’s an honor to being with my classmates,” said student Lionel Harris. “We’ve been in this room for the last year and a half … but it’s been worth it.”

Harris and his fellow second-year classmates have learned, studied and stressed together.

“We all have a story. This is my third career,” said Harris, a former stay-at-home-dad and Air Force veteran. “We show up every single day. We go to clinical every single day. This is what we signed up to do, [take images that will help diagnose Delawareans and all human beings]. This is not just a job. This is a career.”

As a Desert Shield/Desert Storm veteran, Harris thanked DTCC teachers for their expertise, plus Brainard for making the college itself a military friendly school.

“When we better ourselves,” Harris said, “we better our lives, we better our children’s lives, and we better our communities.”

Now finishing their third semester, these students know their stuff, and they explain radiology with ease.

DTCC’s medical programs are hands-on, so “We are mostly in the hospital. It’s pretty sweet,” said student Jennifer Perez, “You just try to get everything … A little from every tech, and make your own”

In the classroom, they’re currently learning about obesity, geriatric and pediatric scans. They also learn how to work with patients, like parents bringing babies in for an x-ray or other imaging.

“They always encourage us to ask questions … I learn hands-on, so I really enjoy clinicals,” Perez said.

As Radiologic Technicians, these students will handle the machinery and get the images. The radiologist on duty reads all images, including x-rays, MRI, and CT scans.)

“It’s something different. I was interested in bones,” said Perez, who followed a friend into the program. Now, her friend (ironically with the same name) has a job in the field, and Perez hopes to do the same. “I love it.”

DTCC Dean of Instruction Bobbi Behrens and Vice President Ileana Smith also shared their pride in these students.

At the open house, students shared their expertise on X-ray technology. They showed the procedures, history, safety measures and more. They explained that best images come when patients are inhaling, filling their lungs and spreading out the other organs.

“The success of our program has depended on partnerships,” stated DTCC President Mark Brainard, “and we are thankful for the support of Beebe Healthcare, Bayhealth Medical Center and Nanticoke Health Services, who have donated high-tech equipment for our labs and continue to provide clinical rotations for our students. Members of these organizations also devote their time and expertise to serve on our Rad Tech advisory board...”

DTCC’s Radiologic Technology program is online at www.dtcc.edu/academics/programs-study/radiologic-technology.

“Safe radiation procedures protect our health and quality of life,” stated Karyl Rattay, director of Delaware Division of Public Health. “Medical imaging procedures play an important role in the early detection of cancer and cardiovascular disease, in emergency medicine such as x-rays to assess broken bones, and to detect oral health issues at the dentist’s office.”

Delaware Office of Radiation Control, (http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/hsp/orc.html) based within Division of Public Health, regulates use of ionizing radiation in medicine, industry, research and education; inspects radiation machine facilities; and issues professional certifications.

Chaired by Frances Esposito, Delaware Authority on Radiation Protection (www.DEradiationprotection.org) is celebrating 40 years of providing regulatory oversight of ionizing radiation sources, encouraging constructive uses of radiation and facilitating greater understanding of natural and human-generated radiation.