Hometown Jobs: Limited Radiologic Technologist Program

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 5:52 PM EDT
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ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - As we talk about the need for healthcare workers nationwide, a pilot program in one of our hometowns is helping to fill those positions.

“The limited radiological technology program is very similar to a full x-ray program. The students can do everything that a full x-ray tech can except for they cannot give contrast, or many people call it dye. They can’t go to the operating room and they can’t do portable x-rays or CTs and things like that,” said Cheryl Cunningham, Radiologic Technologist and Instructor.

This was the first year Carilion Clinic and Burton Center for the Arts and Technology offered high school students training to work in the radiology field.

“Once I heard about the opportunity, I knew already that I was very interested in the health care field and since I had already started my CNA, I was like, why not take the opportunity to look into another field. I knew it was going to be a pilot program, so I new it was going to be hard, but I was ready for the challenge and I’m glad that I took it because I had a very good time in this program. It opened up my eyes to the other fields. There’s a lot more branches in x-ray then I thought there was and I’m excited to go into the workforce,” said Cathryn McCroskey, a student who participated in the program.

“The program fulfills a need in the area. There is a shortage of healthcare workers pretty much nationwide...We think of this as an entry level program…for a long time x-ray never had an entry level program and that is what we’re hoping that this becomes, is the entry level for x-ray,” said Cunningham.

“We learned about ethics, patient care, we learned about how positioning works…There’s a lot that goes into x-ray a lot more of course than I knew going into it. We learned about the human body. We learned about muscles, bones, basically anatomy in its fullest because it’s all involved in x-ray,” said McCroskey.

Students enjoyed the hands-on learning experience.

“When you’re working, you can’t be timid around them, because you’ve got to touch them to help them. You’ve got to position them and you’ve got to make sure they are comfortable and that they feel safe while you’re working with them,” said McCroskey.

“It is interesting. It is challenging. Every patient that comes in has a need and you can have five different patients come in for a chest x-ray and every patient is completely different and you have to sometimes think outside the box,” said Cunningham.

They hope this program will continue to grow for years to come.

“I would encourage them to take this opportunity, because I’m glad I did. I really helps you get your foot in the door into health care, whether you want to be a nurse or go into x-ray,” said McCroskey.