The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

March 24, 2013

UC-Beckley picks up radiologic technology MSU program

By Sarah Plummer
Register-Herald Reporter

BECKLEY — Among the programs to continue at University of Charleston-Beckley is radiologic technology.

Instructor Jason Wilcox explained that this program, through which students can earn an associate degree and have first choice to continue for a four-year degree at the Charleston campus, is the only radiologic technology program in the area with two energized labs on site.

In addition to the two full labs housed in O’Dell Hall with live X-ray equipment, students can digitally process their images and make exposures on site.

Once a Mountain State University program, radiologic tech was transferred to UC-Beckley.

But while future students may feel concerned this health sciences program began at MSU, Wilcox assures that while at MSU, the program was in good standing with its specialized accrediting agency, the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.

“When MSU went through its loss of accreditation, we had a full review of our program for two days. Members of the specialized accrediting body spent two days looking through our files, observing classes and interviewing students. What they said was that we were in substantial compliance with every standard they had,” he explained.

Moreover, the radiologic technology program has had stellar licensure pass rates and job placement rates.

The program boasts 100 percent pass rates for students taking their exam for the first time in  2010, 2011 and 2012.

In addition, job placement rates have been nearly 100 percent for students looking for a job in radiology within six months of graduation, and, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the field is expected to remain a high growth field.

While in the program, students practice positioning patients and taking X-rays.

While they cannot take live exposures on other humans without a doctor’s order, they practice proper positioning techniques they will use in clinicals, and move on to take exposures on inanimate objects.

In addition, students learn about patient radiation protection and how best to communicate with patients and obtain a proper patient history, he said.

Wilcox said UC-Beckley will restart the program in August and slots are still available for interested students.

Currently around 10 have signed up, but they can accept up to 25.

Those who attain their two-year associate degree in Beckley and want to continue toward a four-year degree in Charleston will attain a specialized degree in one of their modalities, such at CT, MRI, Sonography, Cardiac Cath and Mammography.

“Gaining specialty will make students more marketable and more likely to gain employment,” Wilcox said.

Students conduct clinics at many area hospitals including Raleigh General, Beckley-ARH, Summersville Regional Medical Center, Plateau Medical, Greenbrier Valley Medical, and Summers-ARH.

For more information on applying for this program, contact Jason Wilcox via e-mail, jasonwilcox@ucwv.edu, or via phone, 304-929-1465.

More information is also available online at www.ucwv.edu/Beckley/.

— E-mail: splummer@register-herald.com