Nearly 480 and Counting

The lowest level of Clarkson College houses the radiology lab, a space full of equipment and machines that line the walls and hang from the ceiling. While the lab's layout and equipment have changed over the years, the commitment of the Radiologic Technology (RT) department faculty has remained the same: to prepare each RT student to be the best in their field.

As the program celebrates 25 years of preparing high quality graduates, it’s easy to see how drastically the landscape of radiology has changed since the program’s first graduating class in 1993. The field continually shifts as new techniques and technological advancements become available. Associate Professor Patricia Weber, M.H.A., RT (R), (CT), is a three-time Clarkson College graduate and has been a faculty member since 2006. For her, the field’s advancements are what make the profession exciting.

“In the radiology field, nothing is stagnant,” Weber said. “New research and techniques occur all the time, which is exciting. The goal is always to develop the best images for our patients.”

One way the RT department continues to stay on top of the advancing profession is by updating the lab’s equipment. Earlier this year, the department purchased the Shimadzu Digital Radiography (DR) unit, a top-of-the-line general radiography system. The upgrade grants students access to the most advanced technology available on the market before practicing their skills in real-world scenarios.

“Students now learn both computed radiography (CR) and DR imaging technology,” said Assistant Professor and three-time alumna Ann Hagenau, M.S., RT (R)(M). “The changes in the lab indicate the outstanding support and commitment the College has for the program.”

Assistant Professor Katie Fulton, M.S., RT (R)(VI), agreed. “We had CR equipment on campus already, but advancing to DR allows us to provide an experience more in line with what technologists use at the clinical site,” Fulton said. Educating students on both CR and DR imaging will ease their transition from the classroom to clinical experience.

The DR unit addition is not the first equipment update for the lab, and it will not be the last. The RT program must continually adapt to meet the field’s growing standards. “The changes reflect the rapid advancement in the radiology field,” Hagenau said.

While today’s students work with some of the best technology available, alumni remember using equipment that was strictly for demonstration purposes only. “The equipment available back then was only used for practicing radiography exams,” Weber said. “With equipment incapable of producing x-rays, students were unable to see the entire process like they can with today’s technology.”

To give students hands-on experience, the lab upgraded to an energized x-ray machine, automatic film processor, and body part phantoms to create realistic film screen images. As technology advanced, a machine with fluoroscopic capabilities replaced the energized x-ray unit. When the program incorporated a CR reader and full body phantom to the lab, students had the ability to create images either digitally or via film.

Each change reflects the program’s dedication to providing students with the tools they need to succeed. This commitment to excellence draws alumni back to Clarkson College.

“When I came back to begin working at Clarkson College, I truly felt like I got my dream job,” Weber said. “Every day, I feel the passion and excitement of the students, and I share mine with them.”

“I knew from the time I sat in a classroom at Clarkson College that I wanted to teach,” Fulton said. “The faculty here are passionate about the profession, and it makes me want to be that inspiration for the future of radiology.”

You're invited to join us

We are excited to celebrate the 25th graduating class of the RT program at Clarkson College. To honor this milestone, we’re inviting alumni to visit campus and see all of the changes happening within the program. Join us for an open house event on Nov. 9 from 4–6 p.m. to tour the lab, view its new equipment, and visit with the program faculty members as we celebrate 25 years of graduating the best