KCC Radiography Program updates lab with new state-of-the-art X-ray machine

KCC Radiography students Ashley Ledford and Joshua Pitchure demonstrate the use of the program's new X-ray machine, while Radiography student Jennifer Whitaker acts as their patient.

Kellogg Community College received more than $2 million for updates to select occupational programs at the College via the state’s Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program last year, and among the package of CCSTEP resources were funds for a new X-ray machine for KCC’s Radiography Program.

The new equipment, funded through nearly $50,000 in CCSTEP funds and a 25 percent funds match of $12,449 from KCC, will help future radiographers studying at KCC practice pre-clinical skills on campus. Or, as noted in the original CCSTEP grant proposal, the new equipment will “allow students to increase skill sets and achieve mastery on contemporary equipment and in a setting that encourages repeated practice of high stakes clinical skills in a low-stakes learning environment.”

Chris VandenBerg, Allied Health director at KCC, said the new piece of equipment replaced equipment that was more than 30 years old and becoming difficult to repair. She explains the value of the new equipment to current and future KCC Radiography students in detail below.

Question: What does the new equipment do?

VandenBerg: The new piece of equipment is comparable to what is used in the clinical environment. We have wonderful community partners who support our program and in the past have donated their used equipment to us. Unfortunately, some of that equipment can be older, somewhat outdated and can become difficult to repair.

Having the opportunity to purchase the latest technology in the industry gives KCC the ability to better assist our students in transferring the knowledge learned in the classroom and lab to the live environment.

Q: How does the new equipment benefit students and instructors? What can they do that they couldn’t do before? What does it add experience-wise to the Radiography program?

V: The new equipment benefits both the student and faculty by being state-of-the-art and very comparable to the equipment used in the live environment. This particular piece of equipment has a control panel that sets the amount of X-ray to be used, with the latest automated features that Radiography students will encounter in the clinical setting.

This is very helpful to correlate the theory of calculating the correct dose/amount needed of radiation to create the image. With fast pace of advances in technology in the health care environment, this new equipment really aids our students in understanding the theory taught in lectures and helps them translate it into the clinical setting.

Q: Why is the new equipment important for the program and its graduates?

V: Medical imaging has changed dramatically over my 30-plus years in the profession. A big example of this is that we no longer use film in the industry; it is all digital now. With that drastic change came many big advances in the technology and capabilities in medical imaging, and the education and knowledge offered on how to use these new tools needs to be up to speed. This equipment accomplishes that goal for our Radiography students.

Admission to KCC’s Radiography Program is selective, and KCC accepts just 20 students into the program each year. For more information about KCC’s Radiography Program, including information about radiography careers and completion and credentialing exam pass rates for recent KCC Radiography Program graduates, visit www.kellogg.edu/radiography.

For more information about new equipment purchased through CCSTEP funds for KCC, click here.

Pictured in the photo above, KCC Radiography students Ashley Ledford and Joshua Pitchure demonstrate the use of the program’s new X-ray machine, while Radiography student Jennifer Whitaker acts as their patient.