COD Computed Tomography Students Hired Before Program Completion
By Mike McKissack
The majority of students in College of DuPage’s Computed Tomography Certificate program were hired while still completing the program and preparing to sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) exam.
“The success of the students from last year is absolutely wonderful,” said CT instructor Judith Loughlin. “Our students are well-prepared, professional and enthusiastic and were able to secure positions while still in the program.”
Loughlin said the students’ success reflects their dedication, as well as the College’s ability to recognize and fill an increasing need for skilled technologists by area medical organizations.
“CT scanning is the first line of defense for the Emergency Room and the most rapidly growing radiology procedure done today,” she said. “Local hospitals are impressed with our students. We have already had calls from area hospitals prior to the start of fall semester asking to have our students do their clinical rotations with them.”
College of DuPage CT program graduate Jenny Kaminski said she was thrilled to be offered a position while still completing the program.
“During the program I was offered and accepted a subcontracting position as a registry CT technologist at the hospital where I was doing clinicals,” said Kaminski. “I was ecstatic that I had the opportunity to start my career within the CT industry a few months before I even completed the program, especially in such a competitive field. Shortly after completing the program, I also accepted a full-time position as a CT tech at another hospital.”
Kaminski earned an Associate in Science and an Associate in Applied Science in Radiologic Technology from Joliet Junior College. After working as an X-ray technologist for two years, she decided to continue her studies at COD.
“When I started my schooling for radiologic technology I knew I wanted to expand my knowledge in the field and branch out into other modalities. This program helped me do so and it was definitely worth it,” she said.
A resident of Plainfield, Kaminski said the program’s small class sizes at COD were particularly helpful and that she was pleased with the hands-on training offered by the program.
“The experience I had during the CT program was great,” she said. “The course work covered everything that was necessary to know for this field of work, from cross-sectional anatomy, patient care and radiation safety to physics of the CT scanner. Being able to apply the knowledge that was taught during the clinical portion and combining it with the classwork helped keep students informed about all aspects of this field, and in turn, my classmates and I became better technologist in the end.”
Kaminski also praised the flexibility of the College’s CT program.
“Days and hours for clinicals could be coordinated with the hospitals at flexible times as long as the 24 hours a week were completed, which was a huge help for students working and going to school at the same time.”
After working as a nuclear medicine technologist for 25 years, Dan Aleliunas found himself looking for work. He heard about the CT program at College of DuPage while enrolled in ultrasound classes at Triton College. He said the CT program was a good fit because there was a big demand for CT Technologists and the CT credential could be combined with his background and professional credentials in nuclear medicine, enabling him to perform positron emission tomography (PET) and multi-modality PET/CT imaging.
“The instruction at COD was exceptional, and the clinicals expose you to the job itself and all aspects of the work, including things that can’t be taught in a classroom such as interacting with patients and coworkers,” he said. “During the clinicals, you learn something every day because you are in situations a professional licensed CT Tech would experience.”
Aleliunas, a multilingual U.S. Navy veteran, said while the CT program was challenging, the support and dedication of the instructors really helped with the rigorous curriculum.
“The professors and instructors were awesome,” Aleliunas said. “CT instructors Judy Loughlin, Rina San and CT program Coordinator Amy Yarshen were particularly helpful in assisting students throughout the program. They had a genuine interest in their students’ success and presented the material in a way students could easily understand. In addition, the Financial Aid office was great, as was the affordability of the program.”
The Computed Tomography Certificate program at College of DuPage is an advanced, one-year (three semester) certificate program. Prospective students must hold active national certification and registration from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) in Radiography and maintain a current license in medical radiation technology from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Department of Nuclear Safety.
College of DuPage is an accredited community college that serves more than 28,000 students each term. The College, which grants nine associate degrees and more than 170 certificates in 100 areas of study, is the second largest provider of public undergraduate education in Illinois.
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