Avera Donation To Modernize Mitchell Technical College’s Radiology Technology Laboratories And Upgrade Equipment – Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL – There is a high demand for graduates from all health programs at Mitchell Technical College, and a recent gift to the school from Avera Health is expected to keep one of the most popular programs at the school at the cutting edge of learning and technology for years to come.

“Radiology technologists are helping our patients in important ways,” said Doug Ekeren, regional president and CEO of Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell and Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton. “It involves working with doctors and healthcare providers to get to the bottom of their pain or other symptoms through X-rays, CT or other imaging, or using imaging technology to screen and diagnose potentially serious conditions such as breast cancer or lung cancer . in their earliest stages.

These budding technologists will have the opportunity to work with the latest cutting-edge technology, as well as an improved laboratory space, thanks to Avera’s donation, which was announced Wednesday morning at a press conference at the school campus center with representatives from Avera Health and Mitchell Technical College, as well as students and faculty who were available for the announcement.

The donation will provide the necessary funding and match Mitchell Technical College’s budget for the expansion project. It will provide a stationary General Electric Definium Tempo X-ray system in a state-of-the-art facility in refurbished rooms within the Campus Center building, which houses the current radiology technology program.

Lisa Herrmann, director of the radiology tech program at Mitchell Technical College, said being able to expose students to the latest forms of equipment along with equipment that has been used at the school for years will give them a broad understanding of the Gear.

Mark Wilson, President of Mitchell Technical College, said Avera Health’s recent gift to the school will help keep the school’s radiology technology program current for decades to come.

Erik Kaufman / Republic of Mitchell

“Our current lab is about 18 years old and we use this lab on a daily basis and we will continue to do so in the future. The value of a device that is 20 years newer is that in our clinical settings in the industry there is a wide range of devices that the students will be working on,” said Herrmann. “So while they’re here on campus, we can give them that experience by working with simpler or older devices as well as the latest devices that GE makes.”

Knowing that older equipment is often found in smaller, rural hospitals and being familiar with its operation can shorten the learning curve for students, while learning the ins and outs of the latest equipment prepares them for work in the largest, most modern facilities.

“We’re fortunate to have a lot of state-of-the-art equipment to work with, but we also have some older equipment. With an organization as large as ours, we have a wide range of equipment,” said Sean Bortnem, a 2011 graduate of Mitchell Tech who currently serves as the radiology manager at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls and also serves on the radiology engineering advisory board Mitchell Tech. “The lab they have here is still very similar to labs used in rural facilities across the state. I can attest to that, because that’s what I worked on for the first eight years after graduation. It really helps students prepare and gets them to the point where they can jump in a little faster.”

The programs’ four instructors can work simultaneously with three groups of students in the modernized department, which now has two traditional laboratory rooms with an upgraded mobile laboratory serving as a transit emergency room.

Herrmann said faculty will be able to monitor multiple simulations simultaneously, which will allow students to get used to the fast pace of the field.

“It will be a unified area that allows three times as many students to practice at the same time to better accommodate the lab hours that each student must have before graduation,” Herrmann said.

Doug Ekeren, right, regional president and CEO of Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell and Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, spoke on the campus of Mitchell Technical College Wednesday morning about a recent gift from the health system to the school to help improve it and upgrading its radiological technology program. Also speaking at the event were Lisa Hermann, Director of the Department of Radiology Technology at Mitchell Technical College, Barb Wright, Clinical Coordinator of the Mitchell Tech program, and Mark Wilson, President of Mitchell Technical College.

Erik Kaufman / Republic of Mitchell

Peyton Fisher, a first-year student in the radiology program at Mitchell Tech, said she’s already impressed with the program, but the improvements should only improve the experience, especially for first-year students coming into the improved labs next year and new devices will be ready for use.

“We will be in clinical trials in May. We are on campus for 10 months and in May we go to the clinic and then we come back to check the competencies again and come back here so we will use it a bit but for the first ones it will be so nice. Year students come in and use brand new gear,” Fisher, a Warner native, told Republic Mitchell. “It’s great, I’m happy for them.”

Barb Wright, a clinical coordinator for the program, agreed.

“It’s going to be very fashionable. Medical devices are constantly changing in our industry. Thanks to this gift, our students are ready to work with state-of-the-art equipment the moment they step into their clinic, which means the healthcare system has to spend less time preparing them to provide patients with the best possible care. ‘ Wright said.

Neither the school nor Avera Health offered a dollar value for the gift, but Mark Wilson, president of Mitchell Technical College, said it was likely the school would not move forward with its plans at this point without the support of the health system, which likely would have other options studied to make the upgrade a reality.

The new equipment has been ordered and contractors are expected to begin work soon, with completion expected in July 2023.

“It’s been in the works for a little over three years. We’re just grateful that this has come about,” said Wilson.

The Radiology Tech program is very popular at the school as it is the first program to be filled for Fall 2022. It has also already filled vacancies for Fall 2023, and there is a waiting list for admission. The program recently expanded from 15 to 24 students and a fourth instructor was added this year in anticipation of the program expansion.

With the completion of the expansion project, scheduled for mid-Summer 2023, these future radiology technologists should be able to take advantage of the latest and greatest laboratory space and equipment that Mitchell Technical College has to offer.

All of this is possible thanks to the ongoing partnership between Avera Health and Mitchell Tech, said Carol Grode-Hanks, vice president of academics at the school.

Doug Ekeren, regional president and CEO of Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell and Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, spoke Wednesday morning at the Mitchell Tech campus about the benefits of a recent gift from Avera to Mitchell Technical College to revamp it and to improve the Radiological Technology program.

Erik Kaufman / Republic of Mitchell

“Avera has been a clinical partner and strong supporter of our program from the beginning,” said Grode-Hanks. “You employ many of our alumni and have been a constant partner to us as we have seen our program grow and change. It will be a pleasure to work with them as we make the leap into this next phase.”


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