Created: 11/07/2013 6:33 PM KSTP.com
By: Dan Conradt
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It's the very latest technology, in a field where the equipment is constantly changing.
And that makes it the ultimate in hands-on learning.
"What we've obtained for the radiography class is a table, a new tube and a wall bucky," Sandy Sellner-Wee told us. She’s the director of the radiography program at Riverland Community College in Austin. In layman’s terms, it's a new x-ray machine.
"This equipment is more like the equipment we use in clinics. It's more up-to-date," said second-year radiography student Erin Larson.
The goal is to train students on equipment that will let them make an easier transition from school to the workplace.
"Teach them the positioning skills, radiation safety skills, communication skills," program director Sandy Sellner-Wee explained.
Before the new equipment arrived, students learned on x-ray equipment that dated back to 1980. And it was getting harder to find replacement parts when something broke down.
"We are preparing them for the real world,” Sandy Sellner-Wee explained. “They're going to be steps ahead when they're going out to the work force."
“It definitely helps to shorten up the time you need to learn all you need to learn," said second year student Dylan Golberg.
By the time the radiography students finish their two years at Riverland, they'll have roughly 14-hundred hours in clinicals, in addition to their classroom education.
"Over 60 percent of our grads are working in the southern Minnesota x-ray departments," Sellner-Wee said.
And with Destination Medical Center moving forward in Rochester
"Health care jobs are going to continue to grow, especially with the baby boomers," Sandy Sellner-Wee told us.
The new equipment was purchased with financial support from Riverland administration and private donations.