Courtesy Photo From Left: Chelsea Young, Pete Lind (2006 Graduate of Rad Tech Program), and Amanda Harris
Chelsea Young (23) knew she wanted to work in healthcare. Raised in Sitka she was fortunate to have been able to take a health careers class in high school. That allowed her the opportunity to explore many different areas in the healthcare field. She completed training as a Certified Nurses Aide (CNA) and worked at Sitka's Mt. Edgecombe hospital. After working as a CNA she realized that nursing wasn't for her and started exploring her career options for working in Radiology.
Young indicated that she applied at schools all over the Northwest before she realized that there was a program in Juneau. "I am probably still on a waiting list at some of those schools, I feel lucky to have gotten into the program here in Juneau" says Young. Competition for entry into many healthcare programs is fierce. "This is really a great field to get into" she says "I would definitely recommend this program to others."
Young describes the field of diagnostic imaging as an art as much as a technical field. Indicating that this is a great way to help people, she says "you take a picture and look at how to make the picture better." Young is returning to Sitka and has secured a position at Mt. Edgecombe Hospital. In reflection, Young indicated that her life is finally coming together. She has a child and is excited about her upcoming nuptials in January of 2009. "This is a great opportunity for people in Alaska" she says "to be able to complete a program such as this in Alaska is very helpful for families"
By training a cadre of new permanent staff, committed to living in Juneau, the hospital can replace those who advance to more specialized areas of care as well as those who retire.
As healthcare workers retire in increasing numbers both nationally and locally, they need to be replaced. Bartlett hopes to not only replace its retirees with excellent workers, but to attract and train new permanent staff, committed to living in Juneau. These new staff will fill slots that open as longer term Bartlett employees acquire additional training and credentials and advance to more specialized areas of care-whether physical therapy, nursing, respiratory therapy or diagnostic imaging.
Non-resident specialists, called "travelers," who contract for limited periods of time, have been used to supplement these specialties. Bartlett has committed to eliminate the use of travelers by the end of December 2008. The expected cost savings is going to be reinvested in recruitment and retention activities for the facility. The cost/benefit ratio of resident healthcare workers compared to travelers is significant enough that Bartlett has committed substantial resources to staff training and advancement, and Bartlett has been committed to the support of hospital's relationship with the university by making a significant financial contribution each year and by working closely with students during their studies at the University of Alaska as they come to the Bartlett campus.
Amanda Harris is a 28 year old mother of two with another child on the way. Her husband, Case, was born and raised in Juneau. Harris has two aunts who work in the nursing field. She was preparing for entry into a nursing program and had completed programs for Personal Care Assistance (PCA) and CNA as well as most of her pre-requisites when her aunts encouraged her to look at Radiology as a career field; they indicated that this work was different than nursing but just as fulfilling.
Harris speaks very positively of her experience at Bartlett; Harris said "the staff was great to work with. I could go to the staff with any question and they were willing and able to help." She said she was fortunate to have two other graduates of the program, Pete Lind and Leslie Clark (2006 graduating class), available in the facility. They (Lind and Clark) not only have experience in the facility they were also available to answer questions about the program itself.
The UAA Rad Tech programis currently being offered in Juneau and Ketchikan in coordination with Bartlett Regional Hospital and Ketchikan General Hospital as the clinical sites.
The application and admission process is competitive, with two students admitted every two years in each site. Applicants must finish a year of Anatomy and Physiology, a semester course in Medical Terminology, and have at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA)prior to application submission. Additionally, an observation in the clinical site must be completed with an accompanied essay.
The length of the program once admitted is two years, or four semesters with one eight week summer semester. Ketchikan and Juneau are pleased to have four recent graduates of this program in May. If you would like more information regarding the AAS in Radiologic Technology, please call Sarah Harvey at: (907) 796-6128 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.