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ETSU Radiologic Science Program celebrates pass rates, job placements

JOHNSON CITY – Garrett Hall, a May 2021 graduate of East Tennessee State University’s Radiologic Science Program, is still celebrating his academic and professional achievements more than a month after commencement.

 Within weeks of receiving his diploma from ETSU, he took and passed the national certification examination administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). In addition, he has already begun a full-time job as a radiologic technologist at Johnson City Medical Center.

 His classmate, Madison Triebel, also passed her registry exam and will begin a full-time job this month at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee.

 Their stories represent the collective successes of ETSU’s Radiologic Science graduates. For the past five years, the program has boasted a 100% job placement rate and a 100% pass rate on the national certification examination.

 “It’s great to have a job ready to go right after college, and I feel well prepared for it,” said Triebel, who received the 2021 Academic Excellence Award for the Radiologic Science Program. “There’s such a feeling of release and security in knowing that.”

 The numbers are still out for the class of 2021 as some graduates are still awaiting exam results, but Dr. Ester Verhovsek-Hughes, chair of ETSU’s Department of Allied Science and interim director for the program, said she expects the class of 2021 to fare well in the job market.

 “The market is flexible right now and there is a variety of positions they can take in hospitals, outpatient clinics, orthopedic offices and more,” Verhovsek-Hughes said. “There are more jobs than there are graduates at this point.”

 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of radiologic technologists is projected to grow 7% from 2019-2029, faster than the average for all occupations.

 Also known as radiographers, radiologic technologists perform x-rays and other diagnostic imaging examinations on patients. Graduates of ETSU’s Radiologic Science Program earn a bachelor’s degree and are prepared to meet the educational requirements for the ARRT certification exam. They also receive experience in specialty areas, and many continue their education to pursue certifications in specialties such as radiation therapy, CT, MRI and interventional treatments.

 “The strength of our program is the combination of classroom learning and clinical rotations that prepare students to walk confidently into their first job as a radiographer because of their experience and training,” Verhovsek-Hughes said.

 Hall, who received the 2021 Clinical Excellence Award from the Radiologic Science Program, said his clinical experience at the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Mountain Home and JCMC was confirmation of his decision to pursue radiography.

 “My clinical experience as a student was phenomenal,” Hall said. “You know you’re at the right place and doing the right thing when you’ve been there for two years with no pay and you don’t want to leave.”

 In addition to the traditional radiologic science program that Hall and Triebel completed, ETSU offers an online Radiologic Science degree completion program, which is designed for working radiologic professionals with an associate of applied science (A.A.S.) degree in radiologic science. Ranked third in the country by EduMed.org, this online program allows radiographers the opportunity to obtain their B.S. degree by using more of the A.A.S. hours than would normally transfer to a four-year institution.

 To learn more about ETSU’s Radiologic Science Program, contact Dr. Ester Verhovsek-Hughes at verhovese@etsu.edu or at etsu.edu/crhs/allied-health/radiologic.