• October 17, 2019

Renovated radiologic technology department shows advances - Odessa American: Odessa College

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Renovated radiologic technology department shows advances

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Posted: Friday, March 29, 2019 1:57 pm

Going through Odessa College’s newly renovated radiologic technology department, Carrie Nanson is like a proud parent.

Nanson is the directly responsible individual for the department, and has been at OC for nearly 18 years after a long career at Medical Center Hospital.

She showed some x-rays of a fractured skull, a child who swallowed a coin and someone with a knife stuck in their head, among other films.

The positioning lab enables students to practice positioning people for x-rays prior to going into the x-ray room. If another instructor is lecturing, they can move from the tables to the chairs and take notes as they need to, she said.

Physical therapist assistant students can also use the space, she said.

The program is 22 months long.

“We accept 16 students a year and that’s because of our limited clinical space. In May, we’ll graduate 15 of our 16,” Nanson said.

A lot of the supplies and equipment has been donated by local hospitals.

“The Shimadzu Rad Speed Pro, it comes with these features that literally if you select a frontal view of the chest, it will do everything for you. The students can’t have that here. This is not like Burger King; you cannot have it your way. So here I want them to have to do all of that themselves. I want them to set the entire thing up themselves because you’re going to get to a room that doesn’t do that, so it’s imperative that they’re able to do that from start to finish without the room doing it for them,” Nanson said.

The x-ray machines will take x-rays, but by state law, they cannot try it on people at the school, so they use mannequins. There is one that simulates a 120-pound man, but she has two people move it. The outside of the mannequin has a coating similar to Plexiglas and there is material inside to simulate bones, she said.

The mannequin’s head recently was removed so students could practice positioning patients for skull x-rays. There is a mounting piece that helps hold the head in place.

“They still have to do all the lines, all the planes, all the positioning … center all of it together and it’s done for a grade. And so when they’re in my class, I teach a different aspect of it. My colleague teaches the positioning part. I teach the technique part,” Nanson said.

These days, she added, x-rays are heading toward the digital realm because they offer the best images with the lowest dose of radiation.

The one drawback is that there is no agreed standard for digital images, so Nanson said she requires her students to know the correct exposure for each room.

Nanson said the Odessa Development Corp. donated $300,000 for the renovations to the offices, store room, positioning lab and other areas. In-house personnel installed lead walls and windows.

“The college administration has been so, so helpful in getting us to where we needed to be and helping us to progress,” Nanson added.

She said she’s excited about seeing her students graduate this year.

Nanson earned her associate degree in radiologic technology from Odessa College and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in radiologic science from Midwestern State University.

When she left MCH, she was a unit coordinator. Then she went to work at OC and never regretted it.

“It’s a great place to work. I love my students. I will move heaven and earth for my students,” Nanson said.

Jovan Subia, an x-ray and CT technologist at Permian Regional Medical Center in Andrews, is one of Nanson’s former students. She returned for the recent open house.

“It was actually really nice,” Subia said.

She added that the update was definitely needed.

“I was a visual learner, so if I was there now it would help me immensely,” Subia said.

She graduated in 2016 and said the rad tech program was “pretty awesome.”

“Everything that I experienced, whether clinical-wise or classroom, it prepared me for the registry,” Subia said.

Odessa, TX

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