Promising Career in Medicine
Sarah Pickens attends Meridian Technology Center’s radiologic technology program in hopes of becoming a radiologic technologist simply because she wants to help people.
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Show 1634: Promising Career in Medicine
Air Date: August 21, 2016
Rob McClendon: Well, the radiologic technology program at Meridian Tech Center is an accredited program that prepares its students for a national certification. Now, the course of study accepts an elite group of only 10 to 12 students per year, all with a college degree in hand. Joining me now to tell us why is our Courtney Maye.
Courtney Maye: Rob, Meridian Tech Center is about a mile from the campus of Oklahoma State in Stillwater, and for one recent OSU graduate, it’s in her pathway to a promising career in the medical profession.
Courtney Maye: Five days a week for 24 months, students like Sarah Pickens attend Meridian Technology Center’s radiologic technology program in hopes of becoming a radiologic technologist simply because she wants to help people.
Sarah Pickens: Well, I love science, and I love how technology’s always evolving, and then most importantly I just love helping people. And even though in radiology you’re only with that patient for a short amount of time, it’s that small period of time you’re with that patient that can make a huge difference.
Courtney: Students in the program at Meridian learn how to produce medical images of the human body using X-rays to diagnose medical conditions and diseases.
Pickens: Radiologists and even doctors, they rely on these X-rays and these tests to make these diagnoses. So it’s really critical in my job to, like, make sure that we know what we are doing.
Courtney: First-year students spend three days a week in the classroom and two days in clinics, and by their second year they are spending three days a week in a clinic getting real-world, hands-on experience. Instructor Tonya Vasso says when the students complete this program they will have several career opportunities.
Tonya Vasso: Our students can take different pathways, career paths. They can go into mammography, computed tomography, MRI with just a little additional training, but we do give them that foundation that makes them eligible to take those certifications as well. There are, I believe, 10 or 11 postcertification exams that they can take.
Courtney: Meridian only accepts an elite group of 10 to 12 students per year to be a part of the program, allowing more one-on-one learning time with the instructor.
Pickens: That’s what made me feel comfortable was because it’s small, and they want you to succeed. You’re not thrown into a classroom of 200 people like at a normal university.
Courtney: And the program is looking for students who have more than just a science background.
Vasso: We’ve actually added compassion to one of our goals over the last couple of years. We are looking for that type of person who is going to be compassionate with their patients and with the people in our community.
Courtney: And Pickens is just that.
Courtney: The cost of a four-year degree at Oklahoma State University is about $35,000. Now, in comparison, Sarah Pickens will pay right at $4,800 for this two-year program that will be her final gateway into a promising career in the medical profession.
Rob: All right. Thank you, Courtney.
Courtney: You’re welcome, Rob.