The College's Radiography Technology (RT) Program has recently received two gifts that greatly improve the education of students enrolled in the RT program. First, Southeast Missouri Hospital generously donated digital imaging equipment, installed in the fall 2018 semester, that replaces older imaging equipment previously in use in the laboratory. More recently, the RT program received a donation of two training phantoms. Wikipedia describes a phantom as "a specially designed object that is scanned or imaged in the field of medical imaging to evaluate, analyze, and tune the performance of various imaging devices. A phantom is more readily available and provides more consistent results than the use of a living subject or cadaver, and likewise avoids subjecting a living subject to direct risk." Anthropomorphic phantoms, as pictured, are carefully crafted by skilled artisans to exact standards. The resulting radiographic images of these phantoms closely mimic the images made from the human body without exposing living persons to the risk of radiation. These durable phantoms may be used without degradation for many years.
According to RT director Peter Barger, the digital imaging equipment and the two phantoms are already used in the College's imaging lab to educate students currently enrolled in the program. Mr. Barger also noted that the donated digital imaging equipment provides students with access to technology that they will encounter during their clinical education and upon gaining employment in radiography. This access will further augment the preparation students receive and make them "work ready" upon graduation, thereby shortening the orientation time required for a newly hired imaging professional to provide a meaningful impact on the care of their patients. The use of phantoms will also help the College's RT students to acquire a greater understanding of radiographic techniques, thus increasing the likelihood that their future patients will receive less radiation per exposure.