At first glance, Rad Tech Club seems like technology enthusiasts coming together, but these students are actually interested in looking deeper into the human body.
The Rad Tech Club at NKU specializes in X-ray vision. Students learn how to perform diagnostic imaging examinations such as X-rays and MRIs in class. Members test what they’ve learned in lab and then execute these skills in nearby hospitals.
Sarah Listerman, a member for two years, thinks it’s an interesting field, where you meet and interact with people from different backgrounds every single day.
“The interaction you have with people can change their day even if you are only with them for 10 minutes,” Listerman said. “To have that sort of influence on people is amazing, reassuring them that they are in safe hands while you are performing the imaging that they came to the hospital for.”
Sarah Reverman is also in her second year of the program and says going to these hospitals can be kind of scary, at first.
“It can be very intimidating because the hospitals have different protocols and you have to understand them,” Reverman said. “But once you start to shadow the techs you’ll see how they handle patient care and other situations so you’ll pick up your own ways.”
Students who are working toward a Bachelor’s Degree in radiologic technology have the option to join the club. In addition to their interest in the medical field, members also strive to help their community.
Rhonda Kaihlanen, president of Rad Tech, says while being in the club develops leadership and team working skills, it’s more rewarding to give back to people in the community.
“Once you experience that, when you do something for someone, and you see their face light up, you’re going to want to keep doing that,” Kaihlanen said.
Last year, Rad Tech organized a service called Foot Care Clinic, where they gave homeless people a new pair of shoes and socks at the Madison Christian Church in Covington.
“This one guy, who lived under a bridge came in and he had blisters and cuts,” Kaihlanen said. “If you think about all the problems that causes for a diabetic, it was crazy. I never thought how much foot care could make a difference, it really put things into perspective.”
The club has held other service activities such as cooking and serving dinner at the Ronald McDonald House, taking Halloween treats to a nursery home, and more.
They also are involved with fundraising events such as t-shirt and bake sales as well as selling jewelry and coupons.
Even with participation in all these activities, Rad Tech manages to spend hours in the clinic and lab.
Director of the radiologic technology program, Diane Gronefeld, said that in the first year of the program, students are at the hospital 16 hours a week and in the second year it varies from 16 to 24.
“We have a lot of clinical time built into our program and students go through a lot of rotations so when they graduate from the program they are very skilled,” Gronefeld said.
Because the program is limited on hospital placements and clinical rotations, they only accept 24 students a year.
According to Gronefeld, about three-fourths of students in the radiologic technology program join the club. Out of the 24 students, 20 would typically join the club.
“But it is a pretty popular program,” Gronefeld said. “We usually have 60-80 people apply; we’ve had as many as 120 apply for those 24 positions.”.
Through the process of getting accepted and all the hours spent on it, Listerman says it’s all worth it.
“This program has such a strong foundation and commitment to its students and the faculty are amazing mentors,” Listerman said. “It gives students such wonderful opportunities.”