Gannon University Celebrates National Radiologic Technology Week

Posted: November 6, 2015

National Radiologic Technology Week is celebrated annually to recognize the vital work of radiologic technologists across the nation. At Gannon University, the commemoration has a special resonance because the 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the first graduating class of the University's radiologic science program.

Cynthia Liotta, an assistant professor and the program's director since 1992, arrived as a student the year after the program was created. She related how, prior to establishing an Associate's Degree program at Gannon in response toward a move toward accreditation, hospitals trained their own x-ray technicians on the job. Gannon's radiologic sciences program is fully accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.

Radiologic technologists work closely with radiologists, the physicians who interpret medical images. The can specialize in breast imaging, computed tomography, cardiac-interventional procedures, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, radiation therapy and general diagnostic radiology.

Gannon's radiologic sciences program can be completed in as few as 24 months and prepares students for entry-level placement in the field. Graduates of Gannon's program have had a 100-percent pass rate on the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam on the first attempt for 15 of the last 16 years.

It's a field that has broadened both in scope and complexity since the program was created. "Our graduates are educators, applications specialists for medical imaging companies, technicians running Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) equipment, and even a physician assistant." Liotta says. "One will become a radiologist assistant, a new category of practitioner similar to a physician assistant, but one who has to come from a radiology background to practice. Another graduate got his doctorate and is teaching at Robert Morris University"

She adds, "This is a two-year program that gets people started into a lot of opportunities in a lot of different areas."

Some of them work at Gannon where all the faculty members in the department were once students. At homecoming in October nearly 60 graduates of the radiologic sciences program came back for an anniversary party. "The amount of loyalty we have is incredible," Liotta said.