Southwest Tennessee Community College

Date: Friday, December 1, 2006

For more information contact: Southwest at (901) 333-4024 or 4116

Release written by: Pat O'Brien

Graduates of the 2006 Radiological Technology class at Southwest Tennessee Community College have, so far, achieved a 96 percent pass rate on the national certification exam of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. “We expect that number to increase a little,” said Glenn Swinny, dean of the division that houses the program, noting that some of the students have yet to sit for the exam.

Southwest has offered the program for more than 35 years and it is one of three available within the Memphis medical community. The College usually enrolls 30 students each year for the two-year degree program. Successful applicants are chosen according to grade point average and entrance examination scores. Of the 30, Swinny said an average of 28 usually complete the program and qualify for certification.

A departmental faculty of four full-time instructors is headed by program director Tom Wolfe. “The program is substantially hands-on,” according to Wolfe. “After the first semester, much of the students’ time is spent in seven clinical rotations with experienced practitioners on site as designated faculty.” The variety of clinical sites offers students the opportunity to be involved with a broad cross-section of patients of different backgrounds. They include the Veterans Administration Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, Baptist-DeSoto and Baptist-Memphis hospitals, the Med, Downtown Campbell’s Clinic and Delta Medical Center.

Once certified, program graduates quickly find placement in diagnostic imaging departments of area hospitals and physicians groups, often in departments where they have done their clinicals. “We usually have a 100 percent placement rate for our graduates,” said Swinny. “Though occasionally, as is the case this year, a student will enroll instead for advanced study in areas such as nuclear medicine, radiation therapy or ultrasound/sonography.