New X-ray machines donated to radiology program

David Saveanu

Staff Writer

Parkland’s health professions has been donated two newer-model X-ray devices by Carle Hospital for use in the former’s radiology program, supplanting older machines and bringing the program’s X-ray equipment into the 21st century.

“This new equipment replaces the old equipment we had which was very close to being obsolete,” said Ellen Schmidt, executive director of the Parkland College Foundation.

Parkland was in dire need of an upgrade in its radiology department. Since the students were learning on old machines, it would have greatly impacted their abilities to compete in the job market, having not been trained on and prepared for more modern equipment.

“This equipment benefits our students in the radiology program. It helps us to stay competitive and current with healthcare trends and avoids a disruption in our current program,” said Schmidt.

Bobbi Scholze is the interim dean of health professions. She also says the new machines will have a positive impact on the students’ abilities, stating that the old machines were over 30 years old.

Prior to the new digitized machines, the process of digitizing the old film was complicated. There was an interim piece that converted the old film to digital so the students could analyze the various X-rays on computer screens.

“This equipment is fully digitized from the beginning of the X-ray process to the finish,” Schmidt said. “The other equipment had the older trays with the older film that they would hold up to the light. We couldn’t get parts for the old equipment so if our outdated equipment had broken down, there would have been a lapse in our program.”

The new machines simplify to the process, negating the need for analogue film to be converted to digital format, letting students focus more on the studying of X-rays and less so on the use of complicated machinery.

The machines donated by Carle Hospital are “used, but in excellent condition.” 50 radiology students will begin using and benefiting from the X-ray machines this semester.

Carle was replacing their own X-ray machines, and they decided to donate them to Parkland.

Donations come in to Parkland occasionally.

“We do get specific items donated from time to time,” Schmidt said. “Sometimes they come in the form of an automobile that can be used in our automotive program. We also receive farm equipment to benefit our [agriculture] programs.”

Schmidt worked with the leadership at Carle, along with the health professions department and Scholze, to secure these machines.

X-rays are vital pieces in getting correct diagnoses for a plethora of injuries and ailments in the hospital setting, and now that Parkland has modern X-ray machines actually used in hospitals today students studying radiology are receiving professional experience.

Parkland plans on keeping one for backup in case the other breaks down while having the students learn on the other.

For more information on Parkland’s radiology program or its new X-ray equipment, interested parties can contact Schloze and the health professions department in the L-wing. Students interested in taking courses in health professions or radiology can talk to their advisors in the Counseling and Advising Center in U267.