Healthcare Providers of our Future

Tammy DePottey
Full-Time Faculty, Radiologic Technology Program

As an educator in Radiography, the sky is the limit. My passion to share my knowledge plays a huge role in educating the next generation of Radiologic Technologists. As an instructor I have the opportunity to mentor, grow and facilitate student radiographers that will be providing diagnostic imaging along with lifelong learning skills in the healthcare arena. This profession demands highly educated, compassionate employees that display professionalism, empathy, integrity, ethics, accountability, critical thinking skills and a strong knowledge base to pass the national registry exam.

Looking back over my career in the radiography program, I recall a student who really made me realize why I am so passionate about teaching. This particular student experienced many challenges while attending school. I will call her Andrea. Andrea raised four children and worked from home supporting the family business, with bookkeeping and payroll. After her kids graduated from college her marriage ended; it was time for this stay-at-home mom to start a second career. Attending the x-ray program at an older age is not completely uncommon, but can be a challenge with a younger cohort of students. Andrea felt intimidated by her younger classmates as they were technologically savvy. In addition, she was somewhat intimidated by the significantly younger clinical preceptors at the clinical sites. She even contemplated leaving the program due to stressors she encountered because of her age and taking longer to complete x-ray procedures.

As an educator I could see that she would be a fabulous technologist.  She displayed great patient communication skills, excellent grades, was driven by empathy, ethics and truly cared about doing the right thing for her patients. Together, we worked out a plan for her to successfully complete her goals and become a registered technologist. This plan was built around her maturity level, passion to learn and desire to work beyond those holding her back. I am very proud to say Andrea is not only a great technologist today, but she is a lead tech at her place of employment. She is thoroughly content with her career and represents our field and patients well. I will say it is an uplifting experience to see a struggling student succeed. Most often students move on after graduation, every now and then a friendship develops. This is why I continue to share my expertise, students like this have left a lasting impression on my teaching strategies and career.