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Allied Health Career Fair, Nov. 6, to promote in-demand programs

October 28, 2003


If youve ever had an x-ray, a cholesterol check, an ultrasound, a mammogram or one of many specialized procedures, youve benefited from the expertise of a medical technologist or a radiologic technologist.

These allied health professionals are in high demand as the nation faces a 15 percent shortage in these areas of the health profession.
October 28, 2003


If you've ever had an x-ray, a cholesterol check, an ultrasound, a mammogram or one of many specialized procedures, you've benefited from the expertise of a medical technologist or a radiologic technologist.

These allied health professionals are in high demand as the nation faces a 15 percent shortage in these areas of the health profession.

In honor of National Allied Health Professionals Week, Nov. 2-8, Austin Peay will host its first annual Allied Health Career Fair. The fair will be held 3-7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 6, in the Tommy Head Atrium of the Sundquist Science Complex.

“We are inviting allied health recruiters from all over Middle Tennessee and beyond to attend this event,” said Dr. Mary Mayo, director of the medical technology program. “This will be an excellent opportunity for interested persons to learn about our training programs in medical and radiologic technology from students and faculty, as well as talk to recruiters about the job opportunities in these professions.”

APSU's med tech program—one of the few left in Middle Tennessee—is helping to fill the state's critical shortage of medical technologists. APSU offers a B.S. in medical technology, as well as a one-year certificate program in medical technology for individuals with a bachelor's degree in a science discipline.

“APSU also offers a B.S. in radiologic technology,” says Dr. Keith Belcher, chair of the biology department and educational coordinator for the radiologic technology program. “Students complete the first three years of coursework at APSU and do a fourth year of clinical study at Vanderbilt Medical Center, specializing in nuclear medicine, radiation therapy or ultrasonography.”

“So many times, the importance of allied health professionals is overlooked for nursing, but these people fulfill a critical need in the healthcare arena,” says Mayo. “For example, it has been estimated that 80 percent of medical diagnoses are based on laboratory testing. You need medical technologists to perform these tests. That lipid profile that your doctor sent off to test your cholesterol level was done by a medical technologist.”

Belchers adds, “Radiologic technologists do routine x-rays or specialize in things such as nuclear medicine, MRIs, ultrasound and mammography. It isn't a nurse that takes your x-ray or does your mammogram; it is a radiologic technologist.”

The med tech program at Austin Peay has experienced an enrollment increase, with the graduating class size more than doubling from six in 2002 to 14 in 2003. Mayo says, “We have an affiliation now with Middle Tennessee State University that will start to bring us students for the class of 2005, and we are working out a similar agreement with UT-Martin.”

The radiologic technology program also is experiencing an increase in student interest and numbers. “We are working to expand our program in radiologic technology to offer an additional track or concentration in diagnostic radiography (x-ray),” says Belcher.

Austin Peay offers a master's in biology with concentrations in clinical laboratory science or radiologic science to prepare medical technologists or radiologic technologists for positions in management, education or advanced practice. “Our master's programs in these areas of health science afford working individuals the opportunity to complete an advanced degree by attending class on either a full-time or part-time basis,” he adds.

For more information, telephone Mayo at 7796 or Belcher at 7223.
—Rebecca Mackey