Meet Two Students in Grace’s Medical Imaging Program through JPU
Are you fluent in digital technology? Have you always been interested in the medical field? Do you want to use your skills to help others? Medical imaging sits at the intersection of technology and health. Students are trained in technology such as ultrasound and MRI machines to give patients a better understanding of the medical realities they face.
Grace College offers four concentrations for the medical imaging program: sonography, MRI, CT, and nuclear medicine. Most of the advanced classes for the medical imaging bachelor degree are online through our partnership with John Patrick University. Instead of practicing in a lab on campus, Grace students get advanced experience through clinicals at hospitals.
“This program serves to diversify Grace’s portfolio of healthcare related majors for our students,” says Dr. Joseph Frentzel, Dr. Eugene Inman Endowed Chair of Science. “Grace College partners with John Patrick University, a regional leader in medical imaging education, to blend our hands-on science curriculum with the JPU technical coursework leading to new professional opportunities for our students.”
Since Grace added the medical imaging degree, we have had several students join the program, and this spring, our first graduate will walk across the stage and begin making an impact in the field. And the program is continuing to grow – according to Mark Pohl, vice president of enrollment management at Grace, applications for the medical imaging program are up by 48.4% this year.
Read about these students’ experiences in the medical imaging program.
Vivian Wilkinson is a fourth-year medical imaging student and will be the first graduate of the program.
When choosing a major, Wilkinson didn’t feel satisfied with any program she considered. Whether the major was too broad or she didn’t like the work, she couldn’t find a degree that fit her skills and interests. She started out as a communication major then switched to exercise science to pursue physical therapy. She later realized she didn’t want the extended education needed for physical therapy.
While talking with Christi Walters, her adviser for exercise science, Wilkinson learned about sonography, the medical field that works with ultrasound. Walters told her that jobs in the field pay well and have a good growth outlook, and Wilkinson was interested in the work that she’d be doing.
“All of those doubts I had with other programs, I don’t have any of those with medical imaging,” Wilkinson says. “There’s no reason I wouldn’t want to do it.”
Soon after, Grace announced a medical imaging bachelor degree with a sonography concentration. Wilkinson immediately signed up for the program.
Because most of the medical imaging classes are online, students get a lot of clinical hours to prepare them with hands-on application. Right now, Wilkinson is in clinicals at Lutheran Kosciusko Hospital, where she has been able to practice ultrasounds in a real-life setting.
When going into the field, Wilkinson will be able to pick from a variety of specializations, like abdomen or extremities. She can take certifications for whichever specialty she chooses, and she can always get a new certification if she later decides to switch. She is most interested in abdomen and obstetrics.
Now that she is in the medical imaging program, Wilkinson is glad that she found a program that fits her – and that she pursued the program at Grace.
“I love Grace and the community,” Wilkinson says. “It is so worth it to do the liberal arts medical imaging bachelor degree as opposed to doing an associate degree somewhere else, where they don’t have the Bible classes or chapel or any of the other things I’ve experienced in my four years here. It’s a much richer, deeper experience at Grace.”
Second-year Abby Price knew from an early age that she wanted to be in the medical field, so when she started college, a nursing major seemed like a good choice. Price has always loved science, and though she says she would be content working in a lab, she felt God leading her to a career where she can work with people.
“I felt God calling me to be relational with people and care for people,” Price says. “The medical field is the perfect combination of the cool science, the nerdy things, and also connecting that to people and helping them understand the medical world.”
When Price heard about the medical imaging bachelor degree, she thought of it as a great way to combine her passions. With the sonography concentration, she is able to help others as they try to figure out what medical terms and images mean.
“Medical experiences can be so overwhelming if you don’t understand what the doctor is talking about or if you have someone who is impersonal,” Price says. “I want to be able to connect people with science and help them understand at their own level. ”
Price likes that the JPU classes are online because they give her better flexibility with her assignments. She knows that anyone in the medical imaging program needs to be self-motivated to get the work done, and it can be helpful to work classes around practices or jobs.
In the future, Price would like to work with echocardiograms, ultrasounds of the heart. She looks forward to a career where she can use her passion for science to help other people.
Do you want to combine health and technology with a medical imaging degree? Learn more about the medical imaging bachelor degree and apply to Grace College to start on your path in medical imaging.