Community Partnership Expands Radiologic Technologist Program
Tacoma Community College (TCC), MultiCare Health System and the TRA Medical Imaging Foundation have formed a partnership to provide funding for a two-year pilot program to increase capacity and opportunity for TCC’s radiology program. The new pilot program expands the maximum student capacity to 40 from 24 by adding an evening cohort, and works to increase options for students who juggle work, school and personal commitments.
TCC received 156 qualified student applications for the class of 2023, but was only able to accept a maximum of 24 applications. To help support and advance radiologic technology as a career choice and increase access for more students, Director of the Radiologic Technology program Lielie Jarvis proposed an evening cohort that could increase the total students to 40 in the class of 2024.
“Washington state is currently facing several unprecedented events simultaneously,” Jarvis said. “Our state population has risen by 61,600 people in the past year, causing an increased need to expand our healthcare capabilities. In that expansion, we are experiencing a workforce shortage that, if not addressed, will significantly impact our ability to provide healthcare and diagnostics for the community. Imaging personnel is at the top of the list.”
The shortage of health care employees is not confined to our community. As a nation, the industry will require 2.3 million new skilled health care workers by 2025. Radiology Today reports that over the next five years, more than 110,000 medical technologist jobs will open, but only 10,000 newly trained workers will be there to fill them.
The partnership between TCC, MultiCare and TRA was formed to address the great need for technologists in our community by creating a strong workforce to fill healthcare gaps.
Impact and effectiveness of this pilot program will be evaluated and assessed bi-annually by TCC’s administration and Advisory Committee to determine sustainability of the program.
For more information on TCC’s radiologic technologist program, visit tacomacc.edu/radiologic-science.