On April 12, FMCC held its first Radiologic Technology White Coat Ceremony. The event provided recognition of the radiologic technology program’s success having graduated 10 classes of clinically trained and ARRT board certified radiologic technologists (2006-2016).
In addition, it served as a lesson and reminder for program graduates, current RT students, and those in attendance of the core values held by someone choosing a career in medical imaging.
As members of the fourth graduating class in 2009, we have had the privilege of participating in and benefitting from this rigorous program, watching it grow in reputation and breadth of program-related experiences for students. We could not be more delighted for the opportunity to reflect on the White Coat Ceremony.
When we arrived on campus, we were given our White Coats, freshly pressed with our names, credentials, and a vibrant green and blue FM logo. What a thrill! We can’t imagine ensuring that our coats were the right size, personalized, ironed and then organized for distribution. Special thanks was given to the FM Foundation and Connie Palmerino for their efforts.
Consistent with the approach, program faculty have taken to their responsibilities over the past 12 years. This tremendous effort reminded us of their willingness to give of themselves, for the betterment of the students and the program. In contrast to the organized distribution of coats was the flurry of warm greetings shared between classmates, coworkers and past clinical instructors. Many program graduates work locally and were our hospital-based clinical mentors; we have been blessed to be mentors to the students who followed us. Our interconnection showed. Then we took the stage together and it was powerful.
FM President Dustin Swanger’s welcome was affirming. The comments of Foundation Chair Del B. Salmon, Esq., were encouraging, and he acknowledged that the radiologic technology department is recognized as a successful and firmly established program that benefits FM, the students, and the community at large — all heartening testaments.
It was fitting that three of the four people who have been instrumental to the creation and success of the program were present. Vince Carelli, the original program director, was praised for what he started. Cindy Close (past program director), Karlyn LaBate (current program director), and Kullen Bailey (clinical coordinator), each played a role in the ceremony just as they have each been a part of the success of program graduates and current program participants.
Kullen’s history of the White Coat Ceremony enlightened us to the symbolic importance of the White Coat among healthcare professionals. Cindy shared the program’s history.
Karlyn’s keynote address was moving and encompassed far more than can be included here. While it filled us with pride to hear her speak of the number of graduates, the many modalities we now work in and the growing list of accolades FM students have earned at state and national professional conferences, of greatest importance to us was the emphasis on kindness, patient care and professionalism.
As students, we learned anatomy and physiology, physics, positioning and techniques, but most importantly we learned how to be caring, accountable professionals.
As student technologists, we were acutely aware of the human aspect of our future career. We would have the honor of caring for real people — and we were reminded that regardless of the amount of time we were able to spend with each patient, we would have the propensity to change lives. We were profoundly reminded of this at our White Coat Ceremony.
As we recited together “The Oath of the Health Professional,” a certain sense of contentment and fulfillment swept over us, aware that this is exactly where we belong.
Katrina Caringi R.T.(R)BD, CBDT & Allison Moody-Woodin R.T.(R) are graduates of FM’s rad tech class of 2009.