Nov. 5, 2020, 4 p.m.
Janelle Murphy, LLCC Radiography Program Director
Members in Attendance
Cynthia Maskey, LLCC, Dean, Health Professions Department; Richard Hayes, LLCC, Academic Advisor; Sherri McLaughlin, Jacksonville High School Guidance Counselor; Dr. Curt Settlemoir, Clinical Radiologists, SC, Medical Advisor; Marjorie King, Director of Imaging, Memorial Medical Center; Kurt Brauer, Memorial Medical Center, Inpatient Imaging Manager; Jen Lewis, St. Francis Hospital, Imaging Manager; Anna Miller, Memorial Medical Center, CI; Rebecca Weakley, MMC, Express Cares, CI; Shanna Wall, St. John’s Hospital, CI; Holly Krepel, Taylorville Memorial Hospital, CI; Shannon Meier, St. Francis Hospital, CI; Chad Nickelson, OCI, CI; Kayla Boone, Passavant Area Hospital, CI; Meghan Scheer, Passavant Area Hospital, Interim CI; Janelle Murphy, LLCC Radiography Program Director; Andy Harmon, LLCC Radiography Program Faculty and Clinical Coordinator; Leah Heinemann, LLCC Radiography Program Lab Assistant
Vern Lindquist, LLCC Vice-President of Academic Services; Karen Sanders, LLCC Foundation, Executive Director; Patti Brown, Director of Imaging, Passavant Area Hospital; Doug Ferrill, Taylorville Memorial Hospital, Radiology Manager; Joanne VanLeer, Director of Imaging, St. John’s Hospital; Trinity Flowers, Hillsboro Area Hospital, Imaging Supervisor; Jane Johnson, Hillsboro Hospital, CI; Emily Burg, St. John’s Hospital, CI
- Zoom gallery view introductions
- Overview of current students
- Program effectiveness data
- JRCERT standards revision effective 2021
- Employer and graduate survey results
- Assessment data 2018-2019
- Annual review of program mission statement
- Open forum
- In light of this being a Zoom meeting, Janelle introduced everyone with their name and role.
2. Overview of Current Students
- (Janelle) There are currently 14 1st year students and 13 students in the 2nd year cohort.
- First Years, Class of 2022
- Each June the program starts with 16 students, the 1st year class lost 2 students. One student was dropped in the 1st semester for the grade in RAD 103. The second student dropped near the start of the 2nd semester for personal issues. The 2nd student would like to reapply for the class in 2021.
- We have at least one 1st year student placed at each of our clinical sites, except for St. Francis Hospital. Second Years, Class of 2021
- The 2nd year class has lost 3 students. Of the three, one student was dropped for failing RAD 104 in the 2nd semester. The other two dropped for personal reasons; one just at the end of the 1st semester and the other at the end of the 4th semester. The reason the student dropped in the 4th semester was Covid-19 related.
- We have at least one 2nd year student placed at each of our clinical sites, except for Hillsboro Area Hospital.
- The application period is currently open for the class that will start in June 2021. Any student who meets the program’s admission requirements can apply until Friday, Jan. 29, 2020 by 5 p.m.
- First Years, Class of 2022
3. Program Effectiveness Data
- (Janelle) The LLCC Radiography program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). The program is required to complete an Annual Report for the JRCERT as an aspect of maintaining accreditation. The 2019 Annual Report was completed and submitted in August 20120 There are 3 pieces of information that are required as data indicating our program’s effectiveness; Credentialing Exam Pass Rate, Program Completion Rate, and Job Placement Rate. This information, as well as almost anything else you’d like to know about our program, can be found on LLCC’s Radiography webpage. The data submitted is as follows:
- ARRT Credentialing Exam Pass Rate – The 5-year average for graduates passing the ARRT exam on the 1st attempt is 100%. The timeframe reported to the JRCERT, per their mandate, is 2015-2019. This information was well received by the attendees and there were no additional comments brought forth for discussion.
- Program Completion Rate (Attrition) – The 5-year average for the program’s annual completion rate is 70%, which is increased by 3.33% from last year. The timeframe reported to the JRCERT, per their mandate, is 2015-2019. The benchmark set by the program is a 75% completion rate, but we continue to fall below the benchmark. This is a recognized area of concern for the program.
- The program has had an action plan in place to improve its retention rates for quite some time. We recently instituted a new item and desire feedback on another item. Strategic pieces of the action plan include:
- Change to a Selective Admission process, instituted in 2014
- Student Success Plan, instituted in January 2015
- Mid-Semester Student Progress Meetings, instituted 2015
- Easier access to positioning lab with afterhours and weekend availability and the option to sit in on other lab sessions
- Change to Clinical Final exam rules, effective June 2018. Students previously were expected to pass the clinical final exam with a score of 80% or higher. This wasn’t a rule in any of the non-clinical courses, so the program decided to drop this requirement since clinical finals aren’t felt to have any greater importance over the final exam in any of the other required lab courses. Since 2015, there have been 6 students fail from the program due to not passing the clinical final exam. We feel this change should help with this issue; however, the student will still have to pass the clinical course with an overall score of 80% or higher. Since its effective date, 3 students were able to pass a clinical course even though they had not received a score of 80 or higher on the clinical final exam.
- Revision of the positioning lab competency form. Previously, the patient input portion of the lab comp sheet required the student to score a 100% on patient input or if anything was missed the highest score a student could get for a comp grade was 80%. Effective with this fall semester, we changed the patient input portion to replicate the scoring of the actual exams and so this column is now averaged in with the average of the 8 exam columns. Since 2015, we have had 6 students fail from the program for their comp scores. We feel this should help with the issue of students who are failing from the program due to RAD 103, 104, or 105 grades by allowing them to get a higher score on the individual lab comps. Since its effective date of fall 2018, 16 students, who would have received a base score of 80 for this section, were able to score higher on the comp. The average comp score for those 16 students was 91%.
- Change to RAD 103 averaged lab competency score. Previously, for all three positioning courses; RAD 103, 104, and 105, the average of all comps in that semester needed to average to 80 or higher. Effective, summer 2019, the averaged comp score for RAD 103 was lowered to 75 or higher. The program made this change because more students are lost in the first semester due to the lab comp scores than any other factor. As the students become more accustomed to lab comps, their scores always increase by RAD 104 and 105. We feel if we can make it a little easier for that first semester then more student will stay in the program. Since implementation, two students were able to pass RAD 103 who previously would not have.
- Proposed change to the Selective Admission Point System form. The program revised the current point system form to include higher points given to potential students who have a previous history of clinical experience. Currently, 0.5 points are given to anyone who is a CNA with certification within the last 5 years or with a current work history. Students who make it into the program with CNA experience always do better clinically and with the patient care courses. The program increased the point for CNA to 1.0 and included CMAs and Radiography Tech Assistants. We also included Paramedics in the extra 1-point group. This change was effective spring of 2019.
- A new point of discussion for improving attrition rates was to look at clinical evaluation scores. Currently, all students must pass their mid-semester clinical evaluation and their end of semester evaluation with an average score of 80% or higher. Another factor is that clinical evaluations are very subjective and vary greatly from tech to tech, but also from clinical site to clinical site. Looking back to 2015, the program has lost 6 students total to poor evaluation scores. Of those 6, 5 students were dropped for failing the evaluations in the first clinical semester. The program wanted to propose staggering the clinical evaluation scores per advancement in the clinical courses. The average score for RAD 100 would need to be 70% or higher, for RAD 125 it would need to be 75% or higher, and then once the student starts their 3rd semester of clinical education they would need an 80% or higher on the averaged evaluation scores. The final grade for all clinical courses is 50% for clinical evaluation scores and 50% for the clinical final exam. Regardless of the final score needed on the evaluation, the student still needs to pass the course with an 80% or higher. Marjorie King asked what the other programs use as pass rates. Cynthia indicated that nursing uses a 78% pass rate and said that most of the HLPR programs use between 75-80% course pass rates. Rebecca Weakley mentioned that she felt that the evaluation questions themselves did not seem to apply well to 1st year students. She feels that we should have evaluation questions specific to 1st year students and likewise for 2nd year students. Janelle mentioned that in the evaluation sections, most of them do start with the caveat of “Based on the level of education” to help differentiate between the skills expected of a 1st year vs 2nd year student. The consensus of the attendees was to form a committee to review and revise the current clinical evaluation form. Volunteers for the committee were Rebecca Weakley and Anna Miller. Any proposed changes will be shared with all the clinical instructors for approval prior to implementation. Implementation would take effect with the summer semester of 2021.
- Janelle shared with the group that issues with retention plague many programs. We hear this from the REM meetings we attend as well as at other conferences. Janelle gathered information from the JRCERT website regarding annual retention rates. In comparing similar, associate-degree programs in Illinois, LLCC had the 8th highest retention rate for 2019. Everyone’s rates seem to fluctuate each year. For instance, Harper College has the highest rate this year, but in 2018 they were at 76%. In 2018, LLCC was listed as 3rd out of the 13 listed colleges. Marjorie King asked if we could speculate on reason for this. It seems to depend on what the demographics of each class are; such as, the need to work more than 20 hours and/or the number and ages of children at home, etc.
- Additionally, Janelle shared ARRT registry exam results with the group dating back to 2014. The table demonstrates how the LLCC students’ results compare with all students taking the registry exam. We feel that these results demonstrate that the program is doing a good job educating the students and providing strong candidates for the registry exam and for employers. Janelle mentioned that it will be interesting to see how the 2020 results play out due to all the issues with Covid and many colleges moving to the virtual classroom.
- All the information regarding program retention rate with the addition to the action plan was well received by the attendees and there were no additional suggestions or comments brought forth for discussion. Janelle asked all attendees to continue to think about ways to improve the program’s retention rate. She also mentioned that the changes seem to be making a difference based on the results provided.
- Job Placement Rate - The 5-year average for the program’s job placement rate for those graduates seeking active employment within 6 months is 100%. The timeframe reported to the JRCERT, per their mandate, is 2015-2019. The employers who hired our Class of 2020 graduates in some capacity were Memorial Medical Center (IR, Koke Mill and ExpressCares, and diagnostic imaging), St. John’s Hospital (CT, Surgery, and Cath Lab), Passavant Area Hospital (Imaging and CT), and Springfield Clinic (Imaging). This class was extremely affected by Covid. During their final semester, the students never returned to campus from spring break starting March 18. They also did not return to clinical. We turned to asynchronous courses with a combination of Zoom class and narrated PowerPoint lectures. We were able to complete everyone’s ARRT clinical competency requirements by the end of the semester, except for one student. This student still needed to complete a few exam competencies as well as complete a required surgical rotation. This student completed everything in July 2020. The closing of the ARRT created additional havoc for this class. Many that had their registry exam scheduled had their dates cancelled and rescheduled. Those who had not submitted their applications yet found themselves in the backlog of applications the ARRT was trying to catch up on. The last student from this class was finally able to take the exam in September. All but one of these students had jobs lined up prior to graduating. Out of 10 students with jobs, only 3 of them were able to start in May/June as planned. Due to hiring freezes and staff furloughs brought about by Covid, the other 7 students were finally able to start their jobs in July/August. This information was well received by the attendees and there were no additional comments brought forth for discussion.
4. JRCERT Standards Revision 2021
- (Janelle) The JRCERT publishes six Standards that are required for program accreditation. We currently operate under the 2014 Standards with the new revision becoming effective January 1, 2021. The program shared the revisions with everyone but highlighted the few changes that might impact the program. The six standard titles were revised and are as follows: Standard One – Accountability, Fair Practices, and Public Information, Standard Two – Institutional Commitment and Resources, Standard Three – Faculty and Staff, Standard Four – Curriculum and Academic Practices, Standard Five – Health and Safety, and Standard Six – Programmatic Effectiveness and Assessment. The change to Standard 5 is under 5.4: The program assures that medical imaging procedures are performed under the appropriate supervision of a qualified radiographer. The last sentence of this standard states “Students must be directly supervised during surgical and mobile procedures regardless of the level of competency.” This last sentence is a new addition to the standards but should not pose a problem with the clinical sites. There were two changes to Standard 6. Standard 6.1 changes the way programs calculate attrition rate. Effective January 2021, we will not include students who withdraw from the program for nonacademic reasons in the attrition calculation. When comparing the effect this change would have on our current 5-year average for retention, we would change from a 70% rate to an 81% rate. Standard 6.3 is a change in program goals related to clinical competency, communication, and critical thinking. Historically, there has been a 4th goal of professionalism. The JRCERT is removing professionalism as a required goal. In discussion with the committee, it was determined that LLCC will continue to have “exemplify professionalism” as one of our program goals.
5. Employer & Graduate Survey Results
- (Janelle) The program waits until about 6 months post-graduation to send surveys to the graduates and employers that we know hired our graduates. Based on the delays in the graduates starting their jobs in May/June as expected, the graduate and employer survey results will be delayed until February 2021. We did secure the graduate and employer results for the 3 graduates who started their job on time, and they will be included in the results posted in February. This information was well received by the attendees and there were no additional comments brought forth for discussion.
6. June 2019-May 2020 Assessment Data
- (Janelle) The June 2019-May 2020 Assessment Plan was presented to everyone. This plan marks the second cycle of a new 3-year cycle of assessment. The measurement tools used to correlate the data are various questions on Clinical Evaluations, Clinical Final exams, written papers, oral presentations, and lab competencies, E*Value time tracking, E*Value procedures tracking reports, skills labs, and embedded test questions. The attendees were provided with a listing of which courses are used to assess each program goal along with the results of that measurement. The Program Goals and Outcomes are as follows:
- Program Goal #1, Students will demonstrate a firm foundation for the profession and the imaging processes considering patient safety and patient interactions. Goal #1 Outcomes; 1) Students will demonstrate the value of time, distance, and shielding in relation to radiation protection, 2) Students will summarize the cycle of infection and how it correlates to patient safety, and 3) Students will summarize the interactions between x-ray photons and matter.
- Program Goal #2, Students will develop competency in the clinical environment. Goal #2 Outcomes; 1) Students will demonstrate appropriate patient care skills, 2) Students will demonstrate accuracy in radiographic procedures; specifically, for positioning, technique, and image evaluation, and 3) Students will demonstrate accuracy in radiographic procedures; specifically, for positioning, technique, and image evaluation.
- Program Goal #3, Students will develop critical thinking skills. Goal #3 Outcomes; 1) Students will adapt standard procedures to non-routine cases, and 2) Students will analyze images for diagnostic quality.
- Program Goal #4, Students will demonstrate communication skills. Goal #4 Outcomes; 1) Students will demonstrate written communication, and 2) Students will demonstrate oral communication.
- Program Goal #5, Students will exemplify professionalism. Goal #5 Outcomes; 1) Students will demonstrate on-the-job responsibility, 2) Students will identify with the importance of professional organizations and continuing education, and 3) Students will identify with the importance of professional organizations. The assessment data was sent to all the committee members in the email invite and they were asked to review the information prior to the meeting. Of the 35 benchmarks assessed, 4 of them were not met so the discussion was focused on those benchmarks.
- Program Goal #1 – RAD 102 Patient Care; Benchmark: 80% of the students will pass setting up a sterile tray on the first attempt. Analysis: 10 out of 15 students were able to correctly set up a sterile tray on the first attempt, or 66.7% The area that caused most students difficulty was self-gloving without contamination. In the next cycle, more practice time will be provided for this skill and the instructor will carefully observe each student’s technique and provide feedback prior to the formal skills demonstration. There was no additional discussion of this result.
- Program Goal #3 – RAD 102 Patient Care; Benchmark: 80% of the students will receive a passing score on patient transfer skill testing on the first attempt. Analysis:12 out of 16 students were able to pass transfer skills testing on the first attempt, or 75%. This does not meet the benchmark. Cart transfers proved more difficult for students than wheelchair transfers, with most of the failures resulting from not locking the wheels. Plan to devote more class time toward practicing these transfers in the next cycle. As part of the discussion of this result, Marjorie King asked if there was any way that the clinical sites could assist with the education and training. Unfortunately, this course is offered in the first summer semester prior to the student’s starting their clinical education.
- Program Goal #5 – RAD 295 Career Development; Benchmark: 80% of the students will receive an average score of >85% on their written resume. Analysis: Five of the eleven students failed to score an 85 or higher on the resume and cover letter. Only 2 students received an A, 4 students received a B, 3 students received a C, and the other 2 students received a D. There was no change in the preparation of the resume & cover letter from last year. What was noted as different was the lack of students asking the instructor to review their final product before submitting it. For the next cohort, will strongly advise submitting a rough draft prior to submission for final grading. Incidentally, many students have asked the instructor to review their resumes once they have made the final suggestions found on their grading sheet. There was no additional discussion of this result.
- Program Goal #5 – RAD 295 Career Development; Benchmark: Average pass rate of 90% on embedded test questions related to radiological professional organizations. Analysis: Thirteen test questions were related to identifying the specific radiology professional organization and its primary function. These questions were answered with 89% accuracy. One question from the previous cycle was rejected and not used for assessment this cycle. Of the 13 questions; 6 questions were answered with 100% accuracy. The two questions with the lowest score were answered with 64% accuracy. One was related to the Radiation Health and Safety Act and the role of the ASRT. The other was related to responsibilities of the ARRT. These questions were different than those missed by the last cohort so with no clear content issue other than distinguishing duties of the ASRT and ARRT, will increase lecture and review of ASRT and ARRT specifically. There was no additional discussion of this result.
- Janelle asked for any additional comments and suggestions and stressed the value of input from the committee on assessment. The group was comfortable with the information that was provided to them. No additional comments were expressed at this time. They were asked to continue to think about the program’s assessment measures and to provide ideas and feedback to Janelle at any time.
7. Annual Review of Mission Statement
- (Janelle) All attendees were provided a copy of the current program’s Mission Statement and asked to review it. There were no recommendations for change brought forth.
- Janelle and Andy are this year’s co-chairs for the ISSRT’s National Radiologic Technology Week. The week runs from 11/8/2020 – 11/14/2020. They let everyone know about the daily activities scheduled on www.issrt.org for that week.
- The program would like to thank and recognize Passavant Memorial Hospital for the gift of an OEC c-arm. Additionally, Memorial Medical Center has provided the Sonography program with a Phillips sonography unit and was helpful in securing a new unit from Samsung. The Samsung unit is still pending currently.
- LLCC started a certificate degree Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. The first class started in August and has 3 students in the program.
9. Open Forum
- (All) No comments were brought forward for discussion.
- The Advisory Committee meeting concluded at 5 p.m.