Today for our Faculty Spotlight story we’re sitting down with Jufauri Ely, Program Director/Instructor for Radiologic Technology (RAD), and Faculty Representative for Medical Imaging Programs, to learn more about the many programs related to Radiology that Schoolcraft College has recently added and will be taught in the new Health Sciences Center.
Schoolcraft College: Hello, Jufauri! Please tell us a little about your background and what led you to Schoolcraft College.
Jufauri Ely: I have been a registered radiographer for over 21 years with history working as a Technologist, Lead Technologist, Manager of Diagnostic Imaging and currently an educator. I hold an Associate Degree in Applied Science Radiology from Ferris State University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Administration from Madonna University, and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. It was essential for me to find a position that helped students know their role as a health professional and how they could positively improve the lives of patients.
I wanted to work with Schoolcraft College specifically because they were responsive to the vast need for medical imaging professionals. They have created new in-demand occupational programs, designed a state-of-the-art imaging facility, and secured the latest equipment in diagnostic imaging. When the students complete these programs, they will find gainful employment and earn excellent salaries in a short period of time.
Schoolcraft College: What inspired you to become a certified radiologic technologist?
Jufauri Ely: I always wanted to be a scientist. When I was 16 I broke my thumb and went to Children’s Hospital to get it diagnosed and set. I thought it was interesting watching the doctors and technologists work, and I thought it would be a great job with two years of school and an associate degree. I received my degree and kept going for nine more years because medical imaging is an exciting field!
Schoolcraft College: Please give a high-level description of what will be taught and what students will learn.
Jufauri Ely: Schoolcraft College has added some of the most in-demand imaging programs in existence. We currently have a Radiologic Technology Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree and a Diagnostic Medical Sonography AAS degree, which prepare students to use specialized equipment to create diagnostic images of the internal structures of the human body. Though these technologies are quite different, they both can provide information to a radiologist to interpret. Through interpretation we find pathology, function and information that we can use to the patient’s benefit.
We also offer post-primary certifications in Mammography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and Computed Tomography (CT). These programs allow students to further their education while gaining a new skill. Students will learn how to create 2D and 3D images in varying anatomical planes. They may be imaging cross-sectional anatomy or helping to identify a tumor.
Imaging technologists provide essential services to the community. We make the invisible visible, while being on the front lines. We are there prior to the diagnosis and we are involved in a multitude of health areas for the well-being of patients. We are part of the health team participating where there are injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and for injury prevention and generalized pain.
Schoolcraft College: Please tell us about some of the equipment.
Jufauri Ely: Schoolcraft College is providing advanced facilities, labs and equipment that are the standard in any major hospital. We will have the latest digital X-ray equipment and sonography machines. We also will be housed in a brand-new facility that allows for collaboration group work and real-world experiences. Other occupational health programs, such as Nursing, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Surgical Technology, also will be housed in the Health Sciences Center. This essentially allows the health team to work together as a unit.
Schoolcraft College: What are some of the careers that students enter after leaving your program? How does this program help in their career path?
Jufauri Ely: Upon completion of the program, students will become Radiographers, Sonographers, Mammographers, CT/MRI Technologists, Medical Imaging applications specialist or technical sales representatives. There are a plethora of paths that one can take in this field. We ensure that the imaging programs have rigor, work experiences, and a positive learning environment. We meet with hospital system administrators to build relationships and affiliation agreements. We help students to identify what types of positions they want, and we track their success at finding related employment.
Schoolcraft College: What do you want people to know most about your program? Are there any misconceptions people might have that you’d like to address?
Jufauri Ely: Medical imaging programs are high in demand because of the employment and salary opportunities. With the employment outlook being positive and median salary close to $60,000, it’s hard to find anything comparable.
One misconception is that these programs are easier to complete than other health programs. They require tons of commitment and empathy, and a passion for helping others. Medical imaging professionals work in surgical areas and perform exams after traumatic events. We do a lot more and see a lot more than most people realize.
Schoolcraft College: What advice might you give students who are interested in the medical imaging programs?
Jufauri Ely: You should enjoy technology, work to excel in math, anatomy, physiology and have a strong interest in science. The program is limited by our clinical availability, so if you are interested, first work with a Schoolcraft advisor. You can also work on the prerequisite classes and make sure you keep your grade point average up to become enrolled in the program.
Learn more about the Medical Imaging programs at Schoolcraft College.