The healthcare industry in Northwest Arkansas is seeing an increasing number of students from the radiologic technology and respiratory therapy programs at Missouri Southern.

Radiology students recently began clinical rotations at Mercy Hospital in Rogers.

“We’ll rotate our entire senior class through the facility,” says Alan Schiska, director of the program. “It’s a large hospital, and there’s a lot of opportunity to see things they wouldn’t see closer to home. It also exposes them to possible career opportunities down that way.”

The respiratory therapy program has had a contract with the Rogers hospital for a number of years. What’s new, however, are new opportunities for students to perform clinical rotations at Willow Creek Women’s Hospital in Johnson, Ark., and Arkansas Children’s Northwest in Springdale.

“We’re very excited, because these places offer a unique experience for our respiratory therapy students,” says Janice Dunaway, director of clinical education. “Willow Creek is a women’s hospital, where we started (sending students) last fall. Arkansas Children’s is strictly a children’s hospital, and offers a pulmonary clinic, which will be unique for our students. We just signed a contract with them and will be starting (rotations) there next semester.”

Schiska says the opportunity for students to do clinical rotations outside of Joplin is good preparation for when they enter the workforce.