‘Baby Jackie’ enhances instruction for radiologic technology students

Roane State Radiologic Technology Program Director Dr. Julie Hall and student Alexandria Angel position “Baby Jackie” for an X-ray.
This newborn tips the scales at just over six pounds, has floppy loose joints that can rotate 360 degrees and never cries.

Welcome “Baby Jackie,” the newest addition to Roane State Community College’s educational family.

Baby Jackie resembles a plastic doll, but it’s formally called a newborn radiographic phantom. It has orange, translucent skin over a tiny rib cage and life-sized internal organs.

It also is the newest learning tool in Roane State’s Radiologic Technology Program.

Those who graduate from the 22-month, five-semester program become registered X-ray technologists, said Dr. Julie Hall, program director.

Baby Jackie was named in honor of Jacquelyn Wilson, the college’s dual studies coordinator who made application for the federal Perkins Grant that paid for the $8,000 doll. It’s billed as “the world’s first full-body phantom for neonatal radiography.”

Hall said she saw the doll in use during her role as an accreditation site visitor. That’s the person who makes sure other higher education institutions have the right stuff for teaching radiography. “I thought the phantom was awesome,” she said.

Baby Jackie teaches students how to correctly position and immobilize newborns so X-rays can be obtained with minimum radiation exposure. Hall said X-ray technologists are “the eyes of medicine,” and Baby Jackie helps them spot possible medical issues.

This version of the doll was custom-made to teach about meconium aspiration syndrome - a common ailment where infants have inhaled meconium, or a mishmash of bodily gunk that can accumulate in amniotic fluid.

X-rays of Baby Jackie can also reveal whether the gender-neutral doll has any bowel obstructions or intestinal gas, Hall said.

The first- and second-year students in Roane State’s Radiologic Technology program “love her,” Hall said of the doll.

“Having the radiographic doll is very educational in terms of being able to work with a newborn,” student Alexandria Angel said. “It’s lifelike because of its weight and flexibility.”

To learn more about the Radiologic Technology program, visit roanestate.edu/rdt.

Roane State is a two-year college providing transfer programs, career-preparation programs and continuing education. Founded in 1971, the college has campuses in Crossville, Harriman, Huntsville, Jamestown, Knoxville, LaFollette, Lenoir City, Oak Ridge and Wartburg.

For more information, visit roanestate.edu or call (865) 882-4554.

Remember, eligible adults can now attend Roane State tuition-free with the new Reconnect grant. Learn more at roanestate.edu/reconnect.