School of Radiography: A Look Back at 50 Years

Ohio Valley Hospital’s School of Radiography has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 1963, at what was once known as Ohio Valley General Hospital. In the early years of the school, they relied on technology like x-ray tubes, dark rooms, and slates of glass for images to be developed on (Wondering what exactly an “x-ray tube” is? You can read more about them here. Dark rooms were also needed to develop the images, another time-consuming process.

So what was a typical day at the School of Radiography like for the students? The women who graduated in the late 60’s and early 70’s told us that on one level, it was just like what the students do now: their day would consist of classes, studying x-ray images and completing clinical requirements.

One big difference to the way the school was run back then: nuns ruled the roost! Back in the 1960’s, though it remained a non-sectarian, community hospital, the facility and subsequently the schools were run by nuns. The aspiring radiologic technologists worked closely with them. During clinical, Peggy Glessner, a 1967 graduate, recalls “sneaking food during her shifts when the nuns were not paying attention.”

Food was a big part of every growing student’s day. The students would take a break from studying to go get a free lunch in the hospital cafeteria, where one of the nuns would monitor food the students were placing on their trays. If they didn’t have enough food on their plates, the nun would “highly suggest” they get more!

The nuns taught the students about radiography, but more importantly, they taught them how to care for and help their patients. “I always tried to remember something personal about each of my patients,” recalled Vicky Leone, 1976 graduate. Vicky’s passion both at school and in her career was to be as helpful as she could for her patients. Vicky worked hard to get to know them on a personal level, which is something, as a community hospital, that we still try to do for all of our patients today.

Another 1970’s graduate, Donna Kosaryzc, agreed. “I liked the patient contact. I really enjoyed helping the patients.” Donna graduated from the School of Radiography is 1970. Upon graduation, Donna worked for a short time in New Jersey and then returned to work at Ohio Valley Hospital in 1974. Donna retired from the hospital in 2013, but continues to be involved with the school in the form of a clinical instructor one day a week. Donna is the sister-in-law of Lydia Kosaryzc, who was one of the first three students to graduate from our School of Radiography in 1965.

Radiological Technology has advanced greatly since the School of Radiography’s beginning; however the importance of caring for our patients remains the same. Stay tuned for a blog about how students of today view the school and the future of technology in their program!


Left to Right: Donna Kosaryzc (1970's graduate), Vicky Leone (1976 graduate), and Peggy Glessner (1967 graduate).
Left to Right: Donna Kosaryzc (1970’s graduate), Vicky Leone (1976 graduate), and Peggy Glessner (1967 graduate).