You did it! You got into the program and you should be very proud of yourself, because it's not easy! Now that you have read past your acceptance letter, you realize there is a LOT of stuff you need to get in order! Immunizations, CPR, uniform, etc. But have no fear, you can get it all done.
I was actually a wait-list student, and I did not get accepted into the program until 5 days before classes started! So talk about a time pinch! But if you stay organized and know what you need it's not that bad to gather this information.
Get a Physical ASAP!
Pick up the phone, call your doctor and schedule a physical as soon as possible. Getting that and your immunizations are the most time consuming, so getting them done sooner rather than later is key. Go through your past immunizations and see what you need. If you aren't sure, get another shot! You cannot go to clinical without these shots, so they are very important.
You will hate the terrible blue color that are the Massasoit Radiology scrubs by the end of two years. You can only get them at one place, which will be listed in acceptance packet. My suggestion is if you are strapped for cash, just buy ONE pair for first year. You are only in clinical Tues/Thurs the whole first year. (Except for winter break where you go 4 days a week for 2 weeks, but just do laundry a lot then!)
You only need one name tag, unless you always lose things. There is no reason to have two of them.
If you already have your CPR certification, then good for you! If not, you NEED it by the first day of clinical. Massasoit offers classes, as well as your local Red Cross. Don't delay, get it done. If you already have it, check the expiration date. CPR is only good for 2 years, then you need to take the class again. It's only 3 hours, and worth it so you don't miss clinical.
Know What You're Getting Into...
Most people think that Radiologic Technologists (RT's), just take picture of bones. However, that doesn't even tell half the story! RT's are involved in Operating Room procedures on a daily basis. OR Procedures range from vascular, orthopedic and cardiac. Picture an OR from the show Grey's Anatomy. That is where YOU will be!
RT's are also involved in Fluoroscopy procedures, which look at the GI tract, from mouth to anus. Using live action x-ray, the radiologist (Doctor) and you, can see the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine of your patient. Using a thick liquid called Barium allows us to visualize this. The barium can either be swallowed through the mouth, or introduced rectally, which is called a Barium Enema. And yes, YOU as the technologist administers the enema to the patient.
RT's are also involved in other exams involving the urethra or uterus of patients. Dye is injected and under fluoroscopy to look for strictures or other pathologies.
My first experience with clinical was frightening. BE's (Barium Enema's) were the first exam I ever saw. OK, I thought, this is not what I signed up for!!!! Over the next 8 hours I became more fascinated than ever about all that I was seeing. Overwhelmed would be a good word to describe the first day.
My first day of clinical for me, was exciting, although I was extremely nervous. I didn't know what to expect so I did not have any expectations. I was just so excited to begin the program. But I did realize quickly that there is more to Radiology than meets the eye!
It was overwhelming and I thought we just did bone work, no OR or flouro!
The program is very time consuming, so be prepared. The first year has a little more free time than the second year.
The first year you will have class Mon/Wed/Fri (not all day for the most part) and will be in clinical Tues/Thurs for 7.5 hours (either 8-330, 730-3 or whatever you clinical site says). Over winter break you will get a unique experience to work with the second year students at your site. You will go to clinical Mon-Thurs for 2 weeks during winter intercession. Take advantage of this! The second years have a lot of knowledge that may be valuable to you!
Summer intercession between first and second year is long, but necessary. You will go to clinical Mon-Thurs for 12 weeks out of the summer. The great thing about this is that it all starts making sense, and you begin to feel like a real tech!
Second year is fast, but a lot of time is involved. You are in clinical Mon/Wed/Fri for 7.5 hours and in class Tues/Thurs for at least 4-5 hours. Working can be hard, especially during that winter intercession, so make sure you have a good support system.
My tech took me to the OR right away which was great! She taught me a lot that day but the one thing she did say to me was that 'The next two years of your life regardless of your situation husband, boyfriend, etc. your social life will be VERY different..you will see them but your priority will be studying and it will be hard but it will definitely be worth it in the end!!!Good Luck!