The First Day!
Cue scary music.......The first day has arrived! Don't be scared, be happy! And don't worry that you have no idea what to expect..no one else does either! Basically the first day is a lot of going over the student handbook, policies, terms of conduct, etc. No real learning (as far as radiology) happens that first day. However, that first day does pretty much give you an overview of the whole program, so..GO!
Dedicate 85% of your time to the program. Study hard. It is not easy. Just remember that everyone before you had to go through the same thing.
Pretty much everything you need to know about the program, and any forms you may need is in the student handbook. It outlines exactly what is expected of you, both clinically and academically, as well as a code of conduct. Most of the information is common sense, but nonetheless, be sure to listen.
The picture above is the bible for radiologic technologists! Merrill's outlines pretty much every procedure you will do as an RT. It is three (3) volumes of pure fun! It is a MUST. You may be able to skimp on some other textbooks, but if you only buy one book it has to be this one! Doctor's can't go without Gray's Anatomy and Rad Tech's can't go without Merrill's!
Merrill's was absolutely the best, but also learning the way some techs do things so differently and come up with the same results [as the book]
Other books such as Buschong, Carlton and Wallace (all have to do with radiation science/exposure techniques) are also good investments. Especially if you need to read more about a concept to understand it. We do get powerpoints passed out in class, but they are only notes, and do not explain everything.
Take it all in....
Breath easy..take it all in. The first day seems overwhelming, but the information is always accessible if you didn't understand it as they went through it. Each student gets a handbook, and the teachers are always willing to answer questions.
Everyone learns differently and only you know your recipe for success. A lot of information is presented to you, so make sure you can handle it. Here are some tips from past students:
See one, do one, teach one .... it really works. Copying notes over and highlighting particular information helps.
Make flash cards or write out notes and bring them with you everywhere - to clinical, kids soccer games, etc. Reviewing a little bit throughout the day helps alot - you don't have to study all at once.
I used to tape record Nancy's lectures and listen to them on the way to clinical.
Know all the bones of the body as soon as you know your accepted to the program. Don't assume you know them, know them. This will save you a lot of time that you can concentrate somewhere else.