Student Perspective
A New Student's Guide
to the Rad Tech Program

Some Closing Words...

The program is intense, but it is also fun! You meet a lot of great people during your journey. You will also meet people that you may not like, but that is a common theme in life. I just have a few closing things to say:

Respect Your Techs!

I cannot stress this enough. The technologists that your work with are where you get 90% of your knowledge and positioning skills! The main complaint from techs that make them less than enthused to work with you is when a student thinks they know more than the tech. Guess what? YOU DON'T! There is a reason why there is an R.T. after their name and not yours!

Never tell a tech what to do, and NEVER critique their films. It's just not your place. You may ask them questions on why that is a good x-ray and why that one isn't, but stay away from judging them yourself. You don't know enough to do that yet.

No matter what a tech asks you to do, DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!! If you are not comped on it say, I would love to give it a try as long as you stay by my side to make sure that I am doing everything properly. When a tech hears a student say that I can't do that or I already comped on that, what they actually hear is I don't feel like doing it.

As you go to your clinical's you're going to see a lot of different techs with a lot of different ways of doing things. Learn something from every one of them. Even if it's a negative thing that a tech does, learn how to not do that. Each technologist that I've met has had some sort of hidden trick that the others don't do. The more of these tricks that you pick up, the better off you'll be.

One thing I've learned as far as their (techs) willingness to teach you these tricks is how well they think you are listening. They don't like it if, as they are giving you one of their tricks, you say, "oh yeah I know that already." Let them tell you what they know because if you cut them off and tell them that you know already, they won't want to help you with the next thing that comes along. The more you listen, the more they'll want to teach. This all makes for a good learning environment and it will make you that much better at your job.

Emulate the best techs at your site. Adapt to their work ethic, techniques, etc... I try to do that even now as a recent graduate.

Stay Focused!

The program can, at times, seem like it is dragggggiiinnnng! Make sure at these times you try and stay focused and keep your eye on the prize! Make sure you are continuing to stay organized with classwork that is due and tests that need to be studied for. It can get very easy to slack off, especially if you have been doing well. However, it is in your best interest to try 100% on every test, because every test question is a possible registry question!

Stay on top of your studying, whether it's in the classroom or at clinical. The workload will overwhelm you if you fall behind or blow-off studies.

Good Luck

Good luck to you in the program and on the registry. Make sure you represent this profession to the best of your abilities and treat every patient and co-worker with respect. Be proud of the R.T.(R) behind your name, and if you are interested go on and get a (CT) or (MR) as well! Whatever you decide just remember you are part of a healthcare team that is there for the PATIENT, so always take the most diagnostic images you can and follow the concept of ALARA for every patient. Now..go take some X-Rays!!!!

Some Extra Quotes For You...

Here are some extra quotes to ponder before you go...

I can't remember a major mess up but one thing I can tell you is that when you are in your clinical location make sure you listen to all the staff techs, instructors, doctors, etc, because you will be continually learning a great deal that will be a great foundation as you continue on.

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. Write out study guides and go over them again and again. Try to leave a little time to hang out with friends.

I would have to tell incoming students that although it seems like a long 2 years it does go by in a blink of an eye, and that you are one of the very lucky applicants to be chosen in an extremely desired career and to be grateful you have been chosen to have this experience. Throughout this journey you will grow as a person, learn the skills to become an excellent caregiver, and look around, some of the faces you see will be some of your best friends long after the program is over.

If I could tell them one thing, it would be to take advantage of the clinical time and position as many patients as you can, even if you've done it a hundred times there is something you can learn from every single patient. NO two patients are alike, there is something to be learned on every chest xray.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, speak up, and try to do different exams. Know your anatomy!!

Do as much as you can at clinical to be as ready as you can be when you graduate. The more you do as a student, the more confident and competent you will be as a tech.

Don't try to fit in with the tech's...that's a dynamic you shouldn't be involved in. Do your best and get involved in every exam/procedure that you can. Just because your on portables/O.R. and there's nothing going on in those areas, doesn't mean there's nothing going on in the entire x-ray dept. Theres' always an exam/procedure going on...get involved, even if it means just observing, because you will take away something from every experience.