Clinical Ed Checklist for Radiologic Technologist Students
By Cindy Mehallow | Monster Contributing Writer
If you’re studying to be a radiologic technologist, you know that working in a clinical setting will be an integral part of your education. Such experience helps solidify your clinical skills, build professional contacts and prepare you for the working world. How can you get the most out of this critical learning experience? Clinical coordinators at three radiologic technology programs have these suggestions.
1. Understand Expectations
Know what the instructors expect. Clinical instructors at Los Angeles City College (LACC) prepare rad tech students for clinical education with an orientation class and a briefing session. Use opportunities such as these to question instructors directly before starting the job, suggests Ed Vasquez, RT, chair of the college’s radiologic technology program.
2. Treat Clinical Ed Like a Job
Act like an employee, not a student. “We tell our students that they are there to work, and need to work right alongside employees,” says Elizabeth Greer, BS, RT, clinical coordinator of the radiologic sciences program at the University of New Mexico. That means calling in when you’re sick, presenting a doctor’s note for absences, clocking in and out, counting your work hours, and attending staff in-service sessions.
3. Vive la Différence
While rotating through designated clinical education sites, observe the different clinical settings, as well as the variety of examinations, radiologic equipment and protocols. At the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) School of Allied Health Professions, students even complete a rural rotation, says Connie Mitchell, MA, RT(CT), assistant professor of radiography and program director for the university’s Division of Radiation Science Technology Education.
4. Assess the Patients and Pace
Do you like walky-talky (i.e., ambulatory) patients? Or do you get a rush from the intensity of trauma patients, following them from the ER to the OR to intensive care? Do you like a high patient volume or prefer a slower pace? Now is this chance to see what you prefer.