Behind the Scenes: “Life as a Radiologic Technologist”

Mohave Wire

Rad tech images

Ever wonder what students with x-ray vision are up to 4-5 days a week?

Students in the radiology field here on the MCC Bullhead City campus and in our tri-state hospitals are committed to putting in 40+ hours a week, depending on the semester schedule and outside duties. This 2 year program involves roughly 1,900 hours of clinical education; students rotate different hospitals through Bullhead City, Kingman, Parker, and Lake Havasu.

Before entry into the program, shots, a fingerprint clearance card, background/drug test, and a mandatory fee is required to save your seat.  Setting aside money before applying to this program would have been beneficial for me if I would have looked into things earlier.

Some people might apply and not realize how much they may need or have to spend before applying and trying to save their spot in class.  First semester is one of the most expensive, and saving money ($1,000 to $1,500) would have been a smart idea for myself at the time; books cost me &800-$1,000, but it depends on what your director and teachers will have you order.

You will have to put out money for your own gas when traveling to your clinical site and lunch depending on the facility. I work 13 hours a week while living with one of my parents. Budgeting is a must if you choose not to work a lot, or have little or no financial help.

A few tips for budgeting in this program would be to participate in your class fundraisers, make your own lunches, carpool, and find the best websites for books.  Clinical hours are how students receive constant repetitive “On the Job” skills.  Participating in these mandatory hours is great for radiology students because they will be prepared for the field when it’s time to find a job. This field allows a person to cross train or venture into further modalities; other modalities include:

Computer Tomography

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Ultrasound

Radiologist Assistant

Nuclear Medicine

And the list goes on!

This field allows people to be prepared for their job because bones in the body always stay the same! Since each patient has different medical problems, and body habits, that’s what makes the job challenging.  If you’re looking to be perfect, you may want to reconsider rad tech! Rad tech leaves room for lots of improvement.  Rad techs have to hope machine equipment does its job, patients can hold position, etc.  Confidence is key in this profession, but don’t let that stop you from applying!

As a student in the program, I have been finding myself along the way.  Personally, confidence has been hard to develop. I’ve shed some tears and contradicted my first instinct, but I’m still here and trying my best.

A lot of people let the medical profession scare them. I was one of those people. Originally, I was planning to apply for nursing school, but scared myself and decided radiology was a better fit. I’ve realized that no matter what field you’re in, you’re going to make mistakes. As long as you know you can learn from them in the field you choose, you will only get better. The rad tech life involves:

Classroom Time

Clinical Time

Outside Job if Able

Studying

Tutoring if Needed

Organizing your time in this program will help you stay on top! First semester was brutal for me because my thoughts were out of order. I didn’t want to go into second semester unorganized, so I turned to others for advice. The tips I used spared me from a few emotional meltdowns.

Working while attending this program is hard because you will feel like you never have enough time. If you have to work while being in this program, set a few hours aside at least once a week for yourself. Now, as for having kids in the program, it’s very hard from what I’ve been told, but doable. Future applicants may have concerns about pregnancy while being in a program that involves radiation. A dosimeter badge “Radiation Level Reader” is provided for the student’s pregnancy as long as the student declares to the program that they are pregnant. All other questions can be answered by the radiology department on the Bullhead City campus or students in the program.

 

Tips From The Rad Life,

Antonina Martorano

Bullhead City Campus Student Blogger

Amartorano1627@students.mohave.edu

 

Radiology Department Contact Information

Richard Crabb

Director, Radiologic Technology

Office (#) 928-704-4391

rcrabb@mohave.edu