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Points to Think About When Considering a Career in Radiography
- Full-Time Commitment: Involvement in the program requires a full-time commitment. Keep in mind that there will be many demands on your time. Working too many hours and excessive outside commitments take their toll quickly on radiography students.
- Impact on others: The significant others in your life must understand and accept the extent of your involvement in studies and class and clinical attendance. This may mean less time for recreation and other activities. However, the two years will go by very quickly.
- Costs: While an associate degree is not very expensive, there are other costs in addition to tuition and fees such as textbooks, clinical uniforms, transportation, and other supply costs. Consult with the A-B Tech financial aid office for assistance if necessary. There are also many scholarship opportunities through the Foundation Office.
- Program Challenges: While radiography is not extremely difficult to learn, there is an immense amount to learn. The volume of information that must be learned and retained is considerable. If you meet the prerequisites for admission to the program, there is no academic reason you should not succeed. The determining factors in your success will be your commitment to studying and practicing, initiative, motivation, and management of your time and personal matters.
- Study Habits: This program is challenging. Old study habits may not work. You will probably find there is so much to learn and remember from one semester to the next that your study habits will need to be modified. This is especially true because of the technical material you need to remember compared to other general education type courses. However, if you have been a committed and successful college student in the past, you should be able to succeed in this program. A-B Tech offers student academic counseling.
- Teaching/Learning Methods: The program uses several different teaching methods to assist you in learning. Classroom presentations, lab practice, on-line assignments, workbooks, audio-visuals, and written assignments are all part of your learning experience. By committing the time and effort, you will be able to master the art and science of medical radiography.
- Clinical: Clinical education is the most important component of learning medical radiography. This involves many hours per week at the clinical sites performing radiography as a learner. Clinical education is fascinating, exciting, challenging, and very hard physical and mental work.
- Lifelong Learning: A career in radiography requires commitment to lifelong learning. The profession changes constantly, which is also a part of what makes it so interesting. Keep in mind that continuing education is mandatory for renewing your professional credentials.
- Employment: Remember you are entering a profession that is committed to patient care twenty-four hours a day, every day. In all likelihood, your first job will involve either evenings or late night hours and weekends. New graduates are usually the ones who will be covering holidays. Health care does not close for the holidays.
- Attention to Detail: Attention to minute detail and concentration is critical in radiography because you will be producing radiographic images which are used in medical diagnosis or treatment. A sloppy, “that’s close enough” mentality is not suited for this profession.
Students admitted to the Associate Degree Radiography Program at A-B Tech must possess the capability to complete all aspects of the classroom and clinical curriculum. This curriculum requires demonstrated proficiency using a variety of cognitive, problem-solving, manipulative, communicative, and interpersonal skills. Therefore, all students in the program must possess the following abilities and meet the following expectations:
Students must be able to:
1. Observe and participate in all demonstrations and experiments in the sciences related to radiography, including group and self-learning situations.
2. Learn to analyze, synthesize, solve problems, and reach evaluative judgment.
3. Have sufficient use of the senses of vision, hearing, and touch necessary to directly perform a radiographic examination, review and evaluate the recorded images for the purpose of identifying proper patient positioning, accurate procedural sequencing, proper radiographic quality, and other appropriate and pertinent technical qualities.
4. Establish a sensitive, professional, and effective relationship with patients and be able to communicate verbally in an effective manner to direct patients during radiographic examinations.
5. Provide physical and emotional support to patients during radiographic procedures, being able to respond to situations requiring first aid and providing appropriate emergency care to the patient in the absence of, or until further support arrives.
6. Acknowledge and understand limitations in their knowledge, skills, and abilities and to seek appropriate assistance with the identified limitations.
7. Possess the ability to work collaboratively with all other healthcare professionals.
8. Learn and perform routine radiographic procedures, using intellectual capacity to select proper technical exposure factors according to the individual needs of the patient and the requirements of the procedure’s standards of speed and accuracy.
9. Have sufficient strength, motor coordination, and manual dexterity to transport, move, lift, and transfer patients from a wheelchair or cart to an x-ray table or to a patient bed; move, adjust, and manipulate a variety of radiographic equipment, including the physical transportation of mobile radiographic/fluoroscopic equipment, in order to arrange and align the equipment with respect to the patient and the image receptor according to established procedures and standards of speed and accuracy.
10. Learn to respond professionally with precise, quick, and appropriate action in stressful and emergency situations.
11. Accept criticism and adopt appropriate modifications in behavior based on constructive criticism.
12. Possess the perseverance, diligence, and consistency to complete the radiography program curriculum.