"A Student Experience"

Eve"I thought it would be nice to give students, who are interested in choosing Radiologic Science as their major, an opportunity to find out what the program is like from a student's perspective."

"I entered UNC thinking I would major in Pharmacy, but I decided that was not the place for me. After hearing about the Clinical Elective Observation Program, I signed up and toured the radiology department at UNC with a radiologic science faculty member. I knew then that The UNC- CH Radiologic Science program was the place for me.  Many of the Medical Imaging program prerequisites were the same as the courses I had completed for entrance to pharmacy school.  As a sophomore, I applied to the Medical Imaging program.  I submitted all my application materials and documentation and after my written interview, I was accepted to the program as a rising UNC junior."

"The Medical Imaging classes began during the second summer session. I spent time in the classroom learning gross anatomy,  the basics of patient care, and introductory radiation safety and imaging.  In the lab we dissected a human cadaver allowing us to more fully appreciate our lecture material."

"In the fall semester, my classmates and I began our clinical rotations at various hospitals in the triangle area and we continued our studies in the classroom. We learned proper radiographic positioning techniques, anatomy and physiology, and the physics involved with the production of x-rays - all of which we used daily in our clinical education courses.  We began performing examinations on patients once we were comfortable, and worked towards completing the necessary exams to count towards our "unassisted" and "comp" totals. When we completed a comp, we signed up with the clinical coordinator to do our "film critique" an oral assessment of the imaging procedure."

"Additional classes and labs continued to build on everything we learned during my the first semester.  My clinical course during the spring semester of my junior year was very similar to the fall semester.  I was given the opportunity to rotate though many different clinical sites; accordingly, I was able to interact with a wide variety of patients, all of whom had different abilities and needed different levels of patient care. This was a valuable experience.  It was amazing how much we had learned in this short time.  I was surprised when I had a conversation with a radiologist who quizzed me on some pathology. I knew the answer to every single question that he asked me!  He too was surprised with the amount of knowledge I had acquired after completing only one year in the program.  Some of the clinical sites I visited during my first year in the program were:

  • Alamance Regional - GI, portables, fluoroscopy, surgical radiography
  • Duke University Medical Center - GI, GU, orthopedic clinic, ER/trauma, portables
  • UNC Healthcare - Weekend ER, ACC orthopedics, mammography, pediatrics"

"Intensive clinical rotations occured during the summer.  I was able to really immerse myself in the profession attending clinical 5 days/week, as if I was already in the workforce.  It was really beneficial to get some "real world" experience as a student.  Upon returning for my senior fall semester, my fellow classmates and I had to take a comprehensive examination. We were tested in all aspects of Radiologic Science that we had learned thus far and we were expected to pass all sections of the exam in order to proceed into our senior year. We also presented three case studies to our classmates and to our instructors.  These presentations were based on clinical scenarios we had witnessed during our summer "internships."   This experience made me realize how much knowledge I truly had gained about the field."

"My senior year was a little different from my junior year with respect to the structure of the program. We continued our clinical rotations and classroom learning.  Our lecture courses were very interactive and included topics such as:  professional communication, clinical decisions, research and leadership in radiologic science, and issues in the radiologic practice environment."

"In the clinical setting, each student (assuming all diagnostic imaging requirements had been fulfilled) was able to select clinical rotations in which he/she would concentrate.  I opted to rotate through Computed Tomography (CT).  I truly valued the opportunity to choose which rotations I wished to be placed in, as it helped me decide what career path I would follow - CT.  I'm not sure that other radiologic science programs offer this flexibility and autonomy."

I truly believe that I made the best decision for me in choosing Radiologic Science as my major. I sacrificed "going out" as much as some of my friends and sorority sisters were able to do (because of clinical and class schedules), but in the long run it is worth it. I am graduated from the UNC with many job offers while many of my peers are struggling to find a job. In addition, I continued the tradition of our program's 100% pass rate on the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists examination.  I think that students who succeed in this program are dedicated to their school work, know how to manage their time wisely, and who genuinely care about both their education and their abilities to help others.