Radiologic Technology students working with lab equipment.
As a recent graduate from the Radiologic Technology program at the Baker College of Owosso campus, I have the scoop about what a normal day as a RAD student in the didactic (classroom/lecture classes) semesters and the clinical semesters looks like.
While messing around and having a few laughs were definitely present throughout the entire program, the lectures for this program are nothing to mess around with. The directors of the program will preach about how important it is to be organized and have a planner to be successful in this program. Thus, my love for lists. Instead of story telling a normal day as a first year RAD student, I’m going to list off a schedule that I would do on the daily:
- 6:45 AM- Wake up and put on those royal blue scrubs.
- 7:15 AM- Eat some breakfast. (Instructors will also preach about how important it is to eat breakfast, especially before starting your clinical day. There have been students who have PASSED OUT because of skipping breakfast. May as well start the routine now.)
- 7:35 AM- Leave for school! If you’re not at LEAST 5 minutes early, you’re late. (Between you and I, a student had to sit out in the hallway for the entire class because (s)he showed up late. Tardiness is not tolerated and looks extremely unprofessional.)
- 8:00-9:40 AM, 11:00 AM-12:15 PM, 1:00-2:15 PM- Classes. This was what my Mondays, Wednesdays, and for the first semester of the program, Fridays as well, usually looked like. Classes on Fridays at Baker College?! Yes! My memory might be off for the classes and lecture times, but you get the picture. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we had labs for these classes. At first, adjusting to the different classes and new books, etcetera, were a bit overwhelming. You will adjust to it though, trust me!
- 3:00-5:00 PM- Work at my work study job at the Welcome Center on campus. One of my favorite parts of going to Baker College are the amazing work study positions. I earned phone and office experience from this gig, along with earning some cash to pay for rent and groceries. AND, the best part, if it’s okay with your supervisor, you are able to study and work on homework when your other job responsibilities are taken care of. Getting paid to study?! I’m here for it!
- 5:30-6:30 PM- Workout at the gym. Having a routine that includes getting some exercise will not only help with your physical health, but mental health as well! I always drank my pre workout powder around 4:30 so that I can’t talk myself out of going to the gym.
- 6:30 PM- Drive home and shower.
- 7:00 PM- Cook some din-din. While and after I eat, instead of watching Netflix or Hulu, I would review for any tests or quizzes I had the next day.
- 8:30 PM- Wind down with some TV or a book.
- 9:00 PM- Go to sleep! With such an eventful and structured day, getting enough hours of sleep is a must, especially to keep your brain sharp and your immune system strong.
When you’re in your clinical internship semesters, you will be spending 40 hours a week at a hospital or clinic. The clinical coordinator will determine where a student will go for his or her internship. For myself, I was placed at Memorial Healthcare in Owosso, which was my first choice.
My schedule would vary every two weeks. I would work 7:30 AM-4:00 PM for one rotation, and 9:00 AM-5:30 PM for another. I would get a 30 minute lunch break. Every week, we would also be allowed 3 hours worth of study time. Depending on your clinical site and your clinical instructor, you could go home early for these 3 hours or you could go in a decided location like the break room or cafeteria and study for these hours.
Here was what my day looked like as a clinical student on my 7:30 AM-4:00 PM rotation:
- 6:00 AM- Wake up and put on my grey-colored scrubs. You will have to get whatever scrub color your clinical site requires.
- 6:30 AM- Eat breakfast!!!
- 7:10 AM- Leave my dorm with plenty of time to arrive. Good thing the hospital is only 6 minutes away.
- 7:20 AM- Put on my N95 mask, disposable mask over that, and my eye protection and complete the COVID-19 screening. (This screening was very similar to the screening questions Baker College has.)
- 7:30 AM-4:00 PM- Follow techs and help them perform x-rays or x-ray procedures.
When I was comfortable with an exam, I would tell the tech I was with that I wanted to comp on it. This means to master/complete a competency. I would do the exam all by myself while being watched by the tech. If I need help, I would fail (unless it’s help that a registered technologist would also need help with, such as lifting help). This usually varies tech to tech or by what your clinical instructor determines. While being at clinical, you will also use a timesheet to keep track of your hours spent at the hospital which will be initialed by a registered tech and signed at the end of the week by the clinical instructor. At the end of the week, I’d send pictures of the comps I completed for that week, along with the signed timesheet and send it to the program’s clinical coordinator.
The program required 2 semesters (summer & fall) worth of clinicals. The summer semester didn’t have any other classes besides the clinical applications course, which is clinicals itself. The fall semester had an 8 week online course of CT (computed tomography). The last few weeks of the program is the Capstone course, which is for reviewing and wrapping up the program.
A day in the life of a limited enrollment program student is crazy busy, exhausting, overwhelming, and stressful. That being said, I would do it all again because of the experiences and knowledge I gained through it and the people I’ve met and have built relationships with. Anyone can get through these busy days as long as you stay focused on your goals, and have fun doing it too!
Baker College offers opportunities for high-achieving incoming first-year students to be admitted directly into competitive limited seat programs like Radiologic Technology through our Direct Admission Program.