Radiography Program School Review
University of Tennessee Medical Center
School of Radiography, Knoxville, TN
Introduction – Why I Chose Radiography
I chose the Radiography field on a whim and was 27 and unsure what I wanted to do with my life. I happened to meet two radiographers within a month of each other.
Talking with them helped sway my decision and I felt like it was a sign. I finished my associate’s degree and then applied for the program. I was 1 of 10 applicants accepted.
Program Cost (Tuition + Books)
Altogether it was $10,300.00 to be paid in full before starting the program. I believe books accounted for $800 of that. At the time of me starting the program, no student loans were available.
Application Process and Competition
To get into the program you must have certain pre-requisites and an associate’s degree.
They required pre-requisites such as math, science, and anatomy and physiology.
You initially apply and fill out an application with a $50.00 application fee. Potential students were chosen from the application list and invited for a formal interview.
We arrived three hours early and spent time with other students who were in clinicals. They gave us a tour of the hospital and ate lunch with us.
We then interviewed individually in front of the:
- program director,
- clinical coordinator
- radiology managers.
The interviewers then decided who was accepted into the program.
Is There a Waiting List?
I am unsure if there is an actual “waiting list” but I do know that if someone decides to not accept the offer of the program they may pick another candidate.
Classroom and Clinical Breakdown
Our classroom/clinical rotations alternated from day one.
We would do:
- Off Saturday/Sunday
- Off Saturday/Sunday
This allowed for an even amount of class to clinical ratio.
The hardest class for me was Equipment. I am not good with computers and the inter-workings of computers and equipment so I really struggled.
Hardest Part About Clinical Rotations
Hardest thing about clinicals was fitting in with the technologists and having them teach us the basics.
Our clinical coordinator should have been in clinicals more teaching us instead of leaving our clinical education solely on the technologists who are already incredibly busy.
Why Choose This Radiography Program?
I chose this school because it was close to my house and one of the people I met that influenced my decision to do radiology went to this program.
Other Radiography Programs Nearby
South College at Parkside offers a radiography program about 45 minutes away.
Did You Work During the Radiography Program?
I worked about 30 hours a week, mostly on weekends.
What Equipment Did the School Have?
We had a pixie anatomy figure we could use for simulations and competencies.
What do You Wish the School Had for Study Aids?
I wish the school had better phantoms to use. The ones we had were very crooked and missing body parts.
Also, the techniques we used were not close to the actual techniques you would use on a patient.
Did the School Adequately Prepare You for the ARRT Board Exam?
We did Mock registries at the end. They did help but I think studying and using Correctec helped more since our mock registry had incorrect answers and the teacher was unable to explain the answers we would miss.
Were You Allowed to Shadow in Advanced Modalities?
We spent quite a bit of time in advanced modalities. Several weeks were spent rotating through other modalities, sometimes 4+ weeks were spent at EACH modality.
On a scale of 1-10, rate the program overall on:
Score = 6 | Cost for what you got out of it?
Score = 7 | Teachers’ abilities, how good were they overall?
Note: As a small program we had 2 teachers, the program director and the clinical coordinator. Clinical coordinator did not spend time with us clinically. This person was not as skilled in radiography as they were in other modalities making learning radiography a little more challenging. There were several changes during my time at school which created a great clinical coordinator. Unfortunately the CC taught all classes and wasn’t able to spend as much time clinically with students as desired but did answer questions and worked with students more.
Score = 8 | Equipment at the school for practicing (patient care on dummies, x-ray equipment for clinical practice, etc.)
Note: We had a room that was hardly used that we could go in and practice with our phantom.
Score = 8 | How hard were the tests, overall?
Note: Tests did not reflect information taught in class. Tests came from random spots in the book that were never discussed and barely relevant to the overall understanding to the course. Tests could be found on Quizlet (I never really used often) but that is how other students passed the tests.
Give 3 Tips for Successfully Passing the ARRT Exam
- I was a successful student because I read the books and took notes
- I would study with one-two other students and
- I would cram for 3 hours before every test.
Your Advice for Someone Interested in Radiography?
Understand that you will see very traumatic things happen to people. Also, study, study, and study!
It is a great field and knowing what you are doing is KEY!
If You Started All Over, Would You Still Choose Radiography?
I think I would choose radiography still. I truly love what I do. The opportunities that this field has is amazing!
I love that I can specialize and work in such diverse situations. If I didn’t choose this, I would choose ER nursing because I truly love helping people and Trauma.
What Do You Like Most About Your Career in Radiography?
I love working with different types of people. I love working with patients of all types!
We do Outpatients, Inpatients, Trauma (MY FAVORITE), Surgery (MY LEAST FAVORITE), and fluoroscopic procedures!
The business of the ER combined with the trauma and different pathologies we see is amazing!
Footnote: The above testimonial was given by a recent graduate of the program. The graduate was remunerated with an Amazon Gift Card for the opinions above.
If you would like to be paid for your radiography program experience, send an email to [email protected].