Okay, since I’m sending this post to Radiology Grand Rounds, I thought I’d give some props to those hard-working X-RAY techs.
You know who I mean.
Those hard running folks we expect to be in four places at once and have our CT results STAT even if the computer is down.
The ones who are eternally patient with us when we send our patients down to x-ray for a chest film wearing enough bling bling to buy Trump Towers.
The ones who have the power to clear a room just by yelling “X-RAY!”
The ones who can soothe a patient during a CT scan just by the sound of their voice over the speaker.
Just so you know, we in the ER appreciate you.
We just need to tell you more often.
I never thought I ‘d have anything to say about radiology.
In fact there is an old joke. I know it’s old because I made it up 28 years ago.
It goes: If I can see something wrong on your x-ray, you are very sick.
For you see, I cannot read films. I can find lungs.
I can see your hip, but unless the your femur is totally in two, with one of those pieces on the other side of the room, I may not see your fracture.
You get the picture, no pun intended.
Now this may be old hat to all you radiology-inclined folks, but we have a fantastic new system that has done away with the old x-ray film.
X-rays are now viewed at a central station where the doctor sits via a computer screen.
No more waiting for films to be developed and if the patient needs a copy of the x-ray, it can be placed on a CD that can be read on any computer.
This is good for two reasons:
- Nurses have more access to the x-ray – we can look at it right along with the doctor at the station.
- Often, the films were down off the viewer before the nurse had a chance to see them. I once worked at a teaching facility for ten weeks and I never saw an x-ray the entire time, as the viewers were out of sight of the nursing areas, and the nurses too busy to get in on the teaching being done.
- Now nurses are not often required to read films, but we are able to order them in the ER. You can never have too much knowledge and familiarity with x-ray views can be an asset when assessing a patient, expecially with an extremity injury.
- Increased exposure to the x-rays gives teaching opportunities that nurses did not have before. I had an opportunity to view an x-ray where the fracture went through the entire growth plate with dislocation. Amazing.
- The images can be enhanced.
- Think there might be a fracture, but not sure?
- You can blow the area in question up as large as you need to to see it more clearly.
They say familiarity breeds contempt, but not where this nurse and x-rays are concerned.
I can now say with certainty that if I can see a problem on your x-ray, it means you have a problem on your x-ray and NOT that you are VERY sick.
That’s a good feeling.