A Small Rant from Your Friendly X-ray Tech

A note sent to me from my favourite MRT (Medical Radiation Technologist). A reminder too, that nurses aren’t the centre of the universe, even if we think we are.

Some thoughts from an MRT. . .

Now I know we aren’t perfect but I feel like a rant about portable examinations.

If a portable examination is requested it’s because the patient is too ill to come to the department, not because they are in the bed nearest the window and it’s a hassle to get them out of the room. Portable exams give less information than a department film so why chose inferior diagnostics?

So the patient is too sick to leave the floor might there be a need for a nurse to help the MRT with the patient? Just saying, just wondering. Now this help isn’t for the MRT’s benefit – though lifting and maneuvering people one handed is tricky – it’s for the patient.. Even if your patient is sitting bolt upright and square on do you think it’s a kindness to have them pulled forward by one arm as the heavy cassette is placed behind them? Because this is what the MRT has to do if the patient can’t lean forwards.

Oh and please don’t all run the minute the portable machine comes trundling down the corridor. It isn’t radioactive. And if you don’t have time to move 2 chairs, a commode, a walker,  and a couple of tables out of the room what makes you think the MRT does??

You know if you help with the exam then I’ll help put everything back in it’s place.

In Emerg, when you call the tech for a stat film then do acknowlede ge them when they arrive, and maybe even stay to help, (see above re too sick to go to the department.) If you don’t hang around then do answer the tech when they ask if the patient can be sat up for the film, or have any other questions about your patient.

Points well taken. Remember it’s about the patients, right? I’m pretty sure too other health care professionals have similar valid gripes about us. Ladies and gents, we need to pull up our socks.

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  1. #1 by The Nerdy Nurse on Friday 27 January 2012 - 2142

    Here’s the thing about a portable x-ray and taking a patient downstairs.
    We’d often have docs order x-rays on the chart by 6am.

    Well to do that the patient would have to go down to x-ray by 5am.

    To do that, myself an another staff member would have to leave the floor for 10-20 minutes.

    We did not have transporters at night. And radiology most certainly would not come and get them.
    So I would have to leave my 5 other patients, as would the nurse who assisted me, often leaving 2 nurses for 20 patients for 20 minutes. And often, we would all need an x-ray, so there would be a good hour with on 2 nurses on the floor.
    And yep, that’s just about the time that everyone and their mama calls needed to “go to the pot”

    Or a portable x-ray could be performed and nurses stayed on the floor with their patients and assisted the xray techs in any way possible.

    Which was do you think promotes the highest level of patient safety?

  2. #2 by The Nerdy Nurse on Friday 27 January 2012 - 2143

    PS… I have been blog-stalking your daily read list hoping to find my name there for over a year now and I just did a Nerdy little squeal when I saw it there!

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