Your Radiology Technologist Matters
“Always, a machine will only be as good as the person running it.”
When you are getting medical imaging done, you usually focus on the results and the conclusions that your practitioner draws from your images. However, a crucial part of medical imaging is the skill of the radiology technologist, and this can determine the quality of your images. At Touchstone Imaging we believe in employing the best technologists to ensure that you receive the best care and the best medical imaging possible.
What is a Radiology Technologist?
While much has changed since 1922 when the first technologist was certified, the importance of skilled technologists has not. While your doctor may be the one who relays to you what the radiologist physician has determined to be the results, a radiologic technologist is the one who actually performs the exams. X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRIs all require skilled technologists to get the correct images for diagnosis and treatment planning. A radiologic technologist is educated in anatomy, patient positioning, examination techniques, protocols, radiation safety, radiation protection, and patient care. A radiologist is a physician who will interpret the medical images and they work closely with radiologic technologists. A correct interpretation of the images depends on accurate imaging and the skill and expertise of the technologist. Technologists often specialize in a particular diagnostic imaging area beyond the basic x-ray and bone density, such as MRI, CT, mammography, and ultrasound. The skill of the technologist really matters and can affect your experience and your images.
The ability of your radiologic technologist to accurately obtain quality imaging is very much linked to their bedside manner. To get the best images, the patient needs to be relaxed, comfortable, and clearly understand what is going to happen. This is where a caring, skilled technologist really makes all the difference. A gentle approach, a smile, and a few extra minutes of attention can be all it takes to make a patient feel truly cared for. This care will help calm a tense patient, and could impact the images obtained. At Touchstone Imaging we strive to make every patient feel cared for, and we employ a dedicated, experienced, and compassionate staff. We know that being patient-focused will impact our quality product.
Radiologic technologists are not just “button pushers” but are trained about the inner workings of the machines they use and how to maximize their quality. From classroom learning to clinical rotations which expose students to various exams, there are dozens of months that go into becoming a radiologic technologist. The amount of radiation that will be used to take a specific x-ray is known to the technologist and understanding the difference between what is needed for a newborn as opposed to an older child is crucial to keep the amount of radiation low. As one of the earliest participants in “Image Gently,” initiated by the Society for Pediatric Radiology to focus on minimizing radiation exposure in children, Touchstone Imaging technologists are dedicated to using as little exposure as possible to still obtain a good exam.
Correct positioning is essential to taking medical images that convey all of the necessary internal information. Tumors, broken bones, and other internal problems can be obscured if the patient is not positioned correctly. The training that technologists have in human anatomy, and their experience taking images, allows them to position their patients in the best way. Knowing when a patient should hold their breath and when they should stay still all go into producing quality imaging. Positioning matters, and skilled technologists know how to position their patients to get the best images.
The right knowledge and the right positions allow for efficient imaging that doesn’t need to be repeated. Exposure to radiation is necessary for diagnosis, but should not be overused. A skilled technologist gets the images right the first time so there is less chance that you will need to come back to repeat your scans. Poor quality images can lead to additional testing which can be stressful and anxiety-inducing for the patient. Being efficient with medical imaging saves time and money, and increases patient satisfaction.
Medical imaging is often necessary for diagnosis and the start of treatments. Having good quality images can be the difference between a quick diagnosis and delays that can impact your health. A skilled technologist will produce quality images that a radiologist can interpret and your own practitioner can use as a basis for your medical treatment. The radiologic technologist is an important, often underappreciated, person in the chain of medical care. The next time you have an imaging exam, thank that technologist in appreciation for their dedication to serving you!
When you choose to go to one of Touchstone Imaging’s locations in Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Florida, and Arkansas, you know that you are getting technologists with the care, skill, and experience to produce quality medical images. You have a choice when getting your medical imaging done, so choose wisely and choose Touchstone!