Diagnostic radiographer. I love my job.

Let out early today. PACS went down, so all the A&E and clinic x-rays had to be printed for patients to take with them. Then the only printer broke, so no-one was going anywhere. All the students were released because we were in the way, or some-such. I’m sure they could have found a use for us, but during such times of crisis I understand that people are too busy trying to deal with the mess to co-ordinate a cohort of students. It’s understandable and I don’t begrudge the early release, in fact I’m glad because it meant I could get down to London sooner for my guru’s birthday celebrations.

My last day before the summer holidays has not been as uneventful as I’d hoped thus I have more about which I might write.

Before PACS went down we had a patient for an OPG. The OPG machine is broken which meant I had to do oblique mandible views. These are very rare: one of the radiographers, in all her eight years of working at our hospital, hasn’t seen a single one. I know as well as any of the qualified rads how to position a patient, if not better because I was once used as a model when one of the advanced practitioners was demonstrating the technique. I felt really confident until at the last minute, after getting the patient in (on a wheelchair) I realised that I only knew how to do them in a CR room with the cassette in the holder that clips onto the bucky on the chest stand (so the cassette is essentially resting on the patient’s shoulder) and the patient and I were in a DR room with one of those really large chest/wall stands. Oh dear. I completely lost my nerve and let the radiographer take over at guessing how to obtaining the views. They looked good. I now really regret not asking to wait until a CR room became available if only because of the rarity of the examination.

I performed a few examinations in that DR room and then it displayed an error message and broke. There was already a broken room which had an engineer in it.

I went on a mobile and when we arrived there we had to go back because we had gone to the wrong ward. When we reached the correct one, we had to return to x-ray again because the patient was surrounded by medics busy saving his life – we waited five to ten minutes, then told us to call us back later when it was more convenient for them. I drove the mobile machine into a door frame too.

I still feel really sad about that mandible view. Even though I’m now on my summer holidays. And it’s sunny. It was sunny all day at hospital and at the beginning of my journey; now I’m sitting in the services using the free WiFi and hoping the rain will stop soon. In spite of this, and the fact that I know this song is not quite the right mood, I’m posting this song because it encompasses my delight at finishing another year.

Jul 12, 2012

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