Radiology Education and Practice Reflection

The best way to learn is not through reading books and listening to teachers in the classroom. The best way to learn a particular skill is to work alongside experts. In the case of radiology a radiographer has to observer other radiographers at work. I learned more about being a radiographer from serving in different hospitals. I learned so much spending time in places like Springhill Hospital and Providence Hospital. I learned that preparation is the key to success and that is an important step in the field of radiology. I also realized that by being rotated to different hospitals enhances the learning process but I was not impressed by the different protocols used in different hospitals. Having different protocols can create confusion and can lead to serious medical error.

Preparation is Key

In any field, preparation is the key to success. This is very much true in the field of radiology. This is based on the fact that radiology uses sensitive and expensive equipment that requires prepared in order to be use properly. A non-functioning piece of equipment can ruin the process of determining the exact problem that ails the patient. It is also possible that equipment that does not have the proper settings can provide erroneous information.

Aside from preparing the x-ray room, checking the equipment and other things needed before a medical procedure can commence, it is also important to prepare the patient. According to experts in this field it is imperative to a) optimize the patient’s condition; b) plan for any special needs such as language barriers etc.; c) minimize patient pain; and d) obtain informed patient consent (Kandarpa & Machan, p.119). Errors can be avoided and other problems can be prevented if the radiographer and the rest of the medical staff are prepared.

Rotation

Rotation is an integral part of education. This is especially true in the medical field and specifically to radiology. A resident, intern or trainee would find it hard to learn everything that has to be learned in one setting or location. A hospital in the suburbs may have different types of patients as compared to hospitals located in urban centers (Cooke, Irby & O’Brien, p.30). The type of cases that is presented to the student varies from hospital to hospital and therefore enhances the learning process.

By being exposed to different scenarios and different people the student learns from observing what they are doing. According to practitioners in the medical field: “This education consists primarily in transmission through communication” (Deven, Hibbert & Chhem, p.222). There is so much more to learn working alongside those who are doing the actual things discussed in textbooks and in lectures.

Different Protocols

It is important to be rotated to different hospitals. The learning process is enhanced by being able to meet different types of people, observing different kinds of medical cases, and watching different types of procedures performed by radiographers. But being confronted by different protocols is not part of a good learning program. Others may argue that this can help create flexibility but in my opinion it can create more harm than good. A radiographer may not be able to master the necessary steps needed to prepare a room, prepare equipment and perform a particular procedure because the protocol changes each and every time.

It may be impossible to enforce a uniform standard for every hospital to adhere to but it is imperative to agree with the basics. For instance in the case of reporting, it is important to develop an optimal reporting style and logic (Beall, p.101). A radiographer making the report must learn to be logical, concise and precise (Beall, p.101). There is a need to report the most important findings first and make sure that the most crucial elements of the report stands out so that the one in-charge can do the right thing (Beall, p.101). It may not be possible to develop one standard for all but there must be agreement to master the basics.

Conclusion

Without a doubt the learning experience can be enhanced by working alongside experts and receive from them knowledge and wisdom through their actions. It also helps if the student is rotated to different hospitals and therefore gets to experience different things that help him or her learn to be flexible. The first thing that has to be fully understood by a new radiographer is the fact that preparation is the key to an error-free procedure. Preparation does not only guarantee to lessen the probability of accidents and other problems, it also helps the patients to be at ease with the surroundings and the people that is doing the medical procedure. Although it is important to acknowledge that there is diversity when it comes to creating solutions to a problem, it is also imperative to standardize some protocols. By doing so it eliminates confusion and that it speeds up the process of health care. This can prevent medical malpractice.

Works Cited

Beall, Douglas. Radiology Sourcebook: A Practical Guide for Refernce and Training. New Jersey: Humana Press, 2002.

Cooke, Molly, David Irby & Bridget O’Brien. Educating Physicians: A Call for Reform of Medical School and Residency. CA: Jossey-Bass, 2010.

Deven, Teresa, Kathryn Hibbert & Rethy Chhem. The Practice of Radiology Education: Challenges and Trends. New York: Springer, 2010.

Kandarpa, Krishna & Lindsay Machan. Handbook of Interventional Radiologic Procedures. PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011.