Thursday, 7 November 2013

A Day in General X-Ray

We've not even been on a full week of clinical placement yet, and this has become so true!

Stardate: 91457.12

Another week down, and I've had another clinical placement visit! Not only that, but as of Sunday, I'll be living away from Leeds for 3 weeks while the first full placement period comes up. Nervous, moi?

This time, I was on the rota for General X-Ray, which of course can only mean chest x-rays galore! Despite being under the impression X-Ray departments tend to be very busy, the morning was quite slow, and was definitely all chest x-rays, so you get used to positioning for them really fast. Everyone's body is different, but the technique very rarely strays from the norm.

I also witnessed a good variation of hands, knees, and spinal x-rays, but this was all mixed in with lots of standing around and looking completely clueless while the qualified radiographers chatted between one another and assessed each others images.

The two most exciting occurrences of the day turned out to be a doctor with a piece of wine glass left over in his finger, and a police-accompanied patient. Apparently, it's all in a day's work! To keep myself busy on the other hand, a classmate and I tried to ask as many questions to the radiographers as possible. This varied from "What does this abbreviation mean?" "Why have you increased the kV?" "What are these marks/spots/dots on the image here?" "Do you want me to process the cassette?" to "Do you need me to clean anything?" Basically, anything to prevent myself from standing around.

I've noticed that if you observe enough examinations, you quickly learn the standard kV and mAs (exposure) levels. Our clinical tutor's advice to us was to carry around a little pocket notebook, to keep on hand what we'd learnt that day that would relate to anything we'd need later on. Stupidly, I forgot mine, but I do remember that a standard average male chest x-ray exposure is 60kV at 10mAs, but a female's is 60kV at 8mAs (don't worry, it will possibly make sense one day), and I also remembered that SUFE stands for Slipped Upper Femoral Epiphysis. Not bad, I suppose!

Anyway, I did enjoy my second day, though it didn't exactly live up to my fainting first day! I can't wait to get to the full placement blocks, but I'm definitely worried about moving into another new home! I'm sure I'll manage, and hopefully finding my way to the satellite sites at some point will be smooth and not too difficult and frightening!

Also, the image above happens to be my own design... I'm quite proud of it did you know (despite it not being amazing)


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