A brief note about our imaging technologists for Radiology Week:
“Anna, come put your hand in front of this thing! This is so cool!” OK, Wilhelm Roentgen probably did not actually say that to his wife in 1895, although I like to believe that he was thinking it. One hundred and twenty-two years later, medical imaging continues to amaze. Imaging is at the core of so many diagnoses, improving care and saving lives every day.
But the remarkable images that we work with today – whether radiographs, CT, ultrasound, fluoroscopy, nuclear medicine, MRI, or interventional – don’t just happen. Our imaging technologists are the absolute heart of our department. They greet our patients who are often scared, in pain, or both. They talk with parents, who are also often scared and feeling a loss of control with their ill or injured child. They take them under their care, into unfamiliar rooms with imposing-looking machines (“Do I have to go in there?”), and coax our patients through their studies.
And none of our imaging studies are simple. They require expertise in positioning, detailed knowledge of equipment, adjustment of techniques, awareness of exceptions, and the ability to correct problems on the spot. Studies may require creativity (“How am I going to fit in this ICU room…”) and true physical strength and flexibility (“They want another intra-op scoli image!?”).
It is not easy work. But working as a team with the clinicians, physicists, researchers, and radiologists, we are able to do extraordinary work. The images that the technologists acquire mean that our radiologists can do their jobs better, and ultimately, together, we do better for the children who are entrusted to our care. The technologists that work in our department are the reason that this is the best pediatric radiology department in the country.
At some point this week, I hope that each of us will pause for a moment and think about a patient that we helped, about a smile that we got from a child, about a thank you from a parent, about a laugh shared with a coworker. These are gifts that are easy to overlook and take for granted (and why we work at a children’s hospital).
From me and the entire clinical and research faculty: Thank you to our technologists. It is a pleasure and a privilege to work with you every day.
Brian D. Coley, MD