Does a radiographer have responsibility to hold the patient?

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Comments (17)

Man in Central District, Hong Kong

76 months ago

Hi everyone, I'm studying radiography in Hong Kong, and I'm doing an assignment, which requires me to seek information from practicing radiologic technologists.

Here is the situation:
If a pregnant woman accompanied a little boy into the x-ray room for skull X-ray and the boy is reacting vigorously. I know that it is necessary to ask the parent to hold the boy tightly during the exposure, however, the boy's mother is pregnant.

Does a radiologic technologist have responsibility to hold the patient?

Sorry for my poor English and I hope you guys can understand.

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candy in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

75 months ago

It is always preferable to have a family member hold a patient but when that is not possible, as in the case of the mother being pregnant, the technologist must find someone else. This can be a nurse or another family member (if either one is available). If there is no one else available, then yes the responsibility falls on the technologist. Just remember to shield yourself.

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Kelly in Knoxville, Tennessee

74 months ago

I agree with Candy, but in a realistic atmosphere a neerby tech would have to hold in order to protect the mother. Nurses are not ussually eager to help when it is not there job. There will be many times the tech will have to hold pt. into position, radiation is our job it happens.

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Jamie in Nashville, Tennessee

73 months ago

Nope, no way. I never hold a patient. It says right in the Radiologic Rules and Regulations that Radiologic Technologists are not to hold patients, except in extreme life-or-limb situations, and that does not sound like the case here. There should always be a family member, a secretary, or a nurse available somewhere in the facility, and if the nurse declines to help, then it can be documented (or an incident report written) that Nurse So-and-so refused to help with a patient. You can bet they'll be willing to help after they hear that!

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Tanya in San Bernardino, California

72 months ago

Man in Central District, Hong Kong said: Hi everyone, I'm studying radiography in Hong Kong, and I'm doing an assignment, which requires me to seek information from practicing radiologic technologists.

Here is the situation:
If a pregnant woman accompanied a little boy into the x-ray room for skull X-ray and the boy is reacting vigorously. I know that it is necessary to ask the parent to hold the boy tightly during the exposure, however, the boy's mother is pregnant.

Does a radiologic technologist have responsibility to hold the patient?

Sorry for my poor English and I hope you guys can understand.

No, I am an xray tech, and have been for 22 years. What you do is have the woman, call someone and have them to come there. Maybe she has relatives at home, or a neighbor that she can call. Maybe some of the staff in the facility, other than xray techs will help. If none of this works, then she can always go home, and come back with someone, when they are available. I always explain to them that until their child is about 5 years old, she will always need to have at least 2 people when her child needs an xray. I also explain that most children do this until they get older. I tell them that it is against the law for xray techs to do this; because we a subject to get exposure from every patient that we do; that is why we as xray techs can not do it. I hope that this helps.

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Robert L Brummel in Junction City, Kansas

69 months ago

Iam sure a nurse would be glad toassit you

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Alicia in Hamden, Connecticut

65 months ago

Kelly in Knoxville, Tennessee said: I agree with Candy, but in a realistic atmosphere a neerby tech would have to hold in order to protect the mother. Nurses are not ussually eager to help when it is not there job. There will be many times the tech will have to hold pt. into position, radiation is our job it happens.

Kelly - I very much disagree. Simply because radiation is out job is exactly the reason we should not hold. I agree with Candy, there should always be someone else other than the tech. It is written in the NCRP report regarding radiation and holding. I believe it says techs should be the last person to hold and only in life threatening situations.

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Jeff in Fredericksburg, Virginia

65 months ago

How about Abdomen series xrays on patients in the Intensive Care Unit. Recently here, our physicians have begun ordering these routinely. With the excessive radiation dose involved for the tech who holds the patient in the decub. position, who is expected to hold the patients?

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wkin mom in Kennesaw, Georgia

64 months ago

Man in Central District, Hong Kong said: Hi everyone, I'm studying radiography in Hong Kong, and I'm doing an assignment, which requires me to seek information from practicing radiologic technologists.

Here is the situation:
If a pregnant woman accompanied a little boy into the x-ray room for skull X-ray and the boy is reacting vigorously. I know that it is necessary to ask the parent to hold the boy tightly during the exposure, however, the boy's mother is pregnant.

Does a radiologic technologist have responsibility to hold the patient?

Sorry for my poor English and I hope you guys can understand.

I have been a Licensed xray technologist for 21 years and love my job. I have worked in all areas of ER trauma adults and pediatrics. The mother is asked to step out of the room, due to pregnancy. If there is no family members that can assist then you and another technologist will hold the patient for exam. By using another licensed professional you have an assistant that knows what positioning is needed for a great image. Less chances of needing to repeat and add additional exposure to anyone. If you use proper radiation protection then you do not need to worry. This is why we have badges that monitor both our eyes and body intake of radiation. With digital radiology being used these day, there is minimal exposure used. Physicist say that there is more exposure given by sunbathing for an hour in the sun. Hope this helps and good luck with your assignment.

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Mathews70 in Oregon

64 months ago

As long as you stay out of the primary beam and don't do it often it shouldn't be an issue? Wear lead and a thyroid and stay out of the primary beam. I always try and find someone else to hold whether it's a parent or an old tech. If I'm in the ICU or PACU then I find a nurse and tell them I need them and give them an apron. I don't think people fully understand radiation and it's properties. If you stay out of the primary beam and are shielded, how much exposure are you really getting from a scattered photon on a child? How is that different from being in surgery every day doing fluoro on adult size patients? Or doing barium fluoro exams all day? How about the rads that do fluoro and are right there getting it? You have a job to do and you need to get it done quickly and efficiently, if that means holding a kids arm for a hand x-ray then that's what you do.

I will correct you on one thing though wkin mom in Georgia...There is actually more exposure required with digital than film x-ray. But to add to your point of sunbathing exposure, you also recieve the same amount of exposure from an 8 hour plane flight as a Chest x-ray. That is documented in writing in my texts.

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qqbun in Ottawa, Ontario

58 months ago

I would never hold a patient unless it was life-or-death and even then I would be hesitant. It is NOT our job to hold patients during X-rays. If you are OK with it then do it at your own discretion. If you're not OK with it, don't try to be a hero. It might be inconvenient to have them come back but that's not your problem. You have to look after your own health first. And as to whether or not holding patients is dangerous? You're an X-ray tech so you should know that 1) ionizing radiation is an non-threshold carcinogen and 2) there is little known about the consequences of chronic low-dose exposure so don't assume anything. Is it really worth the risk?

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warning in Cleveland, Ohio

57 months ago

there are several good points here.

QQBUN makes the best points.

-an non-threshold carcinogen. know what this means? IT CAN CAUSE FORMS OF CANCER AT ANY RANDOM DOSE.

-very very true about little being known about risks to frequent low doses since human experimentation is not allowed.

It is not part of your job to irradiate yourself.

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Harvey Olson in Spokane, Washington

57 months ago

warning in Cleveland, Ohio said: there are several good points here.

QQBUN makes the best points.

-an non-threshold carcinogen. know what this means? IT CAN CAUSE FORMS OF CANCER AT ANY RANDOM DOSE.

-very very true about little being known about risks to frequent low doses since human experimentation is not allowed.

It is not part of your job to irradiate yourself.

That is true, and to the deecubitus ICU instances, if that is truly common someone needs to talk to that Doctor(s). Believe it or not many Doctors have little idea of exposure levels involved by exam. They learn it in school and leave it.

Radiography is called and art and science. Part of the art is being able to adjust to the circumstances and still perform the exam by the rules guiding our profession. One of those is that we do not hold patients. I have found that even on portables w/ alzheimers and dementia patients I could get my exposures without holding. I would say you find any worker other than a tech to hold if no other family will work. Radiation is part of our job, but that part is in dealing with limiting exposure, not taking exposure for our patients.

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Sage in Saratoga Springs, New York

53 months ago

It is interesting that none of the responses mention the use of immobilization techniques or equipment. For a pediatric patient needing a skull I would suggest mummy wrap (sheet or papoose board), sandbags, compression bands, tape, sponges. Remember, there is no safe dose and our dose is cumulative. Radiography is an art - be creative instead of looking for the easy way out (having someone hold) - you might find that the quality of your images will improve too.

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francis tamaray in Edmonton, Alberta

28 months ago

hi guys! im an aspiring student and im doing my career investigation. what are the patient responsibility of a Medical Radiologic Tech? What are the technical duties performed? Thanks! this will help me a lot!i will wait for your reply..

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francis tamaray in Edmonton, Alberta

28 months ago

hi guys! im an aspiring student and im doing my career investigation. what are the patient responsibility of a Medical Radiologic Tech? What are the technical duties performed? Thanks! this will help me a lot!i will wait for your reply..

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bnewco01 in Royal Oak, Michigan

25 months ago

the exam must be completed!
for a skull x-ray you probably cant ask them to come back later as it could be LIFE or DEATH if there was a trauma/sudden onset of symptoms, also this would have to be cleared by the DR.

options
1. ask a non radiology staff member to hold.
2. use a restraining device.
3. fellow RT can hold.

in practice though an RT will led up and hold if family member is unable and/or restraining device wont work/not available. also an RT will position correctly reducing dose to the PT and whoever is holding.

you can also use distraction/etc with children.

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