If you’ve had an orthopedic appointment, you’ve most likely had an X-ray or MRI. This means that you have met one of our incredible imaging department crew members.
Each month, an average of 1,600 digital X-rays and 250 MRIs are performed by our imaging staff. We are celebrating our staff this month in honor of National Radiologic Technology Week. We wanted to shine a spotlight on their incredible work in patient care and safety.
X-rays and MRIs—what’s the difference?
If you’ve been in for an X-ray, you know your doctor wants to get a closer look at your body’s internal structure. On an X-ray, bones appear as bright white “shadows” while tendons and muscles look like dark “shadows.” Or, perhaps you’ve been in for an MRI. MRIs are performed to see both bones and soft tissue inside the body. This allows the physicians to see muscle, cartilage, ligaments and tendons. The exam helps your doctor evaluate and diagnose a variety of orthopedic problems, such as tendon tears, joint disorders and abnormalities, bone infections, hairline fractures, and any tumors of the bone and soft tissues.
Properly caring for our orthopedic patients is a priority
All of our imaging technologists are certified. They are dedicated to ensuring your X-rays and MRIs are completed with outstanding care and efficiency. The number one goal of all of us at Puget Sound Orthopaedics is to help people find answers to their orthopedic pain and discomfort. The imaging department team is an integral part of this. That’s because clear diagnostic images provide our doctors with the crucial information they need to form diagnoses and develop treatment plans.
Before meeting with you, our techs take time to understand your medical history. For example, if a patient comes in with a severe fracture, our techs know just what to do. They will make sure to get a quality image without causing further pain. If you are coming in for an MRI and you are worried about claustrophobia, we’ve got your comfort in mind. The short, wide design of our MRI means that 60 percent of exams can be done with the patient’s head outside of the MRI system.
The care that our imaging department takes is apparent. Our imaging department has received multiple recognitions and Heart of Puget Sound Orthopaedics cards from patients, peers, and physicians for jobs well done. They perform with a smile and gentleness, even under the pressure of keeping up with their hectic daily schedules. They love grateful patients, and kind words from physicians, and take great pride in providing excellent care.
But, performing these exams is only a small part of their jobs. Our techs help patients get in and out of machines and take them back to their rooms. They work in three different electronic medical record systems, answer phones, and respond to medical records requests for imaging burned onto discs. Their most important duty will always be patient care.
Life outside the radiology suite
When they are not in the enclaves of the radiology room or MRI suite, the radiology techs are out exploring the world. Recent travels have taken some of our technicians to Europe, Thailand and Hawaii. They enjoy spending time with family and volunteering at their children’s schools. They enjoy the outdoors, movies on rainy Washington days, cooking and video games.
We appreciate everything that the imaging department does!