Category: Rad Tech Talk

Radiologic Technologist Blog

Quick Refresher for X-ray Techs: Cardiac Screening Guidelines

cardiac screening guidelines stress test
EKG stress test

Screening Tests for Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease. It occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries that supply the heart muscle. The American Heart Association has outlined key screening tests to monitor cardiovascular health. Cardiac screening guidelines include the following tests to detect CAD in people with no signs and symptoms:

  • Serum lipids
  • Blood glucose
  • C-reactive protein (indicator of swelling or inflammation)
  • Blood pressure

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The Future is Bright for X-ray Techs: Occupational Projections by the BLS

It is estimated that 9.8 million jobs will be added to the U.S. economy in the decade between 2014 and 2024. The projected increase in overall employment is 6.5 percent. Occupational projections by the BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) are for fastest job growth in healthcare, healthcare support, and technical occupations. If you are considering a career as a radiologic technologist, the future looks bright.

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Reducing Radiation Exposure in Digital Imaging

reducing radiation exposure with equipment configuration
A fluoroscope with an overcouch configuration

Digital imaging techniques provide important information to healthcare professionals. But, exposure to ionizing radiation can be harmful to patients. In digital fluoroscopy, an increase in the number of images per exam reveals greater diagnostic information but is associated with an increased dose. Similarly, magnification improves spatial resolution and image quality but may lead to an increase in skin dose. High-dose mode is associated with an improvement in image quality but is associated with a high radiation dose to the patient. What are some of the methods of reducing radiation exposure? What can X-ray techs do to follow the ALARA principle and ensure the safety of their patients?

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Implementing Radiation Safety in Digital Radiography

implementing radiation safety
PACS helps improve efficiency in radiology departments

Digital radiography is a powerful tool in the medical management of patients. It has distinct advantages over film-screen technology in terms of image acquisition (wide dynamic range), image manipulation (post-processing functions), and image distribution (electronic transfer and archiving). Digital radiography equipment provides diagnostic information that is equal to or superior to film-screen systems at comparable radiation doses. It is therefore an important technological advancement that has aided RTs in implementing radiation safety. It should be noted that conventional radiographic images can be converted to a digital format with a digitizer for electronic storage and some post-processing. However, such converted images are not considered true digital radiographic images.

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Radiation Safety for Healthcare Workers

radiation safety of healthcare workers
A healthcare worker positions a patient for a mammogram

It is estimated that approximately 1 million people employed in health facilities around the world are exposed to radiation in the course of their work duties. This makes the radiation safety of healthcare workers an important consideration. The International Labor Organization regards any exposure to ionizing radiation received at the workplace as occupational exposure. A healthcare worker’s total radiation exposure also includes natural background exposure received during working hours. However, since the latter is a consequence of living on Planet Earth and occurs regardless of occupation, it is not the responsibility of the employer and is not subject to regulatory controls.

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