Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I Survived My First Day of Clinicals!!!!

OK, sorry for the lack of posts the last few weeks, but I have been BIZZZZAYYY! Finals week drained me, but I survived. Then I had a week of vacation and my parents came into town for a few days and then all four of us (me, wife, mom and dad) drove out to San Francisco to visit my brother and his girlfriend. We had a great time and I will post some pics from our trip soon, I promise.

Then I got back and promptly returned to class, but luckily only on Monday. Then came today, my official first day of clinicals. Overall, it was a good day. I spent most of it getting oriented to the hospital, filling out paper work, meeting people in the dept and trying to find the cafeteria come lunch time. However, towards the end of the day I was able to assist another tech with x-raying two patients before the end of my shift came. Easy films, just a pelvis/hip and L-spine, but still a good first experience. The highlight was when one of the patients thanked me for helping her onto the table, the lowlight was when an old man coughed on the top of my head when I was helping to take off his pants. Oh well, I'll duck next time!

It's strange. I didnt really do much today in the way of seeing patients, but I'm still exhausted. Therefore, I don't have much to say right now. But stay tuned, I will do an update post this weekend and let you know how my first whole week at clinicals went. Wish me luck.

Monday, August 28, 2006

bacon is the colour

No words, I have no words.
Portable Riding

Apparently portable x-ray units can be used for more than just making x-ray images! Look out!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

US lags

Ignorance is bliss.........for the ignorant. For the rest of us, it's just embarrassing.

Wow, one above Turkey. What an accomplishment. ugghhh!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Virtual Surgery

Forget going to school for 12 years to become a doctor, who has the time?! Now YOU, yes YOU, can perform a complete knee replacement right in the comfort of your own home. Just click here to get started!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Clinical Site Visit

I took a tour of my clinical site on Friday. It seems like a nice place. Not terribly huge but busy none the less. I also met my clinical instructor, who seems nice. It didn't fill me with complete confidence when I heard she has never had a student before and also just started working at this hospital a few months ago, but she seems to know her stuff and has been appointed as interim director of the dept until they can hire a full time director, so she must have a lot of experience under her belt.

- good shift: 8am-430pm Tu-F
- medium size hospital
- friendly staff in rad dept (seems to be so far, anyway)
- experienced clinical instructor
- meal vouchers for students (YES, free food!)
- I will be able to experience several modalities (CT, MR, Ultrasound, Nuc Med, etc.)

- they still use film, no CR or DR, ugh!
- it's a one hour drive (65 miles) from my house in Flag, which I will have to drive twice a day, 4 days a week for 8 months
- outpatient rad is separate from in-patient rad dept.
- clinical instructor has not had a student before

These are some of the apparent pros and cons of my site, but I'm sure I will find more when I start clinicals in a few weeks. Notice there are more pros than cons, and the cons that are there I can certainly live with.

In other news, this morning I took my first final exam of this semester. It was the written exam in my positioning class. I blasted through it and only had a few answers I wasn't 100% sure of. And thanks to the power of the interweb, I already know my grade and I got 100%, 0 wrong. Not too bad. But then again, I studied my butt off last week, so it's not like I didn't earn it. It's nice to have it over with though and even nicer to know I aced it! We have our lab competencies tomorrow for positioning, in which we get 3 positions at random (out of the over 60 we learned this semester) and have to demonstrate them for the instructor. I think I'm ready but just to make sure I plan to spend a few hours going over all of them at the coffee shop (the perfect study environment, at least for me) later today.

Monday, August 07, 2006

ATV + 12 pack + 3am = Pain & Suffering

Below is a quote from an email I got from my wife, a nurse on an orthopedic floor of the hospital:

"Last night work kind of sucked. My patients were all nice, but I swear, the hallway I had was road rash alley. My patients were all males, between the ages of 27 and 39 and one was an ATV accident, 2 MVAs and the last guy was a bike vs. car, and he was the bike. He was hit from behind by a drunk driver going approx. 55 mph. Lucky to be alive. So they were all nice but my god, the dressing changes and pain medication, it just never ended. And just a fun fact: the ATV guy just had a birthday the previous night and decided to drink a 12-pack, get on his ATV at 3:00 in the morning, and of course crashed. Man, we were still picking pieces of glass and gravel out of him. Yuck. So just remember, DON'T drink your 12 pack and then ride your ATV, ok? I know it sounds crazy, but it isn't a good idea."

Thankfully she still has a sense of humor after seeing so much pain and injury. It never ceases to amaze me the patients she gets. They sure do make for interesting talk over dinner at the end of the day.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

X-ray images from Thulium

Here is an interesting video clip that was recently posted to a radiography forum. It was produced by the British Pathe Co. in the 1950's and talks about a battle-field "X-ray" unit, which uses a radioactive material called Thulium to make an x-ray image. The
image is formed on a Polaroid style film and presumably processed by the old
Polaroid camera method. Although called an "X-ray Unit" it actually uses Gamma rays to produce the image.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Phewwwww! This week has been a bit of a killer. 4 exams, 3 of which were on pretty hard material and lots of it. So I haven't had much of a chance to post. Apologies.

Otherwise, not much interesting has been happening, schoolwise anyway. Just biding my time and letting the semester burn itself out. Next week is a review week for all of our classes, since the following week is Finals Week. Yippeeee (insert sarcasm here). 6 major exams in 5 days. Strike that! in 4 days since I am opting to take my Friday exam early so I can get up to Flagstaff a day early. My parents are coming to town for a visit, so I need some extra time to clean the apt before they get there.

Unfortunately, my wife has been called to jury duty selection next week. She is really hoping to get out of it and has put in a call to her brother, who is a paralegal, for suggestions on how to disavow herself of this "honor". I know they say its your civic duty and you are doing a service for the community, yada, yada, yada. But it couldn't have come at a more inconvenient time with our trip to San Francisco planned in a couple of weeks. I also don't have much faith in the "jury of your peers" method the American legal system uses either. If, God forbid, I ever find myself in court, I don't feel real comfortable having my fate decided by Billy Bob the mechanic or Martha the diner waitress. But, hey, that's me. I'm really hoping she can get out of it. I'm thinking the fact that she is a nurse will help, but we'll just have to wait and see.

I realize this post isn't too radiography-related, but there hasnt been much developing on that front lately. At least not much that is post-worthy. So just boring personal stuff about yours truely will have to do for now. Thanks for your patience.