Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Actual comment from a classmate today, "She can palpate my pubic symphysis any day!".

Appropriate? Inappropriate? Funny? Not so funny? You be the judge.

Monday, March 27, 2006

To move or not to move.......

Busy weekend. A friend of ours from Minnesota was in Phoenix with her husband for a Teacher's Job Conference, so we were with them for most of the weekend, showing them around the city. They are considering moving here so he can find a job as a phy. ed. teacher. He graduated from a very prestigious private college about 3 years and has only been able to find temporary work as a substitute teacher in Minneapolis. He met with several of the different school districts in the Phoenix area for impromptu interviews. The problem is although he wants to move here for work, our friend is really opposed to the idea. She is a twin and is very close to her twin sister and cant imagine moving away from her, especially since she just had her first baby. I feel bad for our friend and her husband because he really wants to teach but has been unable to find work in Minnesota, so for him to find work in the career he really wants, it would mean moving across the country, something that his wife is very opposed to. They are kind of between a rock and hard place. I am just thinkful that my wife and I see eye to eye on so many things. It makes life so much easier.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Factoid #1274

Did you know that 4 out of 5 scientists agree that you shouldn't ever use the word "copasetic".

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Somewhere, right now, there is a cat hating you.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Of dingos and babies......

Have you ever heard the expression "a dingo ate my baby"?

I was just watching an old episode of Seinfeld where Elaine uses this simple statement to get out of boring conversation with a person at a party. I had heard this expression before and always wondered where it came from.

Well after a few minutes of searching on the trusty interweb, i found my answer. The expression came into popular use in the mid 1980s as a result of a court case in Australia surrounding a woman who's baby had gone missing while on a camping trip. Right off the bat the police suspected foul play, so they questioned her unrelentingly about the events of the night in question. After hours of interogation she would only answer the police questions with the response "A dingo ate my baby!". This got out to newspapers and the rest is history. There was actually a movie made about the case called "A Cry in the Dark".

Mystery solved!
Just found this. Ummmm.....WTF??!!

No acting today

Usually every other Tuesday we have an exam in our Positioning Lab Competency class. The exam usually entails actually physically demonstrating the various radiographic positions that we learned that week. You pick a partner from class and, in front of an instructor, go thru the motions of performing an x-ray exam. Patient communication is graded on heavily so I have developed a little speech that incorporates all the points that the instructor is looking for. It goes something like this "Hello Mr. Johnson, how are you today? My name is Dustin, I'll be taking your x-rays today.....can you please take off all your metalic jewelry......are you currently pregnant or think you might be pregnant?.....can you verify your date of birth for me?.......are you aware of any metal objects in your body?.......yada yada yada".

But for some reason today, I got to class all ready to give my partner the best imaginary x-ray that anyone has ever had, but instead of acting out the procedure, we had to write it down, including every single little detail. We are normally given 2 random positions, out of the 10-15 we are studying that week, to demonstrate for the instructor, but this time we were given three. Luckily mine were fairly easy, an AP pelvis, AP hip and Lateral hip. In case you can't tell, this week we are studying positions for the pelvic girdle.

Well, one hour and one cramped hand later, I finished describing all three positions and handed in my exam. Most of the time I overstudy this stuff so I was able to include a bunch of little details that probably weren't needed like "Medial rotation of the limb is contraindicated in patients with such-and-such pathology" and "the use of a gonad shield is recommended unless it is likely to be superimposed over the area of interest", etc. So as long as I included the "really important stuff" as well as all the little extras I think I will do pretty well. I just feel sorry for my instructor for having to read 4 pages of my horrible chickenscratch-like handwriting.

Monday, March 20, 2006

5 Weird Things

I was recently asked by a friend of mine on another blog to post 5 Weird Things About Me, like she had on her blog. So here it goes.

5 Weird/Strange/Obsessive Things About Me

1. When I get out of the shower I always towel off the different parts of my body in the same order. I just recently realized this and have to wonder if I am the only one who does this.

2. I always sing along to the song "Breakfast at Tiffany's", but in a thick German accent. And I dont even like the song. Go figure.

3. If I warm something up in the microwave and take it out before the timer beeps, I always have to clear the remaining time so it goes back to the clock. I have woken up in the middle of the night, realized the time wasnt cleared and gone downstairs just to clear the timer. OCD much!?

4. I chew my finger nails, but only when I'm watching a the theater.

5. I practice Spanish on my cat. Which I realize is totally pointless since A) she doesnt understand English much less Spanish, B) can't tell me if I am using the past subjunctive form correctly or not, and C) would rather be sleeping anyway.

So, a little insight into the weirdness that is me.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

field trip

WOW!! i am so pumped to get out to my clinicals after taking our tour of the radiology dept this morning. we started out with a tour of the cardiac cath lab which was very interesting. i had sort of written the cath lab off, thinking i would never want to do it, but after hearing more about it, it is much more interesting than i thought. i still dont know if i would ever cross train into it, but it is a very interesting and necessary service.

later, we were taken into the radiology dept proper and shown all their x-ray suites as well as CT and fluoroscopy. all very interesting. currently, most hospitals are making the switch to whats called digital radiography, or DR. DR is entirely computerized, film and electronic imaging plates are not used. rather the table itself is a sensor and catches the x-ray image and sends it almost instantly to the computer which will display it on a monitor for a tech to evaluate. this allows the tech to immediately determine if he or she will have to repeat the projection before the patient leaves the table. it also cuts down on the amount of radiation a patient has to be exposed to.

although most hospitals have switched over to DR, there were a few rooms in this hospital that hadnt been upgraded yet, so we able to see how the older machines worked. i can tell already that i will much prefer to work with the DR machines since they are much more user friendly and time efficient. DR is so prevalent these days that our program no longer teaches its students how to process film and the ARRT has taken out all film-related questions from its national exam. Advances in imaging technology progress very rapidly.

we finished our tour in the MR area. the Chandler Regional Hospital employs a 1.5 Tesla magnet for its magnetic resonance (MR) machine, which is a standard magnet size for MR machines in the US. although, researchers have developed and are now testing 7, 9 and even 15 Tesla MR machines. to me MR is one of the most interesting modalities, as well as the most complex.

MRs use high powered magnets and radiowaves to change the alignment of the water molecules in your body. when their alignment is changed a signal is produced which is recorded and interpreted by a computer and then displayed as a visual image. MRs do not employ ionizing radiation for imaging like CT, x-ray and fluoro do, so it is a much safer form of imaging. However, there are precautions that must be taken regarding metal objects coming into close proximity to the magnet.

this modality really interests me and i hope to cross train in it soon after i start working. MR technology advances very fast and it is thought that it will become one of the most commonly used modalities in the future. it is especially useful when paired with CT, as they compliment each other well.

they gave us lots of great information and we now have lots to think about regarding our future career goals. i am really leaning toward MR now as well as CT cross training. Bone densitometry is also something i may be interested in, as well as eventually being trained to be a Radiology Assistant. who knows what the future will bring.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

easy street

this week is going to be great....schoolwise. not one test this week, NOT ONE!! can you believe that! i'm still in shock. what will i do with myself? i'm sure i will find something. ;-) he he.

plus we have a field trip to the radiology department of a major hospital in the city of Chandler. we will be able to talk to techs in all the major radiology modalities like general x-ray, CT, MR, ultrasound and even cath lab and cardiac lab. it means i have to get up a little earlier but its worth it. i'll post tomorrow and tell you about it.

winter wonderland

i survived Testapallooza and i think i actually did pretty well on most, if not all, of my tests. on friday, after class, i went to the airport and picked up my sister-in-law and took her up to flagstaff for the weekend. we got up there just in time because it started snowing at about 1pm friday and didnt stop until about 3pm sunday.

it ended up snowing about 38 inches which pretty much just shut down the whole city. the pic was taken from our apartment balcony. unfortunately, we never got to do any of the out door activities we had planned for while she was here. luckily by sunday evening they had cleared the roads enough for me to get back down to phx for class on Monday morning.

it was nice to have family come for a visit. sometimes it gets a little lonely with all of our friends and family so far away.

Monday, March 13, 2006

For Sale: Grey's Anatomy Season 1 DVD

OK, this is a shameless advertisement for something I am selling on eBay, but what can ya do. I recently finished watching the first season of Grey's Anatomy and so I am trying to sell it on eBay to make some of my money back. So if you are interested here is the link to the auction.

Grey's Anatomy Season 1 DVD

I hope to hear from you. :-)

Sorry for the lack of recently posts. I have been really busy the last week or so. First with Testapallooza and then this weekend my sister-in-law was here visiting so we were busyt with her. We got more than 30 inches of snow in Flagstaff in fewer than 3 days. I will post about that later and include some pics too.

Will Return Soon.

Monday, March 06, 2006


i'm calling this week "Testapallooza", since i have a total of 7 tests this week. today's was in positioning and was the written version, the lab competency is tomorrow. this chapter's topic is the lower extremities. did you know that the ankle mortise is an example of a synovial hinge joint? apparently i didnt either since that was one of the several i got wrong on today's test. today's score was my worst so far, an 89%. while not bad generally, relative to my other scores so far it is not so great.

now if i just keep my head down and "give'er hell!", as my dad used to say, i should survive this week of examinus maximus. on friday my wife's sister is flying into phx and after class i am picking her up and we are driving up to flag for the weekend. shes pretty cool to hang around with and it will be a nice little treat to have a visitor around after a long week of tests.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

the patient's needs

lately, our instructors have really been pounding in the importance of the "patient's needs". They tell us that the patient's needs must come before your own prejustices or judgements, before the hospitals budget, before the nurses requests (sorry nurses!) and even before the physician's convenience.

one example of a patient's need is relative comfort. it's important not to inflict any unnecessary pain on a patient. our instructor gave us an example of a tech he used to work with who always got really great images, but usually at the expense of the patient's comfort. he would force them into positions that, because of their injury or medical condition, were often very painful just so he could get the best possible image for the radiologist. when they would protest, his sensitive side would come out (note the sarcasm here) and he would respond to them by saying "why're you yelling at me, you did it to yourself!". what a sensitive and conscientious healthcare worker, dont you think? jeeze!

note to self: don't blame the patients for their injuries. it's just bad form.

so one of my new career goals is to be a better tech than the guy from my instructor's story. i have a feeling that i will have no trouble accomplishing this particular goal. :-)

Saturday, March 04, 2006

As a non-Christian child......

when i was five, i thought that Santa was Jesus who had gotten old, but liked to give out presents.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

well, it turns out i've been tagged by Kristen over at Kristen's Chronicles. So here it goes:

Four Jobs I've Had in My Life:
1. Lifeguard
2. Field Archaeologist
3. Barista (coffee shop)
4. Museum Collections Assistant

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over:
1. The Big Lewbowski
2. Pulp Fiction
3. Anchorman
4. The Forty Year Old Virgin

Four Places I Have Lived:
1. Erin, Ontario, Canada (born there)
2. Delano, Minnesota (grew up there)
3. Dalkeith, Scotland (study abroad)
4. Flagstaff, Arizona (live there now)

Four TV Shows I Love to Watch:
2. Grey's Anatomy
3. Scrubs
4. Trauma: Life in the ER
(also, Family Guy, The Simpsons, Invasion, Paramedics, and generally anything that gets me away from studying)

Four Places I Have Been on Vacation:
1. Madrid, Spain
2. Mazatlan, Mexico
3. Santa Fe, New Mexico
4. Lutsen, Minnesota

Four Websites I Visit Daily:
1. Yahoo Mail
2. Confessions of a Student Nurse
3. my blog

Four of My Favorite Foods:
1. cheese
2. popcorn
3. bobollis homemade pizza
4. sushi

Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now:
1. Santorini, Greece
2. Flagstaff
3. coffee shop
4. hiking the Grand Canyon

Four Most Wonderful Places I've Ever Been:
1. Cordoba, Spain
2. Venice, Italy
3. Sedona, Arizona
4. Estes Park, Colorado

Four Books I read Over and Over Again:
1. Hyperion
2. To Kill a Mocking Bird
3. The Godfather
4. A&P

Four Songs I listen to Over and Over Again:
1. Creep by Radiohead
2. 'Til Kingdom Come by Coldplay
3. Soul Meets Body by Death Cab for Cutie
4. New Slang by The Shins

Four Reasons Why I Blog?
1. to share my life with perfect strangers (weird, huh?)
2. to express myself and how i feel
3. to entertain people (hopefully at least a little bit)
4. to be part of a digital community

Four people I tag to do this?
1. SVN, prn
2. Jen, SN
3. Katie
4. Eve