Sunday, 3 March 2013

Top 10 Tips: For Radiographers New To Theatres

1.    Introduce yourself to as many people, especially surgeons, as possible. Doctors are often very          grateful and accepting when they learn you are new and are willing to guide you. Most doctors like things done a certain way and will be happy to teach you to get it right the next time. They generally don’t like it when you pretend you know what you’re doing and stuff it up!

2.     Familiarise yourself with the II. Know which buttons/levers move the machines in which directions so you know how to move the machine quickly and confidently.

3.     Be aware of where/how far you need to move the machine and clear all possible obstacles (e.g. cables, IV poles/lines, anything under the operating table) and ensure that the screens are visible to both yourself and the surgeon and won’t need to be moved during the case

4.     For urology/op chole/general abdo area cases – come in perpendicular to the patient. E.g. with an RGP, centre to the correct side of the patient and turn the wheels so the machine will move straight up and down the patient

5.     For orthopaedic cases such as hands, wrists, forearms, elbows – turn the machine so the II is on the bottom and the tube on top as surgeons will often rest the limb on the II

6.     For spinal cases (depending on doctor preference) – the machine may need to be flipped so that it can be swung over the top of the patient to get a shoot through lateral. Test this before you come into the theatre

7.     For hip cases – you may bring the machine in through the patient’s legs or the unaffected leg will be lowered and you’ll come in from the unaffected side. You’re not quite perpendicular to the patient but the angle depends on the patient set up and is usually guided by the surgeon. Centre over the hip for the AP and swing under the table for the lateral.

8.     Only screen when the surgeon asks and stop when they say or when they are no longer looking at the screen. Always ask before you screen if you want to check your position and make sure everyone in the room is wearing or is protected by lead.

9.     If the doctor doesn’t ask, save images at significant points (e.g. when contrast is seen, when screws/plates have been inserted)

10. Make use of both image screens i.e. save older images to the other screen as a reference. E.g. with hip cases, as you frequently change from AP to Lat, save the last image before you switch positions so the surgeon can compare from both angles