On-the-Job Training

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One of the x-ray labs at SUS

In the past few weeks, I was at my very first OJT at Stavanger University Hospital. I was assigned at the radiology department to take x-rays of patients coming back for a check up. The lab that I was assigned to during the first week is a big one and the most common examination is the pelvis and hips. The patients are mostly elderly and adults, though once in a while we got babies and toddlers too. The first day was the busiest because we had like 30 patients during the shift. Well busy for me since it was my first time. Also, I am a student so I cannot just take all the patients and besides, first day is mostly observation for us students. However, after lunch my supervisor let me take atleast a couple of examinations.

Moving on, after a day I was allowed to both take my own x-rays and to assist the radiographers while they lecture me about the protocols in the department. I found out that there is a difference between theory and what is practiced in the hospital. Also, the hospitals have different set of protocols too, so it is important to read and study them. My supervisor is a hands on one which I appreciate a lot because I heard that some of my classmates had supervisors who did not care about them. Anyway,  she made sure that I learned something from her tips and advice by letting me work independently while she was standing in the back. She only interfered when she saw huge mistakes but other than that I was allowed to do whatever I want as long as I was working according to the guidelines and protocols. At the end of the shift, we talked and discussed what things that I needed to be better at.

The OJT was only three weeks and I can say that I have learned a lot when it comes to working in a hospital, patient care and interaction, the department’s administration routines and radiographer as a profession. The experience has also proved and shown me that working as a radiographer is more than pushing the button. Yes there is the button but it is not the only thing about this profession. Like for instance, an x-ray technician should have knowledge about anatomy, radiation physics, medication, nursing and elderly care.

Other than my supervisor, I also got the opportunity to work with other radiographers in the hospital. I found out that the seniors use some techniques that the newer generation would not. I am grateful that they have shown me how to for example do the projections the other way as well.

To end this post, I want to thank all the radiographers and radiologists who I’ve worked with in this short OJT period. Thank you so much for your knowledge, patience and kindness.

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I Killed my Patient

This is an update on my post about the exam that I had on drug dosage calculation. Since this is just an exam, we are allowed to try again if we fail to get a score of 100% . I failed on my first attempt because I have an error on the last part of the exam which was to find the initial dosage of the concentrate. That task is an easy one compared to the other ones. I was actually surprised when I found out that my calculations on the hardest part of the exam is flawless and I failed on an easy one. I got frustrated because of that small error.

Fortunately, the patient is just an exam. However, I really felt bad for the failure not because I had to retake the exam again but because I was thinking what if this exam was a real person.

So what did I learn from the exam? Well, I learned how to keep my head cool under time pressure. Yes, pressure and stress can arise but it should not let it affect my task because we all know that working in the health sector can be very busy. In the exam, we’re given 2 hours and we had to solve for 6 exercises. 6 doesn’t sound a lot but the cases are long, therefore it needs time. Second, read the exercises/tasks twice (or more if needed!). Know what it is asking for. Is it asking for the volume or the dosage? Third, don’t use a scratch paper. Because it is time consuming. And lastly, treat your exam as a patient. Be serious and sincere in solving the cases because once you’re done with the studies, you’ll be dealing with real people who would be needing your services. Their lives is in your hands.

 

 

 

Radiography

Whenever I’m not at work, home and travelling, I’m definitely busy with my studies. Yes, I’m studying again. This time, it is relevant to my job experience (in health sector) and I can say that I’m thriving in this program. Thriving because when people ask me why I chose to take this course, I cannot help but talk about it with enthusiasm. Also, as I’ve mentioned above, this is relevant to my work as an assistant at the home nursing job that I have.

I’m studying Bachelor of Science Major in Radiography at the University College of Bergen (Høgskolen på Vestlandet). I just started this fall and I’m so glad that I’ve chosen this program.

Before I continue, let me tell you what a radiographer is, because most of the people I know thought that I’m going to be a spesialist in X ray imaging or AKA radiologist.

A radiographer is someone who takes X ray images of patients. In addition to that, they also perform CT scan examination and MRI examinations to diagnose for example, an injury. Depending on what country the radiographer is working at, the scope of work task is different. Like for example, here in Norway, the radiographers are very hands on to their patients and they administer medicines and etc. Unlike in the other countries, the radiographer’s only task is to take X rays and report to the radiologist.

A radiologist on the other hand is a medical doctor (a physician) and is a specialist in using medical images to diagnose and treat a disease. 

 

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In order to be a good radiographer, it is important that you know your anatomy, radiological physics and radiographic positioning. The photo above, is a photo of Bontrager’s handbook.

 

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Røntgen lab

 

This is the school’s X ray lab. I love how we can come here anytime to practice what we’ve learned in the classroom and to master the art of conventional X ray. Don’t worry, we only practice on phantoms and not on each other!

 

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Wearing my oversized scrubs

And because we are training to be a professional radiographer and health worker, discipline in the field is a must. Hence, the uniform.

 

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The human skeletton

 

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The school’s X-ray machine from Siemens

 

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Medio lateral X ray of right knee. Took by me.

Some of the reasons why I chose to study radiography is that the idea that I’ll get to work with high-tech equipments, work with patients and work with research. A radiographer is not limited by x ray/CT/MRI machine alone, but he/she also do research. Because the health sector is constantly changing.

The Bachelor program at the University College of Vestlandet is 3 years to complete and has 180 units. On the job training is included. All of the lectures and exams are in Norwegian, except for one of the subjects in the last semester (I think).

For more information about the program, kindly check this HVL’s website: https://www.hvl.no/studier/studieprogram/2017h/grr/ .