#TipsForNewRads – 10 things to know for theatre radiography

Adding to the #TipsForNewRads that have been appearing on #SoMe over the last couple of weeks, I thought I might add to the mix with a list of things to know when going to theatre. I know that students will already have experienced going to theatre as part of clinical placement, but some may not have spent as much time in there as others. It is by no means an exhaustive checklist, more general observations from my time in theatre to date!

Anyways, here goes:

  1. Take part in the team brief if you can. I always join in if i’m up in theatre when it’s going on. You often find out more information about the patient and also what the surgeon is intending to do, and how.
  2. Always introduce yourself to theatre staff you’ve not met before.
  3. Check your image intensifier is clean before using it. Not all people are as thorough as you may be when it comes to cleaning – blood gets EVERYWHERE on a C-arm!
  4. If you’re unsure of how to go ahead with a procedure, or for example it may be a surgeon you’ve not worked with before, NEVER be afraid to ask what they want, or how they want you to position your image intensifier and monitors.
  5. You are an integral part of the operating team, not just an add-on, so get involved! Don’t just restrict yourself to the radiography side of things. You should help in the transfer of patients, clean up between cases, make notes if asked, get things if you aren’t busy x-raying. The more you get involved, the more the theatre staff will appreciate you and help you when you need.
  6. At the end of the procedure, if you are unsure which images to save, then again, just ask the surgeon – never assume!
  7. Always clean your image intensifier after use and leave it in a state which you would like to use it.
  8. If you don’t send and/or process the images from your case yourself, it is your responsibility to ensure that this gets done.
  9. Always communicate with the main department. Theatre lists change all the time. You may have just popped up to theatre for a “quick” MUA, only to find out that they need you all day! It helps whoever is in charge of running X-ray for theatres to plan the day if you keep in touch with them.
  10. ENJOY! Theatre radiography is a great part of your role as a diagnostic radiographer. You get to meet and be part of several different theatre teams. You will learn a lot!

There you have it! Like I said, not everything you need to know, but hopefully a useful list for newbies! Please feel free to comment on what i’ve said, or add your own handy hints!


Using Social Media to Effectively Publish Radiography Evidence Based Practice

Another great piece on the use of #SoMe in radiography and how it is being embraced by an ever-growing number of radiographers to promote new and existing research in the profession!


Here is a question posed in #MedRadJClub. Should radiographers be further developing the profession’s evidence based practice or should we be engaging in Social Media (#SoMe) to share our professional expertise? Or should we be embracing both?

While attending a workshop lead by Radiography editor Dr. Julie Nightingale at the National Radiotherapy Conference earlier this year the term “effective publishing” was discussed*. The idea is simple. By disseminating research to academic peers and the wider community you make yourself, and your profession, more visible. There are a number of traditional ways of doing this however #SoMe is now offering an alternative way to “get word out”. A good example of this is #MedRadJClub whereby published work is discussed in a monthly international tweet-chat. Yet this is often radiographer/technologist lead with radiographers/ technologists sharing best practice.

So where to start? For me this has involved sharing my blogs in #SoMe conversations beyond radiography. Although…

View original post 396 more words

#TOTW from 23-07-15 ‘Scientists find first drug that appears to slow Alzheimer’s’

Hey so!

Another week, another great news story about Alzheimer’s and the progress being made in current research:

This has to be yesterday’s most important & exciting news story on the potential benefits of the drug

Dr Eric Karran, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK said:

“This is the first evidence of something genuinely modifying the disease process. It’s a breakthrough in my mind. The history of medicine suggests that once you get through that door you can explore further therapeutic opportunities much more aggressively. It makes us less helpless.”

We should be careful when using terms such as “a breakthrough,” but there does seem to be genuine excitement for the possibilities with the drug Solanezumab. It appears to be most effective when given to patients in the early stages of the disease. This of course will mean that for the greatest benefits to be possible then people will need to be diagnosed as early as possible in order to be able to benefit from this potential discovery. This will require funding not just for the research itself, but for the support services around diagnoses – GP’s, follow-up clinics etc.

There will undoubtedly be more stories like this over the coming months and years. It just goes to show the importance of research and the need for this to be properly funded by Government.

This has been a good news week for Alzheimer’s – again! Long may we have many more in the future!

G’nite folks!


#TOTW from 13-07-2015 ’15-year-old schoolboy develops test for Alzheimer’s’

Welcome All!

Here we are again in the regular Sunday night slot! It didn’t take much thought to pick this week’s #TOTW as I felt there was one stand-out story from the week:

15-year-old schoolboy develops test for ‘s How come this hasn’t been thought of before?!

Krtin Nithiyanandam told the Daily Telegraph:

The main benefits of my test are that it could be used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms start to show by focusing on pathophysiological changes, some of which can occur a decade before symptoms are prevalent.

My question is…how on earth has it taken 15-year-old child to come up with something like this? Has it not been thought of at all before? It seems such a simple and obvious idea, and yet i’m sure the chemistry behind it is far from simple!

It’s all to do with antibodies, fluorescent nanoparticles, trojan horses and the blood-brain barrier. It’s great! Can you imagine the possibilities for the advancement of research – and maybe even one day, treatment – in this area if this idea can be developed and becomes a reality!?

Good on ya Master Krtin Nithiyanandam! Let’s hope he does go on to study medicine and pursue a career in the medical profession.

That is all!

Ben 🙂

Assisted Dying – who decides?

Evening all!

I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for months now, and here I find myself on a Friday night, at home, on-call from work, sat blogging about assisted dying. I almost don’t know where to start, and I think that is what has put me off writing about this before. I’ve tweeted about it a number of times over the last year or so, but never really put down my thoughts on the matter. The 2 key events that have taken place concerning assisted dying have been the rejection of proposed legislation in both the Scottish and UK Parliaments.

Patrick Harvie, leader of the Green Party in Scotland, took up the challenge of championing the legislation on behalf of the late Margo MacDonald in the Scottish Parliament. He pretty much summed-up how I feel, when he said:

Whatever view members take of the detailed operation of this legislation were we to pass it, I hope that all members who understand the basic principle, who accept the idea that human beings have the right to make a decision in circumstances such as a terminal or life-shortening illness, I hope that members will give this bill the opportunity to come forward to the next stage, and then we can begin to debate the amendments that come forward.”

What is the point of Parliament, if not to debate such fundamental matters of importance as those of life and death – literally, in this instance. What frustrates me the most is the fact that both in Scotland and in the rest of the United Kingdom, legislation has been brought forward and then not given the support or time necessary to have proper discussion and to further the debate. If this happens each time such legislation is proposed, then what is the point? I sincerely hope that with the re-introduction of Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill in the current session of the Westminster Parliament, that it progresses further than it managed to last time. For those who oppose it, what have you to fear by letting it progress through the committee stages of the House of Lords and into the House of Commons? This will give everybody the chance to analyse the proposed legislation in more detail and to suggest amendments, which can then in turn be debated. It would appear that the British public is moving towards an acceptance of the principle of assisted dying. If this is the case, then the Parliaments that represent them have a duty to debate, discuss, inform and educate on the matter.

Happily Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill has been re-introduced into the UK Parliament and had its first reading in the House of Lords on June 4th 2015:


There is so much information online and in print about assisted dying. For those of you already interested in the topic then i’m sure you know where to look. However, for those of you that may be new to the debate then the link above is a good place to start. It contains a copy of the proposed legislation, and will take you through its progress.

If you hadn’t already figured it out, then I shall now nail my colours to the mast. I support the basic principle of assisted dying and a persons’ right to choose when they no longer wish to live, even if this involves the assistance of another party. This Bill should be allowed to progress through Parliament and receive the proper scrutiny it requires and deserves – on a matter of such importance.

I will come back to this topic in the future, but I just wanted to put it out there and declare my interest. Please feel free to get in touch, share your views and add to the debate.


Using Technology to Accelerate the Radiography Profession

Check out this blog from Janice about radiographers’ growing use of social media to promote the profession. Great read and spot on in what she says. We need more radiographers to start using social media to help tell the world what we do!


Having read “Watch What You Say” on the Society of Radiographers (SoR) webpages I have decided this evening to write an unscheduled blog to look at the positives of engaging in Social Media for radiographers.

This piece, written by Warren Town Director of Industrial Relationships for SoR, makes some very valid points about our professional responsibilities in on-line activities and made me reflect on my own Social Media (#SoMe) activity. In June 2014 I decided to embark on a project that looked to engage undergraduate radiographer learners in a level three professional practice module which has a 14 week clinical placement with academic weeks at either ends. Having been the module leader the year before, it was evident that when students were on placement they became disengaged with the module. Drawn by the back story of WeCommunities founder, Theresa Chinn MBE, and how she had used twitter to deal with…

View original post 610 more words

#TOTW from 10-07-15 ‘Mrs Andrews’ story: Her failed care pathway’

Good evening folks!

The subject of this week’s #TOTW is a sad story (in the form of an animation) about an elderly lady that was admitted to hospital – unnecessarily – and who, because of the decisions taken about her care, was never able to return to her home. The video, which is less than 5 minutes long, speaks for itself:

This is of course not to say this happens all the time, but I would have thought it does happen. People are admitted to hospital unnecessarily and then find it hard to return to their own homes – in effect being “stuck” in the system that is there to try and help them. At the recent Patient Safety Congress in Birmingham, however, there was a talk related to ways this issue is being tackled by some organisations i.e. by taking the care to the patient in their own homes – an extension of the service provided by paramedics. So, as sad as Mrs Andrews’ story may be, there are ways in which this could be prevented if the right resources are put in place.

Oh well, until next time…

Ben 🙂

#TOTW from 04-07-15 ‘We must treat a broken mind with same urgency as a broken leg’


Apologies for the lack of a #TOTW last week, but as you saw I was away in Venice for the weekend, so I decided to have a break from blogging! I’m back this week with an extremely important message for my #TOTW:

‘We must treat a broken mind with same urgency as a broken leg’

It’s always frustrated me that for some reason or other it appears “acceptable” to have a crisis of a physical nature such as a broken leg or a wrist – something which I see on a daily basis. However, when it comes to a broken mind, people seem to be less forgiving. Why is this? What reason is there for giving someone the comfort they need when they brake a bone, but not being so understanding when they are suffering with matters of the mind? Just because someone doesn’t have their head in a plaster or a bandage doesn’t mean they they aren’t hurting and in need of some TLC and understanding – just as you would if they were hobbling around on crutches.

We *ALL* have friends and or family that are suffering in some way shape or form, and so remember that this may not always be visible to the naked eye. It doesn’t make the suffering any less real.

Thanks for taking the time to read.

Ben 🙂