#TOTW from 03-12-15 ‘Plain film: YES or NO?’


So then, another week and another Twitter poll is the topic of my #TOTW:

Does the term imaging devalue the work we do? I don’t think so

So, you can see the question – what do you think? The results of the poll – admittedly only 10 people – showed that 70% said NO, use of the term plain film did not devalue the work we do, with the remaining 30% feeling that it does. As I stated in the Twitter poll itself, I do not believe that referring to ‘plain film’ imaging devalues the work I do as a diagnostic radiographer. Yes, I agree it is outdated as we no longer use films in imaging, and OK, so maybe there’s nothing ‘plain’ about what we do, but it’s descriptive. People know what we are referring to when we use the term.

This years Annual Delegates Conference saw a motion to see a change to the use of the term. It begs the question, does it really matter? I know that I have spent 3 years at university and worked hard in order to be able to do what I do, and I am happy to use the ‘outdated’ term. It does what is says on the tin. OK, so maybe it is inaccurate, but I don’t at present see anything better out there to replace it with. For example, it has been suggested by some that ‘primary’ imaging would be better. However, ‘plain film‘ is not always the primary form of imaging these days, particularly in a trauma scenario when a patient more often that not takes a trip through a CT scanner before making their way to X-ray! Also I don’t feel that ‘primary’ imaging is descriptive enough as to the type of imaging that is taking place. Another of the alternatives suggested is that of ‘general‘ imaging. Now OK, so this is a term that I know is in use a bit more and when I was interviewed for my Band 6 position it was for ‘General and Trauma Imaging.’ However, the general bit still doesn’t really work for me either to be honest! I say if ain’t broke – don’t fix it! Until someone comes up with an obviously more descriptive and up-to-date term then I shall continue to use the term ‘plain film.’

What do you think? Answers in a comment to…

Ben 🙂