Imaging. to Celebrate. Wartime. Ready for Ebola. The Safety Dance. A Campaign. YOUR JOB YOUR CAREER YOUR ASRT

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1 Scanner YOUR JOB YOUR CAREER YOUR ASRT Wartime Imaging Ready for Ebola The Safety Dance A Campaign to Celebrate DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 VOL 47 NO 2 Senior Master Sgt. Ronnie Tabor, R.T.(R)(N), taught medical imaging in Afghanistan.

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3 COVER PHOTO: MICHAEL SPOONEYBARGER COVER STORY 26 Imaging Under Fire Performing medical exams in a combat zone is no easy feat. Patient loads are heavy, injuries are traumatic and an enemy is trying to kill you. Enter the world of wartime imaging. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I The Safety Dance 34 Promoting radiation safety among the medical profession takes the careful steps of a health care team, but who is the choreographer behind it all? Why an R.T., of course! Have Your Say 42 contents DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 VOL 47 NO 2 Ready for Ebola 38 Your values, needs and hopes as an R.T. matter. Make them count with your vote. Choose your next leaders in the 2015 ASRT election. Few radiologic technologists can say they were part of a health care team that successfully treated patients infected with the Ebola virus. Meet one who was and is. A Campaign to Celebrate 46 ELECTION 2015 The radiologic science profession has come a long way, and its journey continues. Will you help make the next 30 years even brighter? ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 1

4 contents DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 VOL 47 NO 2 CAREER 17 CLINIC CHECK Understanding Autism Not sure how to comfort young autistic patients during imaging procedures? An R.T. and mother of a child with autism shares some pointers. 18 GIVING CARE Moving Too Fast? Time is of the essence, especially when short-staffed. Cynthia Gibbons, R.T.(R), offers tips to help you work efficiently without skimping on attention to what matters most. 19 OPTIMIZE E-cig Stir A new kid on the smokingcessation block is helping some smokers kick the habit. But does it do more harm than good? 20 TRANSITIONS From Radio to Therapy A budding radiation therapist maximizes what he learned as a broadcaster, and experiences a memorable patient interaction in the process. PROFESSION 21 CREATING POSSIBILITIES A Gift to the Future One educator s extraordinary donation is one giant leap toward a brighter tomorrow for the medical imaging and radiation therapy community. 22 THE NEXT CHAPTER Military Chapter Milestone As the ASRT s Military Chapter approaches its 20th anniversary, its vice chairman reflects on its integral role in the profession. 23 STANDARDS & PRACTICES Teaching Required Some might say, It s not my job. But ethics and practice guidelines are clear: Every R.T. plays a part in educating others. Learn why. ASRT Scanner looks back at the COMING IN history of the Radiological Society of North America s annual meeting and its significance to the profession. Also, what s the buzz in technology innovations? And R.T.s extol the Feb.benefits of ASRT membership. 2 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x MEMBERSHIP 56 ADVOCACY And Action! Advocacy requires effort, but with a little practice and lots of positivity, you ll soon be a pro. Kathy Drotar, M.Ed., R.T.(R)(N)(T), shares 10 ways to advocate. 57 INSIGHT Stand Up for R.T.s The actions of your state affiliate, or the lack of them, stand between you and the deregulation of your livelihood. Will you take a stand? 58 DOWNTIME Operation Uncle Arthur A skilled wood turner and caring R.T. puts his 24 TURNING POINT craftsmanship to work to Madame Curie help injured veterans. You know her name. You re familiar with her Nobel-prize winning achievements. But this brilliant scientist s lesser known contributions might surprise you. ISSUE 4 Editor s Letter 5 Feedback 11 Spectrum 50 Member Connection 60 Marketplace 64 Artifact I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I

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6 MEDICAL IMAGING AND RADIATION THERAPY PROFESSIONALS work on the front lines of patient care every day. Many R.T.s serve in roles we often don t think about, from literally working on the front lines during wartime, to courageously assisting health care teams in the diagnosis and treatment of infectious, deadly diseases such as Ebola. In this issue of ASRT Scanner, we hear from ASRT members whose stories exemplify bravery, good will, adaptability and selflessness, all hallmarks of an R.T. And technologists whose jobs focus on radiation safety examine moves that can improve safety on the front lines of patient care. Accreditation and compliance consultant Ginger Griffin, R.T.(R), FASRT, HACP, CSHA, sums it up: Everybody is part of the solution. KIM AGRICOLA NRTW Fun Shelley Vest, R.T.(R), of Bluefield Regional Medical Center in West Virginia, celebrated National Radiologic Technology Week with her colleagues in the most common way with food! The department director presented the R.T. staff with a breakfast, and the radiologists showed their appreciation by presenting the team with lunch for two days. We ended the week with sweet treats like these cupcakes, Shelley said. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I STAFF Kim Agricola EDITOR Sherri Mostaghni ASSOCIATE EDITOR Myron King Marge Montreuil Laura Reed STAFF GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Julie James-Griego ART DIRECTOR Robin Treaster ADVERTISING AND SPONSORSHIP Kathi Schroeder DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS Ceela McElveny, CAE, ELS CHIEF COMMUNICATIONS AND MEMBERSHIP OFFICER Sal Martino, Ed.D., R.T.(R), FASRT, CAE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER ASRT SCANNER (ISSN ) is the official member newsmagazine of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists. Founded in 1920, ASRT is the world s largest radiologic science organization with more than 152,000 members. Send editorial inquiries and submissions to: ASRT Scanner, Central Ave. SE, Albuquerque, NM ; For reprint requests and circulation issues, contact: For general business, contact: All material contained in ASRT Scanner is subject to U.S. copyright laws. Requests to reprint articles require written approval from the ASRT ASRT. Views expressed in ASRT Scanner represent the views and opinions of the authors. Publication of these views in Scanner does not imply endorsement by the Society. Members of the ASRT are free to act in any way they choose in response to such views. Any decision they make is made by each member independently and based solely on what is in the interest of that member. ASRT Scanner (ISSN ) is published bimonthly by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists in the USA at Central Ave. SE, Albuquerque, NM Phone , Fax Hours: M-F, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mountain time. Price per year is $8.30, included in member dues. Periodical postage paid at Albuquerque, N.M., and at additional mailing offices. Months of issue are December/ January, February/March, April/May, June/July, August/September and October/November. Postmaster: Send changes of address to ASRT Scanner, Central Ave. SE, Albuquerque, NM ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x ASRT BOARD OF DIRECTORS Julie Gill, Ph.D., R.T.(R)(QM) Chairperson and Associate Professor, Allied Health University of Cincinnati, Blue Ash College Cincinnati, Ohio CHAIRMAN William J. Brennan Jr., M.A., R.T.(R)(CT), CIIP Senior Systems Engineer of Radiology N.Y. Presbyterian Hospital/ Weill Cornell Medical Center New York, New York PRESIDENT Sandra Hayden, M.A., R.T.(T) Administrative Director of Radiation Therapy Services University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Division of Radiation Oncology Houston, Texas PRESIDENT-ELECT Michael Latimer, M.S.R.S., R.T.(R) Professor/Medical Imaging Palm Beach State College Palm Beach, Florida VICE PRESIDENT Kevin Rush, M.S.R.S., R.T.(R) Administrator of Imaging Services TriHealth, Inc. Cincinnati, Ohio SECRETARY-TREASURER Amanda Garlock-Corbin, B.A.S., R.T.(R)(MR) Staff Technologist Centers for Diagnostic Imaging Marysville, Washington SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE Michael Odgren, B.S., R.P.A., R.T.(R)(CT) Radiology Practitioner Assistant Diversified Radiology of Colorado Lakewood, Colorado VICE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE ABOUT ASRT ASRT Mission The mission of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists is to advance and elevate the medical imaging and radiation therapy profession and enhance the quality and safety of patient care. ASRT Vision The American Society of Radiologic Technologists will be the premier professional association for the medical imaging and radiation therapy community through education, advocacy, research and innovation.

7 Humerous Mistake I love reading ASRT Scanner and doing the puzzles. In the word search puzzle Scattered Bones (October/November 2014, Page 63), the scientific name for the upper arm bone, humerus, is misspelled as humerous. Working in orthopedics, bones jump out on the page. Vonda Peters, R.T.(R)(M) Saltillo, Mississippi EDITOR S NOTE: We wish we could say that we were just showing our humorous side, but regretfully, it was an unintentional spelling error no funny bones about it! The word search puzzle has been corrected in the digital edition of the October/ November issue. Access it at Thank You I read the article, Disabilities at Work, in the October/November issue of ASRT Scanner, about R.T.s with disabilities who are working. Thank you for putting this article out there, because it s encouraging to others who have disabilities, as well as to those who care for individuals with disabilities. I received an autism diagnosis in I was blessed to have a caring, tenacious and Godly grandmother and a helpful school system. They diligently worked with me for many years until I could live appropriately in society. When I was in junior high school, autism was officially removed from my scholastic record, and I no longer needed special education classes. I excelled in high school and college. I obtained my certification as an R.T. in 2011, and I now enjoy many opportunities to give to others. Niki Allen, R.T.(R) Claremore, Oklahoma Yes, You Can! Like Terri Italiano, B.S., R.T.(R) (CT), whose story appeared in the Scanner article Disabilities at Work, I would like to say disabilities are diversity. I have worked for 20 years as an R.T with a disability. I was born with sensorineural hearing loss. With the help of two hearing aids, I am able to hear fairly decently. Hearing aids have come a long way since I was first diagnosed in the early 1980s, and they serve their purpose, but they are far from perfect. I still miss some important words and sounds. My mom always encouraged me to go for it. She stated it was Yes, you can, not No, you can t. I was 5 years old when I received my first pair of hearing aids, and I have not slowed down since! I graduated in the top 10 percent of my high school class, and I graduated summa cum laude from the radiography program at Gadsden State Community College in Alabama, in June Upon graduation, I started working as a staff technologist at Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where I worked for a year before going back to school to get my certificate in radiation therapy from Chattanooga State. I graduated in August 1997 with honors. I then worked as a radiation therapist at Erlanger Medical Center, and I filled in as a PRN radiographer at Riverview Regional Medical Center in Gadsden. After 10 years in my role as a therapist, I elected to take a full-time position as a CT and MR technologist at Riverview to be closer to home. By then I had a young child and wanted to be near his school and daycare. (Today, my son is an adorable 13-year-old.) The hospital encouraged me to obtain my postprimary certification in CT, MR and bone densitometry, so that I could work at its freestanding diagnostic imaging center. While working toward those certifications, I was also working to obtain a bachelor s degree in radiologic science from the University of Florida Hospital. I graduated with honors in Recently, I graduated with my master s degree in health care science from the University of Saint Francis, again with honors. Like Terri, I adopted additional skills that allow me to be more in touch with my patients and their emotions. My intuitive skills are mostly finely tuned by now! My motto with coworkers is Remove failure from the table. Do not allow failures and defeats to set you back. Get up and try again. You can do it. Yes, you can! When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. I hope this letter will be inspiring to others. In the face of adversity and challenges, we can transform our most stubborn obstacles and turn them into opportunities for success. I never focused on what I couldn t do, only on what I could do. I never accepted failure. I simply removed it from the table. Kim Klebine, M.H.S., R.T.(R)(T)(CT)(MR)(BD) Rainbow City, Alabama HEADSCAN ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 5

8 HEADSCAN Why Waste Our Talent? I m a retired R.T. with experience in diagnostic imaging that spans a half century. I still faithfully maintain my certification with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists by completing the Directed Reading articles for continuing education credit in ASRT s journal, Radiologic Technology. Three years ago, my husband and I were catapulted into the diagnostic imaging system as patients. I underwent knee replacement surgery and, soon after, my husband suffered a stroke after he received an aortic valve replacement. He experienced a subsequent fall that fractured his C1-C2 vertebrae. We ve been in and out of hospitals and radiology waiting rooms since then. Being a patient has given me a sobering perspective on the weak links in the chain of training, hiring and orienting new radiologic technologists. I observed these same problems as a working technologist. Because of today s overburdened, underfunded health care system, hospitals and clinics are under fire to reduce costs. Budget cuts have adversely affected imaging personnel. Limited staffing and the resulting burnout of technologists have made it difficult, if not impossible, to oversee and help emerging graduates become integrated into their new roles as technologists. As each of my children got his or her driver s license, I told them that the driver s education they received didn t make them experienced drivers. Driving in a variety of conditions over time would make them better drivers. It s the same for student technologists when they graduate from a medical imaging program and embark on a career in health care. Experience can t be taught; it takes many years to acquire. They need the guidance and support of seasoned R.T.s. We have an untapped resource in our retired and semiretired technologists. Many of my peers are some of the best and most knowledgeable technologists, but they re now retired and have little interest in returning to the field as mentors or sponsors. However, there are dewy-eyed idealists like me who are excited and passionate about the future of medical imaging. We would be assets to any mentorship or sponsorship programs for students and new technologists. These new entries are poised to make significant contributions to the radiologic sciences and could benefit from the knowledge, talents and skills of well-seasoned R.T.s. Lita S. Baum, R.T.(R)(M) Seattle, Washington EDITOR S NOTE: We encourage retired R.T.s to share their knowledge with other ASRT members by submitting articles for possible publication in ASRT Scanner and contributing to the online discussions in the ASRT Communities found at Another excellent way to share your knowledge is by mentoring members of your state affiliate society and ASRT chapter who seek guidance. Members also can share their expertise by volunteering on one of ASRT s committees. View all volunteer opportunities with the ASRT at EDITOR CORRECTION: The Viewbox image in Scanner s October/November issue (Page 64) was not the inverted image described in the text. Viewbox shows the original image that clinical coordinator Amber Schuck, M.B.A., R.T.(R), and her students digitized, inverted and cropped. The inverted image, shown here, has the appearance of lightning, as Amber noted in Viewbox. ASRT SCANNER WELCOMES YOUR FEEDBACK. A LETTER TO THE EDITOR, KIM AGRICOLA, AT SEND IT IN THE MAIL TO ASRT SCANNER, CENTRAL AVE. SE, ALBUQUERQUE, NM , OR FAX IT TO ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

9 Improve Your Clinical Competence SECTIONAL ANATOMY Essentials Identify anatomical structures in MR and CT images. Explore anatomy through animation sequences. View images from a radiologist s perspective. Study anytime, anywhere. Earn 11.5 CE credits. Sectional Anatomy Essentials Online Education Module 1 Introduction to Sectional Anatomy Module 2 Cranium and Facial Bones Module 3 The Brain Module 4 The Spine Module 5 The Neck Module 6 The Thorax Module 7 The Abdomen Module 8 The Pelvis Module 9 The Extremities Earn 11.5 CE credits and receive a document recognizing your achievement once you successfully complete all nine modules. We also offer individual credit modules and an institutional/educator series for classroom use or training. essentialeducation

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12 Your Shining Moment Get the funding you need to achieve the success you deserve. Scholarship support provided by individual donors, ASRT Foundation Patrons, the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, Elekta, HEALTHeCAREERS, Siemens and Varian Medical Systems. Make a Gift, Make a Difference ASRT Foundation. All rights reserved. Get Ready to Vote Voting in the ASRT election will take place Feb. 12-March 12, Sign up to attend 30-minute open forums on Jan. 10, Have a question you want to ask before casting your vote? Send your questions to Candidates will respond to your questions in the ASRT Communities ASRT. All rights reserved. ELECTION 2015 Polls are open Feb. 12-March 12,

13 A Mom s Best Friend Lots of dog owners think of their pets as their children. Your gray matter also acknowledges this phenomenon, according to a study published in PLOS ONE. Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital analyzed the MR data of 14 women who had young children and a pet dog. When shown photos of their children and their dog, along with pictures of other children and other dogs, the MR images demonstrated substantial brain activation when the pictures were of their family members. One interesting finding: A woman s own dog sparked greater brain activity based on facial recognition than pictures of her own child. ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 11

14 Drugs Eased MR scans of a 2,500- year-old Siberian woman preserved by ice revealed that she most likely died from breast cancer at age 25, reported The Siberian Times. Drs. Andrey Letyagin and Andrey Savelov identified a primary tumor in the right breast and metastatic lymph nodes in the right axial. Clues about the life of the ice maiden were found in her burial chamber in a permafrost plateau of the Altai Mountains. Among the chamber s items was cannabis, likely used as an analgesic to quell her pain, say experts. READ THE FULL STORY AND VIEW THE MR SCANS AT PHOTO: ALEXANDER TYRYSHKIN, THE SIBERIAN TIMES I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I Calcium Scoring Differences Muddle Risk Coronary artery calcium scores vary between new CT systems, says a study published in Radiology. Researchers scanned 15 ex vivo hearts with new CT systems from four major vendors, then replicated the effects of scoring differences on risk reclassification of 432 people at intermediate risk for cardiovascular disease. Up to 6.5 percent were erroneously reclassified as low or high risk. Reclassification could trigger doctors to change patients treatment plans, reported Debra Beachy for Health Imaging. 12 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

15 Java Genetic Genes differences might account for health variances among people, leading some to consume coffee and others not. In a study published in Molecular Psychiatry, researchers said genetic disparities that affect brain chemistry and caffeine, sugar and fat metabolism might cause some people to drink more coffee than others. The scientists used single-nucleotide polymorphism information from more than 120,000 individuals to confirm the association. The Scientist says the results could guide future investigations into the health risks and benefits of drinking coffee. Number of enlisted military personnel who graduated from the U.S. Department of Defense s Tri-Service Radiography School in Source: Medical Education and Training Campus LOWER DOSE Dentists Called to Image Gently In the latest phase of its Image Gently campaign, the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging has set out to educate dental professionals and parents about radiation safety best practices. In coordination with the American Dental Association, the alliance provides dental professionals with educational resources and recommendations to optimize radiation dose used in pediatric dental imaging exams. Learn more about the Image Gently in Dentistry Campaign at ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 13

16 The GPS You Never Knew You Had The next time you refuse to stop and ask for directions, tell your travel partner you re just tapping into your inner GPS. Husband and wife Edvard and May-Britt Moser, of Norway, together with British-American scientist John O Keefe, identified specific brain cells in mammals that help us navigate complex environments. The discovery earned the three scientists this year s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and $1.1 million. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I Number of times the Nobel Prizes and Prize in Economic Sciences have been awarded to women. The prizes have been awarded 567 times since the first, in Source: Nobel Media AB Nobel Matrimonies Edvard and May-Britt Moser are the second married couple to win a Nobel Prize in Medicine. The first was Carl and Gerty Cori for their discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen, in Spouses Pierre and Marie Curie shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 with Henri Becquerel, whose discovery of spontaneous radioactivity drove the couple s research on the phenomenon. 14 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

17 Rad Lessons From the EPA The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently updated its studentfocused website, RadTown USA, an interactive community devoted to radiation science education for students in grades 6 through 12. New additions include activities that explore radiation principles such as time, distance and shielding. VISIT THE NEW RADTOWN USA AT IMAGE: COURTESY OF THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY I I I I I I I I I I I I Small Technique Tweak, Big Difference By turning breast cancer patients over onto their stomachs during radiation therapy treatments, doctors at Ohio State s new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute in Columbus are seeing better outcomes. A special prone therapy board allows them to treat the patient s breast underneath the board. The technique reduces dose to heart and lung tissue and preserves the shape of the breast, the doctors say. FIRST READ The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady By Elizabeth Stuckey-French (Paperback, $15) Meet Marylou Ahearn. She is radioactive, enraged and out for revenge. The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady is a fictional tale that spins off of actual government-sponsored experiments conducted at a prenatal clinic at Vanderbilt University in Nashville from 1945 to Believing that they were receiving vitamins to drink, 829 pregnant women were given cocktails of radioactive iron to determine whether the radioiodine could cross the placenta. It could and did, crossing over into the fetuses within an hour. In her offbeat novel, Elizabeth Stuckey-French depicts the story of pregnant Marylou, who is given a prenatal vitamin cocktail by Dr. Wilson Spriggs during a covert government study in the 1950s. She has no idea it s radioactive. Initially, the side effects of the drink are minor bleeding gums, anemia and headaches. The long-term effects, however, are devastating. Marylou devises a plan to track down Dr. Spriggs and get revenge. After decades of plotting, 77-year-old Marylou finds Dr. Spriggs in Tallahassee, Florida, suffering from Alzheimer s disease and living with his dysfunctional family. His son-in-law is on the threshold of an adulterous affair, his grandson is building a nuclear breeder reactor in the garden shed, and his granddaughter is romantically involved with a local pastor. As she gets to know and befriends the doctor s family members, Marylou finds herself in a quandary. Should she carry out her plan for revenge, or try to help the family? Although the storyline itself is somewhat predictable, the events leading up to the conclusion are anything but. Lisa Legg, Ed.D., R.T.(R)(T) ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 15

18 Monkeys See, Monkeys Do Biologists at the University of Vienna explored how video might influence a group of monkeys and their behavior. Slate s Animal Blog reported that after videotaping already trained marmosets opening a box to find a prize, the scientists placed the box and the instructional video in a tree where wild marmosets roamed. Nearly 10 percent of 108 wild marmosets watched the video and were able to open the box and win the prize, demonstrating the potent force of social learning, even from unfamiliar conspecifics. Marshall McLuhan, take a bow. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I Repetitive Motion Repetitive Motion Repetitive Motion Harms Young Shoulders Young baseball and softball pitchers, male or female, who toss the ball overhead more than 100 times a week risk painful injury and interference with normal shoulder development, says a study published online by Radiology. Overuse injuries occurring before age 25 lead to the incomplete fusion of the acromion, which develops during adolescence at the top of the shoulder from the union of four bones. More than two-thirds of the young athletes in the overuse group also suffered more severe rotator cuff tears. 16 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

19 Understanding Autism Patients BY JACLYN VERRET-PETERS, M.S.R.S., R.T.(R) An R.T. and mother of an autistic child sheds light on this patient population. AS A TECHNOLOGIST AND THE that my son and the technologist MOTHER of a child with autism, the most important thing to me is experience the least amount of stress while completing an imaging exam without unnecessary repeats! Preparation and awareness through education are key to successfully working with any pediatric patient, and even more so with autistic children. Autism is a neurological condition related to how the brain processes information and stimuli. It is a wide-spectrum disorder, meaning it ranges in variability and severity. Typically, most symptoms of autism are displayed in the first three years of a person s life. It s common to see limits or delays in social, behavioral, sensory and verbal development. Let me be very clear: Developmental limits or delays in children with autism are not a deficiency; they are a difference. If an autistic child is nonverbal, it doesn t mean he or she can t hear or understand what you re saying, so avoid directing your conversation only to the caregiver. No two autistic patients are the same, but the following guidelines generally hold true when interacting with an autistic child. Most patients with autism: 1. FUNCTION BEST IN ORDER OR SE- QUENCE. As you explain the sequence of an exam, use clear, simple instructions, or touch the equipment while you describe it, and in the order you will use it. Visual cues such as pictures are extremely helpful. If it s necessary to repeat the instructions again later, use the same phrases in the same order you presented the instructions the first time. 2. TAKE THINGS VERY LITERALLY. Be careful with your words. It s paramount to gaining cooperation. If you say that the exam will not hurt, then it shouldn t cause any pain at any point in the exam. If you say you are going to take three pictures, then you will gain cooperation for three images only. Autistic patients do not understand sarcasm, slang or jokes. 3. ARE SENSITIVE TO SENSORY STIM- ULI. Background stimuli can overwhelm autistic patients, so keep noises, lights, scents and extreme temperatures to a controlled minimum. Prior to the exam or procedure, discuss with the parent or caregiver what works best for the child. He or she might favor a specific toy, be comforted by a weighted blanket, or prefer dimmed lighting. Children with autism are very intelligent and fun. As a medical imaging or radiation therapy professional, it s up to you to work within the patient s comfort zone to make him or her feel at ease. JACLYN VERRET-PETERS is the program director for the School of Radiologic Technology at Baton Rouge General Medical Center in Louisiana. She has been an ASRT member since 2011 and is a member of the Radiography Chapter. ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 17

20 Are You Moving Too Fast? BY CYNTHIA GIBBONS, R.T.(R) Slow down and make those patient-care moments count. WE TECHNOLOGISTS LIKE TO BE QUICK AND EF- FICIENT when performing imaging procedures, and that s what our supervisors and physicians expect of us, in the essence of time. As a result, our time spent with patients might feel rushed. Hurrying through a procedure can create a less-than-reassuring climate for the patient, not to mention compromise quality and lead to mistakes. Here are five ways busy R.T.s can be prompt and deliver attentive, patientcentered care. 1. MAKE PROCEDURES AS COMFORTABLE AS POSSIBLE. Example: When performing a portable chest x-ray, use a sheet as a buffer between the board and the patient s back. Pull the patient s bed sheet or a pillowcase over the cassette board before sliding it behind your patient s back. Abruptly placing a cold board behind the patient can be startling, and it could even trigger arrhythmia. 2. USE KEY WORDS AT KEY TIMES. Example: Use the phrase for your privacy when talking with a patient prior to or during the exam. This tells the patient you respect his or her need for privacy. For example, when a patient needs to change into a gown in the dressing room, say: I will close the door now for your privacy. Just open the door when you are ready. 3. MIND YOUR PATIENT S CIRCUMSTANCES. Example: When assisting an elderly patient, take extra care to help him or her avoid falling. Age-related decline in hearing and vision can make communication challeng- ing, so speak slowly and enunciate clearly while offering instruction throughout a procedure. After positioning the patient, allow him or her time to get reoriented before you proceed with the exam. 4. KEEP PERFECT IN PERSPECTIVE. Example: When working with an injured patient, the goal is to obtain the best possible projections while accommodating the patient s limitations. Focus on taking two projections 90 degrees apart; anteroposterior and lateral projections are the usual images taken. It s important to avoid twisting or forcing the area of a suspected break or dislocation in any way when obtaining the images. 5. ACKNOWLEDGE THE PATIENT S PRESENCE. Example: During an extended wait time, let the patient know when you will be able to start his or her exam, and offer an apology. Even if the patient hasn t complained, say: I m sorry. I know you ve been waiting, and I will be with you as soon as possible. Acknowledging your patient s presence can ease any anxiety he or she might feel during the wait. When it comes to quality patient care, it s all in the details. Providing quality patient care should be the primary goal, even during the busiest parts of our workday. CYNTHIA GIBBONS is a technologist at Community Hospital South in Indianapolis, Indiana. She has been an ASRT member since 2009 and is a member of the Radiography Chapter. 18 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

21 Helpful or Harmful? BY SHERRI MOSTAGHNI, M.A., ASRT ASSOCIATE EDITOR E-cigs Stir Up Controversy ACCORDING TO THE LATEST AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY FIGURES, about 42 million people (about one in five adults) in the United States smoke cigarettes. Many smokers who want to kick the habit turn to smoking cessation aids such as nicotine patches, gum and medication. The e-cigarette, a relatively new smoking alternative device, has become increasingly popular in the past few years, but it also has received criticism from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the American Cancer Society, the World Health Organization and other health groups. Some e-cigarette devices look like cigarettes; they even have a glowing tip. Others look like cigars, pipes, hookahs, pens or USB memory sticks. A smoker puffs on the mouthpiece of the device, inhaling a flavored hot vapor, with or without added nicotine of varying levels. The device also vaporizes propylene glycol, which is used to create smoke for theater productions. Proponents of the battery-powered smoking devices, which have been sold in the U.S. since 2007, call them a helpful, safer alternative for those trying to quit traditional cigarettes, which can produce more than 7,000 toxic substances when burned, according to the American Lung Association. Bettye Wilson, R.T.(R)(CT), RDMS, FASRT, smoked for more than 30 years and tried to quit several times, the last time about 16 months ago. After a month of being smokefree, she visited her doctor for a routine exam and told him she had quit. He asked me to get an e-cigarette to help me remain smoke-free, Bettye said. She did, and hasn t smoked a tobacco product since. I am pro e-cigs! My clothes no longer smell like cigarettes, and my walls and blinds and the inside of my car are tar-free. So, I guess, are my lungs. Positive testimonials abound, but early research on e-cigarettes suggests they pres- ent health risks. In half the e-cigarette samples tested, one study found cancer-causing substances and impurities such as diethylene glycol, a toxic ingredient found in antifreeze. Other studies have shown that e-cigarettes can cause short-term lung changes, similar to the effects of regular cigarettes. Still other studies have found that e-cigarettes emit known carcinogens, ultrafine particles and heavy metals. At this time, the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research regulates e-cigarettes that are marketed for therapeutic purposes. Its regulatory power of e-cigarettes ends there. In April, the FDA issued a proposed rule that would give the FDA Center for Tobacco Products authority to regulate e-cigarettes and restrict marketing and sales of the devices to people older than 18. In light of the potential health risks associated with e-cigarettes, health care facilities are starting to update their smoke-free and tobacco restriction policies to include e-cigarettes, even though there is no tobacco in them. If you are not aware of such a change to your facility s tobacco policy on campus, check with your manager to confirm. Although the jury is still out concerning potential long-term adverse effects of e-cigarettes, their popularity as a smoking cessation aid isn t likely to wane anytime soon. SIDE NOTE Interested in discussing this topic with other R.T.s? Post a question or comment in the ASRT Communities at /communities. ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 19

22 From Disc Jockey to Therapist BY NICK BALDWIN, B.A., R.T.(R)(T) Lessons in Communications Apply THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER OF 1995, I accompanied my mom to her radiation therapy appointments. She was being treated for stage II cervical cancer. My mother hated going to her other medical appointments, but she never minded going to her radiation therapy treatments. Everyone at the cancer center was so nice and always smiling. While I waited in the lobby during my mom s sessions, I wondered what happened on the other side of the wall. Looking back now, I think it was then when I thought a radiation therapy career might be a viable career possibility for me. I was 19. Life moved on. With dreams of a career in radio, I enrolled in a communications program, worked in retail to support my college studies and spent a few years working as a local disc jockey. Years later, I revisited the idea of becoming a radiation therapist. After thoroughly researching the field, I decided to make the career switch. By the first week of my clinical rotations as a radiation therapy student, I was hooked. I met so many patients with different stories, hardships and victories. As a communications student, one of the most valuable transferrable lessons I learned was the importance of being able to communicate one message to a diverse group of people. This lesson proved useful not only in broadcasting and retail, but in radiation therapy too. Each patient s concerns, fears and treatment challenges were unique, so I learned to communicate with my patients in different ways. I opened the initial line of communication with each patient to get a sense of how I could discuss the treatment process in a way that would make him or her feel most at ease. One patient in particular opened my eyes to the importance of finding a way to communicate. The patient had battled brain cancer and its complications for four years. A stroke during a surgical treatment made it difficult for her to speak. Although her husband was there every step of the way to sign forms, ask questions and listen to our simulation technologists explain the treatment process, he wasn t allowed to enter the treatment room during her treatments. For her first few visits, the patient was reluctant to start treatment without her husband in the room. It took three therapists to move her onto the table because she wasn t able to move herself. But as her treatments continued, we observed progress. The more we worked with the patient, the more we learned to interpret her facial and arm movements, which indicated her comfort or discomfort during treatments. Eventually, she was able to move herself onto and off of the table with minimal help. I don t think the patient was ever comfortable on the table, but because of our efforts to ensure her comfort, I do believe she formed trust in us over time. Having her trust helped us to position and treat her correctly. At the end of the patient s final treatment, as we helped her back into her wheelchair and said our goodbyes, she spoke to us for the first time: Thank you. I love y all. At that moment, I understood what happens on the other side of the wall. NICK BALDWIN is a radiation therapist at Central Alabama Radiation Oncology in Montgomery. He has been an ASRT member since 2014 and is a member of the Radiation Therapy Chapter. 20 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

23 A Gift to the Future BY PHELOSHA COLLAROS, M.B.A., M.P.A., CQIA, DIRECTOR OF THE ASRT FOUNDATION An Educator Leaves His Mark on the Profession PHIL BALLINGER, PH.D., R.T.(R), FASRT, the ASRT office in Albuquerque, New has the distinguished honor of being the first ASRT member to name a room in Mexico. His extraordinary donation to the ASRT s Positioning for a Brighter Tomorrow campaign helps establish a permanent operating endowment for the ASRT Foundation. The ASRT has honored his gift by renaming its library the Philip W. Ballinger Museum Library. We caught up with Phil to learn more about his background and why participating in this campaign means so much to him. Q: Describe your background and expertise in the radiologic sciences. [I ve] written, so now into the fourth quarter of my life and career, it s time to give back. Q: Why should other members consider being part of the ASRT office through the donor wall or room naming? A: For those who have made a profession in radiology, fed families, paid bills, bought toys and had an enjoyable career, it seems logical to give back to what made our lives possible. Stick your name and credentials on a brick, on a wall or whatever. That mark will last well beyond our lifetime (or graffiti) and says I m proud to be a part of the radiologic sciences. Let s join Dr. Roentgen and others to leave our mark in the wet cement of life. A: I ve been an R.T. for 51 years, most of that time in education. I enjoy working in radiology and creating images. Early in my career I decided to try teaching, ended up enjoying the work and made a career out of it. I always tried to have fun and learn at the same time. Not all of my students agreed with my teaching techniques. We all survived, and I am proud of the roles and careers our graduates have assumed. Q: What makes you proud about being an ASRT member? A: Immediately after graduating from radiologic technology school, I joined ASRT and learned a great deal by going to meetings, reading the journals and learning how others handled different tasks and teaching. I found ASRT and other professional societies to be great ways to share and learn from one another. Q: Why are you making this gift to the Positioning for a Brighter Tomorrow campaign? A: I have appreciated the organized ASRT meetings and other society meetings I attended during my career, and I wish to share some of the rewards. I was told as a child [that] you get out of life what you put into it. I tried getting involved during my teaching career and with the textbooks and apps ASRT CEO Sal Martino congratulates Phil in the newly renamed Philip W. Ballinger Museum Library at ASRT s office. SIDE NOTE Read more about the ASRT s Positioning for a Brighter Tomorrow campaign in the feature article, Shining Bright, starting on Page 46. ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 21

24 Military Chapter Celebrates 20th Anniversary BY JAKE BUEHLER, ASRT DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS Chapter Gives R.T.s in the Armed Forces a National Voice IN 1995, THE ASRT HOUSE OF DELEGATES ESTABLISHED THE MILITARY CHAPTER so that radiologic technologists in the nation s armed forces could have a voice at the national level. Twenty years later, the chapter continues to represent the military men and women who work in almost every radiologic science discipline and specialty. The chapter s unique role and its members vast responsibilities have made it a vital part of the House. As the chapter s 20th anniversary approaches, Military Chapter Vice Chairman Sgt. 1st Class Shawn Stevenson, B.S., R.T.(R)(CT), reflected on its challenges and successes over the past two decades. The creation of the chapter was a milestone for military R.T.s, Shawn said. It was really important because it immediately provided a voice for military members to weigh in on proposed changes to ASRT practice standards and bylaws that affected them, he explained. However, getting enough military personnel to serve as chapter leaders was a challenge. The Military Chapter was required to seat six delegates to represent different military branches, whereas other chapters were required to have four delegates. We brought the issue to the House of Delegates in 2014 and it voted to change the Bylaws to reduce the number to four delegates, Shawn said. It made a difference right away, as we ll be able to seat all of our delegates and alternate delegates for the year. In addition to addressing the delegate staffing issue, the chapter members have been very productive in the past few years. They have presented at various conferences around the country and have served as lecturers at the annual ASRT Educational Symposium. In addition, they continue to recruit new chapter members. This spike in activity has inspired Military Chapter members to spearhead new projects that will strengthen the chapter. In the future, Shawn would like to see more seasoned military personnel serve in leadership positions. Our chapter is really unique, he said. It represents personnel who work in almost every discipline and specialty area, and these individuals serve in the armed forces, so their roles can be drastically different from the roles of R.T.s in civilian life. As result, it s important that we have strong leaders who can communicate information to military technologists working throughout the world. The Military Chapter will celebrate its 20th anniversary at the ASRT Annual Governance and House of Delegates Meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in June. We ve invited a number of former Military Chapter members and have several ideas in the works, Shawn said. We plan to create one-of-a-kind military memorabilia for current and former Military Chapter members, and we ll recognize the rich history the chapter has brought to the House of Delegates. Plus, we re thrilled that other ASRT chapters will be there to take part in the historic occasion. 22 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

25 One Job Some Tend to Forget BY DIANA MISHLER, M.B.A.-H.M., R.T.(R)(S), RDMS, CHAIRMAN, ASRT PRACTICE STANDARDS COUNCIL Not an educator? Teaching is still required. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU HEARD a technologist say, That s not my job. Maybe you ve said it at one time or another. It s easy to get so overwhelmed with our formal job responsibilities that we might forget the expectations we agreed to uphold in the ASRT Code of Ethics for radiologic technologists and radiation therapists. The tenth statement in the Code of Ethics reads: The radiologic technologist continually strives to improve knowledge and skills by participating in continuing education and professional activities, sharing knowledge with colleagues and investigating new aspects of professional practice. That s right! Educating others is every R.T. s job, and not just according to the Code of Ethics. The ASRT Practice Standards recognize that providing education is within the scope of practice for medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals, with regard to the tasks one is educationally prepared and clinically competent to perform. In fact, educating others is more than an approved practice. The Practice Standards identify it as a responsibility. The third standard in the Quality Performance Standards section states that the technologist or therapist educates the patient, public and other health care providers about procedures along with the biological effects of radiation, sound wave or magnetic field and protection. Similarly, the third standard in the Professional Performance Standards section affirms that the technologist or therapist shares knowledge and expertise with others. These ethics and practice guidelines make it clear: R.T.s are not only encouraged to educate others, we re charged with the task. Follow the advice of educators everywhere if you don t feel confident in your teaching abilities: Fake it til you make it. We ve all stowed pearls of wisdom we learned from others. We need to disseminate those lessons to our fellow technologists, especially to students. Sharing your knowledge might involve revealing a trick your preceptors showed you, or maybe it s a technique you figured out on your own. Or perhaps a radiologist gave you invaluable advice that could be beneficial for new technologists and students to know. If you don t want to deal with students, remember that an experienced technologist or therapist once dealt with you while you were still learning. No one is born knowing how to practice medical imaging or radiation therapy. Each of us started out as a student. Today s students deserve to be taught just as much as we did. Going forward, try your hand at mentoring a student. You might be surprised to discover how much wisdom he or she offers in return. It might take some time and patience, but the rewards will be plentiful! DIANA MISHLER is the medical imaging technology program director and a clinical assistant professor at Indiana University Kokomo in the Division of Allied Health Sciences in Indianapolis. She has been an ASRT member since 2005 and is a member of the Sonography and Radiography Chapters. LEARN MORE Look for tips on mentoring students in Clinic Check, in the February/March 2015 issue of ASRT Scanner. ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 23

26 The Grand Dame of Curies BY NATASHA ROSIER, M.H.A., M.B.A., R.T.(R)(T), ASRT RADIATION THERAPY MANAGER PHOTO: PUBLIC DOMAIN PHOTO: PUBLIC DOMAIN Curie is more than the set rate of radioactive decay. THE TERM CURIE REFERS TO A UNIT OF RADIOACTIVITY equal to disintegrations per second. It is named after the Polish and naturalized-french physicist and chemist Marie Skłodowska-Curie and her husband, French chemist Pierre Curie. Marie, the first female Nobel laureate, was a wife, mother, teacher, scientist, radiographer and radiation therapist. Wait what? Did you know Madame Curie significantly influenced the fields of diagnostic imaging and therapeutic radiation? Marie and Pierre discovered radium and polonium in 1898, when Marie extracted the substances from pitchblende, a primary mineral ore of uranium. The discovery earned the couple the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics. By 1910, physicians were placing radium interstitially to treat prostate, breast, esophageal and brain tumors. It was the first radioactive material used in radioactive brachytherapy. In 1911, Marie won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for isolating pure radium. But her influence on the Marie Curie works in a mobile military radiologic sciences hospital x-ray unit during WWI (c. 1915). didn t end there. When the Radium Institute at the University of Paris opened in 1914, Marie headed its physics and chemistry laboratory, the Curie Laboratory. Originally devoted to the study of radiation, today the research institute focuses on cancer research, diagnosis and treatment. Diagnostic imaging also captured Marie s scientific interests. During World War I, Marie developed a mobile radiography machine that could locate fractures, bullets and other shrapnel in wounded soldiers. As the director of the Red Cross Radiology Service, she secured funding for her invention. In 1914, Marie and her 17-yearold daughter, Irène, headed to the front lines to take radiographs of wounded soldiers with Marie s machines, nicknamed little Curies. It is estimated that Marie, Irène and other women they trained imaged more than 1 million soldiers using Marie s machines. Marie returned to her research after the war. In collaboration with the Polish Committee for Cancer Control, she also set out to open a cancer center in Poland. In 1932, her dream was realized when the Radium Institute (now called the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Institute of Oncology) opened in Warsaw, made possible with donations from the public. Marie handled radioactive material for many years without any protection. She even carried radium-filled test tubes in her lab coat pockets! In 1934, at age 67, she succumbed to pernicious anemia, a condition associated with long-term radiation exposure. Marie s laboratory books are still radioactive, decades later. The Curie children followed in their parents footsteps as scientists. For example, Irène shared the 1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with her husband Frederick Joliot-Curie for creating new radioactive elements. In total, the Curie family has received five Nobel Prizes. The grand dame of Curies herself received numerous awards, 19 degrees (many honorary) and two Nobel Prizes in different science categories. As Marie once said, One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done. NATASHA ROSIER has been an ASRT member since She is a member of the Radiation Therapy Chapter. DID YOU KNOW? In 1880, Pierre and his brother, French physicist Jacques Curie, discovered the piezioelectric effect, the basis for imaging with sound (sonography). 24 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

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28 Imaging R.T.s Brave the Front Lines BY STEVE GINSBERG, CONTRIBUTING WRITER 26 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

29 Imaging From World War I to the War on Terror, the medical technology used in military settings has vastly improved, but even today s sophisticated equipment can fail on the front lines. Patient loads are heavy and injuries are traumatic in a war zone, and you may not have a sufficient power supply or staff support. And an enemy is trying to kill you. Bringing one s medical imaging expertise to the combat zone requires intensive training, sharp technical skills, the ability to think outside the box and, above all, bravery. War Stories In 2007, Master Sgt. Ronnie Tabor, R.T.(R)(N), deployed to Paktia Regional Military Hospital in Afghanistan, near Gardez, the capital of the Paktia Province. For six months, Ronnie taught medical imaging exam protocols to four members of the Afghan National Army who worked at the hospital, the only level I trauma facility in the area. Surrounded by mountains and desert, Gardez is a four-hour Humvee drive from the nearest major hospital, in Kabul. Ronnie worked as part of a 17-member embedded transition medical team (a temporary U.S. medical team). The week Ronnie arrived, a fellow master sergeant was killed nearby. On his second day in country, Ronnie witnessed the first of many mass casualty events he saw during his service in Afghanistan. More than 15 patients injured in the event were brought to the small hospital. We were extremely harried because I hadn t bonded with my Afghan team, Ronnie said, but the emergency room nurses and lab technicians all responded and we got through it. After entering the Air Force, Ronnie completed four months of didactic training in radiography at Sheppard Technical sergeants simulate an oblique radiograph exam of the hand in the General Electric Proteus room at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MICHAEL SPOONEYBARGER PHOTOGRAPHY ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 27

30 A PACS administrator in the quality control room at Eglin Hospital. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MICHAEL SPOONEYBARGER PHOTOGRAPHY Air Force Base, just north of Wichita Falls, Texas, and nine months of clinical training at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. Immediately before his deployment, Ronnie received 10 weeks of combat skills training that covered operational tactics, convoy duties, and training and qualifying on weapons used in Operation Enduring Freedom. A significant portion [of the training] covered cultural training, Ronnie said. This gave us a working knowledge and better understanding of the population we would be working with. Working in Afghanistan in 2007 wasn t just culturally challenging; it was exceedingly dangerous. Ronnie was deployed soon after a major Taliban warlord had been killed, and the Taliban was staging an offensive. Threats came from many directions, including inside the camp s compound. At any time, the Taliban could infiltrate the Afghan Army soldiers who worked alongside the U.S. troops. Ronnie wore a side arm inside the hospital, and full-body armor when traveling outside the compound. As the only experienced radiologic technologist on duty, Ronnie had to be self-sufficient. His experiences at Paktia Regional Military Hospital were akin to working in a hospital emergency department in a large U.S. city but with many handicaps, including equipment breakdowns, manpower shortages and the constant threat of mortars and incoming fire. The Taliban uses natural light to stage attacks, Ronnie explained, so battles tended to coincide with the lunar cycle. It wasn t uncommon to be awakened at 2 a.m. to image and treat mass casualties, sometimes as many as 50. Sometimes, a Humvee encountered an improvised explosive device, and Ronnie would scan a dozen or more patients as a result, often in the middle of moonlit nights. The injuries were horrific head-to-toe burns, gunshot wounds, missing limbs. Shrapnel injuries sustained by rocket-propelled grenades were common, as were bullet wounds and open fractures from falls in the mountains. Bridging Differences The radiology room at Paktia Regional Military Hospital houses a general purpose radiography system, a computed radiography scanner and a digital touchscreen radiography unit. For many reasons, including power failures, both broke down frequently. There was no oncall maintenance service. So, when Ronnie wasn t scanning wounded soldiers or teaching his team, he often spent two to four hours fixing the equipment. You re in an austere war environment in the middle of nowhere at 10,000 feet [above sea level], he said. Electricity is powered by a generator, and it s not clean. Equipment can be state-of-the-art, but if you don t have the 28 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

31 Imaging right electricity [voltage], it presents challenges. For Ronnie and others who worked on the front lines, not having sufficient power or equipment support was part of the job. Cultural and language differences also present challenges when working in war zones. Because of these differences, combined with the technical hurdles of the job, it took three months for Ronnie to fully teach his rookie Afghan team about medical imaging exam protocols and to develop enough faith in them to delegate imaging exams. The Afghan soldiers were very receptive and hungry to learn new procedures, said Ronnie, who instituted daily in-service training based on questions they asked. All of the soldiers had some medical background. Among his team was a 50-year-old father of 17 children and a 25-year-old dental technician. His team didn t speak English, so Ronnie worked with an Afghan interpreter during training sessions. Serving in the conditions we were under, along with the challenges [presented by] the different types of patients, helped our team bond, Ronnie said. The Afghan people are one of the most hospitable groups on the face of the Earth. This was demonstrated time and again as we sat down to have chai with them on a daily basis. By the time Ronnie left Afghanistan, his mentees were performing 90 percent of the scans. I m a medic and I love being in the middle of it, he said, but I m also a parent and it was great to take the training wheels off and watch them do it. Today, the Paktia Regional Military Hospital is run entirely by Afghans, doctors and nurses who were trained by American forces. Ronnie s team is in charge of radiology, but the members sometimes contact him to request imaging and life application advice, he said. Now a senior master sergeant, Ronnie works at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where he oversees the general surgery, radiology, ultrasound, nuclear medicine and magnetic resonance imaging units. Since returning from Gardez, Ronnie has made presentations about wartime imaging to civilian audiences, to R.T.s and students at the ASRT Educational Symposium, and to members of the Illinois State Society of Radiologic Technologists, for which he served as president in PHOTO: COURTESY OF MICHAEL SPOONEYBARGER PHOTOGRAPHY All technologists pictured here, at Eglin Air Force Base, were deployed as radiologic technologists in support of Operations Iraqi or Enduring Freedom. Pictured from left: Technical Sgt. Faith Chargualaf, nuclear medicine technologist; Technical Sgt. Kristal Stacey, nuclear medicine technologist; Staff Sgt. McKenzie Young, PACS administrator; Technical Sgt. Billy Cole, Phase II ultrasound course supervisor; Master Sgt. Angel Cobo, section chief special imaging; Master Sgt. Frederick Gumm, ultrasound technologist; Master Sgt. Jesse Thomas, section chief diagnostic imaging; Senior Master Sgt. Ronnie Tabor, 96th Surgical Operations Squadron Superintendent; and Staff Sgt. Charles Panagacos, NCOIC computed tomography technologist. ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 29

32 PHOTO: COURTESY OF SHAUN NORDECK This was a unique opportunity to test our real colors. En route to Iraq, Shaun Nordeck stops in Kuwait for a snapshot in front of the American flag. outside the hospital in a partial open-air prefabricated building. The compound was shelled frequently and sustained several direct hits. Shaun observed hallway and roof damage, but the images of his patients left the greatest impression. I saw it all, from head-to-toe burns to casualties missing their limbs, to a metal sprocket embedded in someone s chest, to a 7-and-a-half inch piece of metal that penetrated someone s face to the back of his skull, said Shaun, who completed his radiography training in 2000 and 2001 at the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School at Fort Sam Houston. His clinical experiences as a student and staff member at Brooke Army Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center in San Antonio, helped prepare him for his work in Iraq. The pace and need for coordinated tasks during a level 1 trauma, along with great communication and staying calm under pressure, was the best preparation for handling similar situations in the combat arena, he said. His experiences in Iraq made him a better R.T. and caregiver, Shaun said, because it tested the concept of equitable care. A Test of True Colors Shaun Nordeck, R.R.A., R.T.(R)(CT), spent six years in the U.S. Army, including eight months at a combat support hospital in Baghdad s Green Zone, the former preserve of Saddam Hussein, between 2004 and Casualties poured into the hospital from Fallujah and Saddar City. My primary role was to do x-ray and CT scans, but as a medic, I pulled double duty, Shaun said. If I was needed, I was a litter-bearer. I pulled IV bags, and I helped unload patients from ambulances and rickshaws. You do what s needed to be done. During one mass casualty incident, he donated his O-positive blood. The hospital s most reliable scanning equipment was outdated, and newer equipment was adversely affected by dust and blood. Some of the equipment was operated A diagnostic and fluoroscopy machine in a combat support hospital in Baghdad. PHOTO: COURTESY OF SHAUN NORDECK 30 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

33 Imaging In one mass casualty case, we had American soldiers come into the hospital and, 10 minutes later, insurgent captives were brought in. This was a unique opportunity to test our real colors. Shaun and his colleagues were bound by the Geneva Conventions, a series of international treaties that prohibit the discrimination and inhumane treatment of individuals who aren t capable of fighting or defending themselves, including civilians, prisoners of war and wounded soldiers. We had to treat those who were killing our brothers and sisters, he said. We had a job to do, and we rendered the same level of care, took their x-rays and saved their lives. Today, Shaun is a first-year medical student at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical College in Dallas. The Iraq experience is only one component of my military experience, as a whole, that ultimately helped prepare me to provide equitable, high-quality care to everyone I come in contact with. Shaun Nordeck maneuvers a portable radiography machine to image a casualty in the trauma bay of a combat support hospital in Baghdad. PHOTO: COURTESY OF SHAUN NORDECK First Steps If you are considering a career as a military R.T., Shaun offered the following tips. Speak with several R.T.s at a local military hospital. Try to speak with at least one R.T. who has more than six years of experience in the branch of service you are interested in. Ask them what life as a military R.T. is like. Speak with a military recruiter. Ask about the training program, duty stations and enlistment requirements and restrictions. Find out whether being an R.T. would be your primary role. Within some branches of service, it s a secondary job, so you might be expected to work in a non-r.t. capacity as well. Realize that you will be expected to work under pressure, sustain long hours, think outside the box, use manual techniques and film, and provide the highest quality care to both combatants and coalition forces, some of whom might be your friends or colleagues. ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 31

34 School Days To prepare for the significant adjustments ahead of them, enlisted personnel complete rigorous radiologic science training before being deployed as radiologic technologists. The U.S. Army Medical Department established the Division of Roentgenology and introduced the first military radiology school in For decades afterwards, each branch of the service had its own radiology school. The U.S. Navy s was thought to be the most advanced, partially because ships could carry the most advanced equipment. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Defense centralized its radiologic science schools for enlisted Air Force, Army and Navy personnel, creating the Tri-Service Radiography School. The school is part of the Defense Department s Medical Education and Training Campus at Joint Base San Antonio- Fort Sam Houston in Texas. The 1-million-squarefoot campus offers 49 medical programs to about 20,000 students. The students in the radiography program learn to make live exposures and practice positioning using portable radiographic units and C-arms that are distributed among 32 lab rooms. The Tri-Service Radiography program requires students to complete two training phases. The first phase occurs on METC s campus and includes didactic training in radiography principles, procedures and techniques; radiation exposure principles and protection; film processing; evaluation of radiographs; and quality assurance. Students also learn about radiation biology and physics, pathology, human anatomy and function, patient care concepts, and medical ethics and law. The second phase, ARRT Tip The Tri-Service Radiography School is accredited by The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Graduates are eligible to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists national certification exam in radiography. which takes place at selected military medical facilities throughout the U.S., focuses on clinical applications under the supervision of qualified radiographers and radiologists. Students in the Tri-Service Radiography program practice positioning in a lab room on the Medical Education and Training Campus. Nuclear Medicine Training METC also offers a Nuclear Medicine Technologist Program, an Interservice Training Review Organization school that teaches enlisted Air Force, Army and Navy personnel about nuclear medicine fundamentals, from preparing and administering radiopharmaceuticals to managing the day-to-day operations of a nuclear medicine clinic. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the national certification exams in nuclear medicine technology administered by the ARRT and by the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board. PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE MEDICAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING CAMPUS 32 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

35 Imaging A Military Calling For Sgt. Erin Hartley, B.A., R.T.(R), going to Camp Dwyer in Afghanistan s Helmand Province in May 2013 was the start of her career as an R.T. I had never worked in a hospital stateside, so for me, I learned everything during that deployment. After graduating from high school in the Bronx, Erin planned for a career in the Army, but first she attended St. John s University in New York City, where she earned a bachelor s degree in psychology. When Erin finally decided to enlist, the Army found that her skill sets and aptitude were a good fit for radiology, and she attended the Tri-Service Radiography School on the U.S. Department of Defense s Medical Education and Training Campus at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. The training prepared her to perform medical imaging exams anywhere, even in a tent in southern Afghanistan, where she found herself on her first tour of duty. The most valuable courses I took were on anatomy and how to position and adjust patients, Erin said. [Then] I was sent to Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in northern Virginia, where I completed field exercises. I worked with a mobile radiography machine the same [although old but sturdy ] that I would work with in Afghanistan. Erin was assigned to the Army s 28th Combat Support Hospital a unit that had embarked on numerous deployments to Iraq in recent years under the command of the 44th Medical Brigade. When Erin arrived at Camp Dwyer, the Marine base was in the midst of downsizing. The war was still on, but the Afghan National Army, not the American Marines, was taking the fight to the Taliban at that point. Erin worked out My six months in Afghanistan [involved] the most emotionally satisfying work I ve ever done. I have never felt more valued. of field tents while the camp s Quonset huts and other structures were being disassembled. Erin s mission at Camp Dwyer was to run the radiography operation. Dust was a daily problem, so it was difficult to keep the machines clean. Most of her patients were Afghan soldiers, many of whom were injured in mass casualty events caused by improvised explosive devices. Erin scanned patients who had nuts and bolts in their bodies and heads scans you would rarely see in a U.S. emergency department, she said. The first mass casualty event is always the most terrifying, she said. The patients come rolling in, there is blood and shaking it s crazy. But you work with your team, and from there, I wouldn t say it becomes routine, but it becomes more manageable. Erin s team comprised mostly Afghan doctors and nurses who had been trained by U.S. personnel. She developed empathy for the Afghans and it fueled her desire to return to a war zone in the future. If I got the chance to go overseas again, I would jump at it, said Erin, who now works stateside in an Army hospital at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. My six months in Afghanistan [involved] the most emotionally satisfying work I ve ever done. I have never felt more valued. There is value in treating soldiers and helping their families. There is a sense of satisfaction in helping people who need your help. ASrt Military Chapter Read about this essential chapter on Page 22. Learn More Radiology in War, by Marie Curie Although dated, this is a helpful primer on front-line medical imaging. Find information about the Medical Education and Training Campus and the Tri-Service Radiography School. Get details from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists regarding certification and registration requirements for military candidates. View a wartime medical imaging presentation by Ronnie Tabor. ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 33

36 The Dance BY RICHARD DARGAN, CONTRIBUTING WRITER Promoting radiation safety is a full-time job. It takes an R.T. with vision to choreograph the daily steps of a health care team to uphold safe medical imaging and radiation therapy practices. Here, radiologic technologists with specialized jobs in radiation safety discuss moves that can improve safety and share what steps you can take to help. 34 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

37 to perform a rhythmic and patterned succession of steps either alone or with others Merriam-Webster Dictionary In 2013, Ferell Justice, M.S., R.T.(R), became the first clinical radiation safety educator in the Clinical Radiation Safety Office at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond. The position was created with an eye toward keeping staff informed about the latest technological advances and regulatory issues in radiation safety. With a background in education and more than 25 years of experience as an R.T., Ferell was well prepared for the position. His efforts helped Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center earn the 2014 American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize, the association s top honor for leadership and innovation in safety and quality improvement. The American Hospital Association cited the university medical center s 50-percent reduction in serious safety events. We were fortunate to have the support of the top administrators in this effort, Ferell said, noting that this support is key when initiating a radiation safety education program. The administration has to be on board with the significance of radiation safety. You also need the support of radiology leadership and other leaders in departments that use ionizing radiation equipment, such as the operating room, internal medicine and cardiology. As clinical radiation safety educator, Ferell reviewed and developed safety policies, ensured compliance with state and federal regulations, conducted inspections and made recommendations, and coordinated and administered the Lead Protective Apparatus and Personnel Exposure Monitoring Alert Programs. He also created educational materials about ionizing radiation-producing equipment for each department in the medical center, including housekeeping and the administration. Sometimes, it was necessary to alert the staff to potential compliance problems. For example, Ferell educated the radiology departments about Virginia s state regulations, which require that leased or rented x-ray equipment brought into health care environments be certified with a 90-day temporary license. He also helped adopt and incorporate the latest safety technologies and practices, such as dose monitoring and tracking software. Recently, Ferell accepted a new position as manager of the Clinical Radiation Safety Office. In his new position, he will participate on hospital-wide clinical radiation safety committees, but he will also continue working with the medical center s staff to honor its mantra: Safety first, every day. Your Steps Medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals have a responsibility to their patients, their colleagues and themselves to support and maintain a safe environment for everyone, Ferell noted, emphasizing the importance of accountability. Many times, that means bringing a safety concern forward that might have been overlooked, or might not have been thought to be unsafe. If you identify a potential problem, Ferell advised bringing the topic out into the open for discussion, and getting key stakeholders involved to address the issue, whether it be other technologists or management and administration. I encourage R.T.s to keep safety at the forefront of all of their actions, on a daily basis. We all have the ability to make a difference. ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 35

38 Survey Says The Joint Commission, an independent nonprofit organization, accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs nationwide. The commission sets standards of performance, including medical imaging, patient safety, quality of care and positive health outcomes for health care organizations. To ensure those standards are being met, the organization performs accreditation surveys, also known as inspections, at accredited and certified facilities once every 39 months, at minimum. The standards are the foundation of an objective survey process, so organizations use them to measure, evaluate and improve their performance. Medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals play an important role in the accreditation process, said Rachelle Harris, B.S., CNMT, radiation safety manager at WakeMed Health & Hospitals in Raleigh, North Carolina. Their role will be especially important when The Joint Commission finalizes changes to and implements its new diagnostic imaging standards. In December 2013, The Joint Commission announced the proposed changes, which apply to accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals and ambulatory care organizations. Earlier this year, however, the commission determined that further research was needed to ensure the new standards support improvements in quality and safety. As a result, the commission postponed implementation of the standards and opened them for public comment on its website between Sept. 11 and Oct. 24. The Joint Commission s proposed revisions are more radiology-specific, Rachelle noted. There is an increased focus on dose monitoring, nuclear medicine, CT and MR imaging safety, quality assurance and exam appropriateness. Problem areas that auditors cite during one survey might be evaluated again in a facility s subsequent inspection, Rachelle noted. If corrective action is required, managers must submit an Evidence of Standards Compliance document that describes in detail the corrective actions taken. Although rare, failure to secure accreditation can result in hospitals losing funds from Medicare and private insurers. I encourage technologists to speak with their supervisor about the expectations and previous survey results at their facility, Rachelle said, adding that technologists should become familiar with The Joint Commission standards and practice adherence on a daily basis. a Culture of Safety Earn CE credit and learn about ways to prevent medical errors by taking ASRT s new Safety Essentials online series, which covers the fundamentals of patient and workplace safety, strategies for safe patient care, proper patient transport and infection risk control. Look for Safety Essentials in mid- December at Your Steps When it comes to passing an inspection, preparation and communication are key, said Rachelle, who is helping to prepare WakeMed for its next Joint Commission survey in She offered the following recommendations to help other facilities prepare: Perform a gap analysis. A gap analysis compares actual performance with desired performance. Hospital staff can undertake this process internally, or can contract a third party to perform it. Communicate. Work together as a team and engage all staff, including medical practitioners. Set up a Joint Commission committee. Meet on a regular basis to review the standards and discuss ways to ensure ongoing preparedness and compliance. To stay up to date on safety issues, sign up for sentinel event alerts from The Joint Commission at There, you can also view the prepublication standards. 36 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

39 A policy of continuous readiness doesn t just prepare your facility for surprise inspections by inspectors, explained Ginger S. Griffin, R.T.(R), FASRT, HACP, CSHA, the accreditation and compliance consultant at Baptist Health, a five-hospital system in Jacksonville, Florida. It also ensures a safe environment for patients. Continuous readiness means we don t have to ramp up our compliance efforts whenever we have a survey, Ginger said. For us, that means we try to have everything in its place and perform all procedures appropriately all the time. Ginger helps employees in the Baptist Health system stay informed in the evolving regulatory environment of health care. A typical day might find her checking The Joint Commission s website for updates, before heading out to one of Baptist s hospitals where she walks the nursing unit, performs environment of care/infection control rounds and looks for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act violations, among other things. We do a focused standards assessment, where we look at each element and ask staff what they are doing to make themselves compliant, Ginger said. Sometimes a policy changes, or you don t have a policy in place and you have to go back and reinvent the wheel and make sure you have all the pieces and the correct players in place. Nurses and physicians are not the only focus of accreditation and compliance education; R.T.s face their own set of challenges, Ginger noted. Lead aprons, for example, must be tracked and inspected regularly a challenging proposition if physicians and staff from other departments store their personal aprons with those of the R.T.s. To help ensure against these so-called rogue lead aprons, Ginger and the staff maintain an online spreadsheet listing each apron and its status. Like stray lead aprons, any equipment or materials introduced into the facility from the outside can cause compliance issues. Ginger recalled an incident where a technologist began using a spray lubricant on exam tables to make it easier to move patients around. The staff member hadn t checked to see if the material was flame retardant or hypoallergenic. There s a lot involved in bringing something new into a clinic, Ginger said, especially if you do a workaround from what is recommended by the manufacturer. Ginger s health care team uses a checklist called Clean Sweep to help maintain continuous readiness. ed to staff each week, the checklist highlights particulars that surveyors might look for during an inspection, including clear hallways, appropriate storage of oxygen tanks and the privacy of patient content. To continually educate staff members and keep them up to date, Ginger said they hold monthly meetings. We talk about things like how to mitigate falls and how to hand off communications with nurses and other health care professionals. You have to look at your practice every day, Ginger continued. My role is to explain things in a way so that the staff understands there is a rationale behind these rules, and not just because I said so. Your Steps Inspections can be stressful for staff members, Ginger acknowledged, especially when surveyors ask about policies and procedures. For example, they might ask about the job description for radiologic technologists, a description that should be updated annually, Ginger noted. Guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services change often, providing additional challenges, so check with your supervisor or manager to make sure you are on the same page about these changes. During an inspection, be ready for surveyor queries such as: What do you do if there is a fire? How long should you wash your eyes if you re exposed to hazardous materials, and does the process differ if you re using a bottled or plumbed station? How do you know if equipment is clean or dirty, and what is the process for making that determination? No one wants to say the wrong thing when a surveyor asks a question, Ginger said. That s why it s important to have constant reinforcement with all staff, so that the answers become second nature to them. Talk with your supervisor or manager about scheduling regular meetings to discuss safety and accreditation issues, including departmental policies and procedures. Everybody is part of the solution, Ginger said. The more educated R.T.s are and the more they are part of the health care team, the better the outcomes, and the smoother the safety dance, will be. ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 37

40 Ready for Ebola BY TANYA CUSTER, M.S., R.T.(R)(T), AND CHRISTINA GREGG, B.S., C.N.M.T., R.T.(R)(N)(CT) In September, Jolene Horihan, R.T.(R)(M), as a member of Nebraska Medicine s Biocontainment Patient Care Unit team, became one of the first technologists in the U.S. to take a radiograph of a patient infected with Ebola. PHOTO: COURTESY OF FRAN HIGGINS Jolene Horihan serves as the main radiologic technologist on Nebraska Medicine s biocontainment team. In response to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and a SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak in 2003, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention commissioned the construction of a biocontainment patient care unit in 2005 on the campus of Nebraska Medicine s University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Of the four high-level biocontainment units in the country, Nebraska Medicine s is the largest. The unit is separate from the university s general hospital and has its own air circulation system. The 10-bed unit is equipped to treat patients affected by bioterrorism attacks and extremely infectious naturally occurring diseases, such as SARS, plague, smallpox, drug-resistant tuberculosis and the Ebola virus. Nebraska Medicine s biocontainment unit sat unused for nearly 10 years, but the biocontainment team continually trained and prepared for the day when the unit would be needed. In July 2014, the U.S. State Department visited the Nebraska Medicine Biocontainment Unit to assess its readiness to receive a patient infected with Ebola. R.T.s Lend a Hand In early September, the unit received word that it would be caring for American physician Dr. Richard Sacra, who had become infected with the virus while treating patients in Liberia. Jolene Horihan, 38 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

41 R.T.(R)(M), a lead radiologic technologist at Nebraska Medicine, was asked to serve on the medical team that would treat Dr. Sacra. Even before Jolene was invited to join the biocontainment team, she knew her answer would be yes. I wasn t anxious about being a part of the team, she said. I fully believe in the system at Nebraska Medicine. Ebola is a rare, highly infectious and deadly disease caused by a viral infection from the family Filoviridae, of the genus Ebolavirus. The virus was first discovered in the mid-1970s near the Ebola River in Africa. According to the CDC, the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the largest Ebola outbreak in history and the first Ebola epidemic in the world. Treatment of the Ebola virus is experimental. At this time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn t approved a vaccine or medicine for its treatment, but the CDC reports that experimental vaccines and treatments are under development. Successful treatment of patients infected with the virus requires supportive care, such as providing intravenous fluids, balancing electrolyte levels, maintaining oxygen and blood pressure status, and treating any secondary infections. Nebraska Medicine s biocontainment team is composed of infectious disease specialists, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, patient care technicians and radiologic technologists. The role of the R.T. in the treatment of Ebola patients is still being defined, but physicians at Nebraska Medicine opted to train technologists to be a part of the team. We found that obtaining portable x-rays was an important part of providing care to patients with Ebola virus disease, said Angela Hewlett, M.D., M.S., associate medical director of the Nebraska Biocontainment Patient Care Unit. Adding a Members of Nebraska Medicine s biocontainment team demonstrate the donning process for applying personal protective equipment. IMAGE: COURTESY OF NEBRASKA MEDICINE. ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 39

42 radiologic technologist to our team allowed us to obtain these studies in an appropriate and timely manner. Medical imaging exams, such as chest and abdominal radiography, are useful in the care of an Ebola patient. Indications for chest x-rays might involve the evaluation of the respiratory and cardiac systems or help rule out infections such as pneumonia. Abdominal radiography helps physicians evaluate the gastrointestinal system or rule out obstructions. Even though Jolene serves as the biocontainment unit s main radiologic technologist, other R.T.s were also trained to assist the team so that Jolene wouldn t need to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Ebola Protocol All members of Nebraska Medicine s biocontainment team must follow strict personal protective equipment procedures outlined in its Donning and Doffing Guidelines. Jolene and the other technologists designated to work in the biocontainment unit learned how to properly enter and exit Dr. Sacra s room, and how to don and doff protective equipment, although the practice wasn t new to them. Handling dirty and protective Each member of Nebraska Medicine s biocontainment team works with a donning partner to ensure that all equipment is properly applied and fastened. equipment are put into practice on a daily basis when imaging other patients in contact, droplet or airborne isolation, Jolene said. We re used to implementing these practices while obtaining radiographs in the operating room, and during other procedures where you must avoid contaminating a sterile field. Jolene estimates that it takes about six minutes to suit up in the protective equipment. That doesn t include the time it takes the technologist to change out of her standard scrubs and shoes and into the scrubs and washable shoes provided by the biocontainment unit when she enters the unit locker room, she added. That process can take anywhere from five to 10 minutes. All radiography exams within the biocontainment unit are performed using a portable digital radiography machine. Nebraska Medicine currently prohibits radiologic technologists from having any direct contact with Ebola patients. Obtaining a simple chest x-ray becomes a meticulous process when the patient is infected with Ebola, Jolene said. Under the guidance of a technologist, a nurse or physician places and positions the wireless image receptor IMAGE: COURTESY OF NEBRASKA MEDICINE. behind the patient. The receptor is secured in a single-layer Kapak pouch. Originally, it was heat-sealed in two plastic covers, but its battery frequently needed to be removed for charging. Removing the heat-sealed coverings was cumbersome and posed a risk for contamination, Jolene said. Using a Kapak cover, commonly used as a sterile cover for the imaging receptors in the OR, proved to be a better solution. The Kapak cover has an adhesive strip at the opening, Jolene explained, making it easier to remove to access the receptor s battery with less risk of contamination. Prior to an exposure, all nonessential personnel move to an adjoining area, called the anteroom, to avoid radiation. The R.T. then positions the tube/central ray to take the radiograph. It takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to perform a basic imaging exam on an Ebola patient, Jolene said, depending on the number of images taken and whether there is anyone in front of you for the donning and doffing procedure. Although not part of a radiologic technologist s duties as a member of the biocontainment team, the portable radiography machine and image receptor must undergo 48 hours of decontamination before they can be used again. Jolene and others on the biocontainment team were allowed to go home and continue normal activities outside of the medical unit, on and off duty, she said. No one on the team was quarantined, and none of the team members has ever displayed any signs or symptoms of the virus. Always Ready In early October, not long after Nebraska Medicine s biocontainment team successfully treated and released Dr. Sacra, a second Ebola patient was admitted to its unit. 40 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

43 Freelance journalist Ashoka Mukpo was infected while working in Liberia as a cameraman for NBC News. During his treatment, news emerged that two nurses in Dallas, Amber Vinson and Nina Pham, had been infected with the Ebola virus while treating patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. The nurses had been wearing personal protective equipment while treating Duncan, who contracted Ebola in Liberia shortly before traveling to the U.S. The news didn t daunt Jolene. The nurses in Nebraska Medicine s biocontainment unit instructed me on the protocols and procedures of the unit, which assured me that I could fully protect myself while caring for the sickest of patients. Under the care of the biocontainment team, Ashoka soon recovered, and Nebraska Medicine released him from the unit in late October. On Nov. 15, a third Ebola patient arrived for treatment in the biocontainment unit. Dr. Martin Salia, a surgeon who practiced in Sierra Leone, Africa, treated patients at medical facilities throughout Freetown, Sierra Leone s capital and largest city. It isn t known where and how Dr. Salia contracted the virus, but he was in very critical condition when he arrived at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. We used every possible treatment available to give Dr. Salia every possible opportunity for survival, said Dr. Phil Smith, the medical director of the Nebraska Medicine Biocontainment Unit, in a news release. As we have learned, early treatment with these patients is essential. In Dr. Salia s case, his disease was already extremely advanced by the time he came here for treatment. Dr. Salia suffered advanced symptoms associated with the virus, including kidney and respiratory failure. He died on Nov. 17. Over a three-month period, Jolene and several other radiologic technologists assisted the team at some point to image one or more of the unit s Ebola patients. Caring for patients in the biocontainment unit at Nebraska Medicine has been a rare and exciting opportunity, Jolene said. The unit staff was very well prepared and had thought of nearly every detail prior to using radiography in the unit. It s been a great learning experience for me. Nebraska Medicine s radiology department has access to Nebraska Medicine s Biocontainment Unit Policies and Procedures and protocol updates, and is ready to receive and care for a patient in the biocontainment unit at any time, Jolene noted. We are actively sharing our protocols with members of the medical Members of Nebraska Medicine s biocontainment team demonstrate the patient transport system and personal protective equipment used when treating patients with Ebola. community across the U.S. and the world, Dr. Hewlett said. We hope that other centers will be able to use our experiences to increase their preparedness, so they can provide quality care to patients with Ebola virus disease while keeping their health care workers safe. TANYA CUSTER is an assistant professor in the Division of Radiation Science Technology Education at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She has been an ASRT member since 1999 and is a member of the Radiation Therapy Chapter. CHRISTINA GREGG is the radiography and CVIT clinical coordinator in the Division of Radiation Science Technology Education at UNMC. She has been an ASRT member since 2012 and is a member of the Nuclear Medicine Chapter. ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 41 IMAGE: COURTESY OF NEBRASKA MEDICINE.

44 2015 ASRT Election Guide Have Your Say As an R.T., what matters most to you? What kind of support do you need to succeed? What changes do you hope to see in the profession? If you feel passionately about your answers, it s time to have your say. Voting in the 2015 ASRT election takes place Feb. 12 to March 12. This is your opportunity as an ASRT member to select leaders who best represent what you stand for, what you ask for and what you hope for. The next few pages will introduce you to ASRT s national officer candidates. To learn more about their backgrounds, qualifications and beliefs, visit There, you ll also find information about the chapter delegate candidates seeking election to ASRT s House of Delegates. Whose ideas echo your own? Use the sample ballot in this election guide to start planning your selections. Meet the Candidates PRESIDENT-ELECT Michael Latimer M.S.R.S., R.T.(R) Palm Beach Gardens, Florida VICE PRESIDENT Amanda Garlock-Corbin M.S., R.T.(R)(MR) Marysville, Washington VICE PRESIDENT Catherine Kukec B.M.E., R.T.(R)(QM), FASRT Darien, Illinois Professional Profile Associate Professor, Medical Imaging Department Palm Beach State College Palm Beach Gardens, Florida Why I m Running for Office The future holds many opportunities for our profession, and it will take strong leadership to keep ASRT at the forefront. I m running for office because I want to continue the work of my predecessors on the Board of Directors as the ASRT and our profession continue to move forward. Professional Profile Staff Technologist, Everett Department Centers for Diagnostic Imaging Everett, Washington Why I m Running for Office I believe in leading by example. If I m asking members to participate in or support a measure, I better be willing to do it myself. I also enjoy the mentorship relationships that come from being a leader in the profession. Those relationships push me to want to succeed even more. Professional Profile Mammographer, Imaging Department Norwegian American Hospital Chicago, Illinois Why I m Running for Office Passionate about my profession, I want to help continue moving it and the ASRT forward. Having the support of my family and employer, I m able to devote the time and energy necessary for our members and the mission and vision of the ASRT. I am dedicated to serving you. 42 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

45 Have Your Say SECRETARY-TREASURER Steven Cohen R.T.(R) Brownsburg, Indiana Professional Profile Senior Radiologic Technologist, Imaging Department Ortho Indy Indianapolis, Indiana Why I m Running for Office I m running in the 2015 ASRT election to become more involved with this great organization. I have been a member of the ASRT for 30 years. My hope is that my experience and knowledge will allow me to represent the membership and make a contribution to the Board of Directors. SECRETARY-TREASURER Tammy Homan M.S.R.S., Professional Profile Director of Imaging, Imaging Department SoutheastHEALTH Cape Girardeau, Missouri R.T.(R)(M)(CT) Jackson, Missouri Why I m Running for Office Every day I am more impressed with the importance of promoting our profession. I am so proud and thankful to be a radiographer. I m running for the opportunity to bring coherence to our members, pride in who we are and education for those who do not know our importance. SECRETARY-TREASURER Melissa B. Jackowski Ed.D., R.T.(R)(M) Willow Springs, North Carolina Professional Profile Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Allied Health Sciences University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, North Carolina Why I m Running for Office I m running in the 2015 ASRT election because I have a passion for our profession. I feel that being a member of the ASRT Board of Directors will afford me the opportunity to be an active advocate for medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals and our patients ASRT Election Guide SECRETARY-TREASURER Stephanie Johnston M.S.R.S., SECRETARY-TREASURER Beth Weber M.P.H., R.T.(R), RDMS, CRA, FASRT Sioux Falls, South Dakota SECRETARY-TREASURER Joseph Whitton M.S., R.T.(R)(M)(BS) Holliday, Texas R.T.(R)(CT)(MR) Mount Sinai, New York Professional Profile Director, Breast Imaging Department Breast Center of Texoma Wichita Falls, Texas Why I m Running for Office I would like to become a leader of the professional organization that shapes and molds the practice of diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy by working alongside other Board members to represent the ASRT membership and ensure that their voices are heard. Professional Profile Director of Imaging Services, Radiology Department Avera Heart Hospital of South Dakota Sioux Falls, South Dakota Why I m Running for Office I seek the secretary-treasurer position to share my experiences advancing our professional organization. Serving in the House of Delegates and developing our governing documents has prepared me to continue representing you. I commit to respecting the work of past leaders while striving to elevate our profession. Professional Profile Clinical Assistant Professor/ Program Director, Radiologic Technology Program Stony Brook University Stony Brook, New York Why I m Running for Office I m running for office because of my passion to work with and represent my colleagues from across the country. I have served the ASRT in many roles during the past 20 years, and now I hope to have the privilege to serve you as a leader in our profession. ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 43

46 2015 ASRT Election Guide Sample Ballot Here are the candidates running in the 2015 ASRT election. When voting opens Feb. 12, choose one candidate for each of the three national officer positions. For national chapter delegates, choose two candidates in each category. You can vote for only the positions that are important to you. As you research the candidates at use this sample ballot to identify who you want to vote for. You ll be all set when online voting begins. (Candidates were current as of Nov. 25, when ASRT Scanner went to press.) This sample ballot is provided for your convenience. Please do not mail this to ASRT. PRESIDENT-ELECT Michael Latimer, M.S.R.S., R.T.(R) VICE PRESIDENT Amanda Garlock-Corbin, M.S., R.T.(R)(MR) Catherine Kukec, B.M.E., R.T.(R)(QM), FASRT SECRETARY-TREASURER Steven Cohen, R.T.(R) Tammy Homan, M.S.R.S., R.T.(R)(M)(CT) Melissa B. Jackowski, Ed.D., R.T.(R)(M) Stephanie Johnston, M.S.R.S., R.T.(R)(M)(BS) Beth Weber, M.P.H., R.T.(R), RDMS, CRA, FASRT Joseph Whitton, M.S., R.T.(R)(CT)(MR) BONE DENSITOMETRY DELEGATE Lynn Howley, A.A.S., R.T.(R)(BD), CBDT Karen Prouty, R.T.(R)(BD) Robbyn Scriven, R.T.(R)(BD) Sharon Wartenbee, R.T.(R)(BD), CBDT, FASRT COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY DELEGATE Valerie Autrey, B.S., R.T.(R)(CT)(MR) Joni Caplan, B.S., R.T.(R)(CT) Dawn Dickinson, B.S.R.S., R.T.(R)(M)(CT) Lori Suzanne Fisher, B.S., R.T.(R)(CT) Virginia Lester, R.B.A., R.T.(R)(M)(CT) Emilee Palmer, B.S., R.T.(R)(CT) EDUCATION DELEGATE Jeffrey Killion, Ph.D., R.T.(R)(QM) Nadine Menser, M.S.M., R.T.(R)(T) Heather Moore, M.Ed., R.T.(R) Patricia Willett, B.S., R.T.(R)(CT) Jason Young, B.S., R.T.(R) MAGNETIC RESONANCE DELEGATE Lorenza Clausen, R.T.(R)(CT)(MR) Cheryl Dubose, Ed.D., R.T.(R)(CT)(MR)(QM) Jonathan Mazal, M.S., R.R.A., R.T.(R)(MR) Jacqueline Turk, M.Ed., R.T.(R)(CT)(MR) Allyson Worthington, B.S., R.T.(R)(CT)(MR) CARDIOVASCULAR-INTERVENTIONAL DELEGATE Steven Miles, B.S., R.T.(R)(CV)(CT), RCIS Christopher Steelman, M.S., R.T.(R)(CI), RCIS 44 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

47 Have Your Say MAMMOGRAPHY DELEGATE Jacqueline Johnston, B.S.H.A., R.T.(R)(M)(QM) Cheryl Worden, A.A.S., R.T.(R)(M)(BS) Erin Zubia, R.T.(R)(M)(QM) MANAGEMENT DELEGATE Susan Cazaux, M.B.A., R.T.(R)(M) Andrew Gardner, M.B.A., R.T.(R)(CT) Gary Greathouse, M.S., R.T.(R) MEDICAL DOSIMETRY DELEGATE Leigh Kestranek, B.S., R.T.(T), CMD MILITARY DELEGATE Danyell Gardner, M.Ed., R.T.(R) Christine Gomien, B.S., R.T.(R)(M)(CT) NUCLEAR MEDICINE DELEGATE Rodney Fisher Jr., M.S.R.S., R.T.(R)(N)(CT)(BD), CNMT Gary Lunger, M.S.R.I.S., R.T.(R)(N) Richard States, D.H.Sc., R.T.(N), CNMT Mary St. Peter, B.S., R.T.(R)(N)(M), CNMT, FASRT RADIOGRAPHY DELEGATE Norman Hente, M.S., R.T.(R), FASRT Teresa Kimler, A.A.S., R.T.(R) Kenneth Martinucci, M.S., R.T.(R) Randy Prouty, B.S., R.T.(R) REGISTERED RADIOLOGIST ASSISTANT DELEGATE Jason Barrett, B.S., R.R.A., R.T.(R) Thomas Carrington, B.S., R.R.A., R.T.(R)(CT) Jeffrey Crowley, B.S., R.R.A., R.T.(R)(VI) Cindy Petree, M.S.R.S., R.R.A., R.T.(R)(CV) Shellie Pike, M.S.R.S., R.R.A., R.T.(R)(CT) Travis Prowant, M.S.H.S., R.R.A., R.T.(R)(CV)(CT) Tia Ten Napel, M.S.R.S., R.R.A., R.T.(R)(M)(CT) SONOGRAPHY DELEGATE Dale E. Collins, M.S., R.T.(R)(M)(QM), RDMS, RVT David Hill, A.A.S., R.T.(R), RDMS Amy Hofmann, M.B.A., R.T.(R)(CT), RDMS, CRA Debra Myers, M.Ed., R.T.(R), RDMS, RVT, RDCS 2015 ASRT Election Guide QUALITY MANAGEMENT DELEGATE Daniel Gilbert, M.S., R.T.(R)(CV)(CT)(MR)(QM), FASRT Linda Racki, B.S., R.T.(R)(M)(QM) Donita Shipman, R.T.(R)(M)(QM) RADIATION THERAPY DELEGATE Pamela Cartright, M.Ed., R.T.(R)(T) Amy Freshley-Lebkuecher, M.S., R.T.(R)(T) Lynda Reynolds, M.Ed., R.T.(R)(N)(T), FASRT Shellie Warino, M.S., R.T.(R)(T) Charles Washington, M.B.A., R.T.(T), FASRT Robin Wegener, M.S., R.T.(R)(T) ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 45

48 Shining Bright HELP MAKE THE NEXT 30 YEARS EVEN BRIGHTER FOR R.T.S BY KIM AGRICOLA, ASRT SCANNER EDITOR 46 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

49 It s hard to imagine that, soon after Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen s discovery of the x-ray in 1895, the New York Medical Record called it unimpressing. An editorial in the London Electrical in 1896 postulated that very few people would care to sit for a portrait which would show only the bones and the rings of the fingers. Little did the world know what x-rays would accomplish in the next two centuries. The radiologic science profession has come a long way since its early days. In 1922, the formation of a national professional society, the American Association of Radiological Technicians (today called the American Society of Radiologic Technologists), solidified the burgeoning pride and sense of community felt among the world s first radiologic technologists, who were just starting to define their profession and gain recognition among the medical community. Over the next 90 years, as ASRT s membership grew exponentially and as radiologic science achievements continually proved those early editorials wrong the sense of community and pride in the profession flourished. Today, the medical imaging and radiation therapy community is stronger than ever and poised for more exciting growth ahead. That s where one can find the ASRT Foundation at work. As the philanthropic arm of the ASRT for the past 30 years, the Foundation has bestowed on R.T.s and students the tools to succeed through the generous donations of ASRT members and organizations. But progress is a journey that never ends. Today, the Foundation is working hard to secure an even brighter future for you and your professional community. That s where you come in. ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 47

50 Picture a brighter future where every R.T. has the opportunities and support he or she needs to thrive, and where every patient receives the safe, quality care he or she expects. To achieve this vision, the ASRT Foundation is embarking upon a historic fundraising campaign, Positioning for a Brighter Tomorrow. The crux of the campaign is an invitation to you to invest in your profession s future. This campaign says the profession is important, the community is important and the cause is important, said ASRT CEO Sal Martino, Ed.D., R.T.(R), FASRT, CAE. The funds raised by the campaign will go toward scholarships and grants for R.T.s, and to the Foundation s operating endowment. Currently, the Foundation s programs are supported by annual giving and term-limited contracts with corporate supporters. Although substantial for short-term support, these funding sources can t guarantee long-term financial traction for the Foundation as it prepares for its journey into the next 30 years. This campaign is an opportunity to show your pride in the profession, Sal said. It s a special chance to demonstrate your support for your professional community. What Does the ASRT Foundation Do? In 1984, the ASRT recognized the need to help its members pursue education, advance their careers, share their knowledge and realize their dreams as radiologic technologists and radiation therapists. The Society s R.T. leaders understood that advanced degrees and certifications would not only elevate the profession, but also increase the body of knowledge through research while empowering medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals to become the best they could be. They started the ASRT Foundation to accomplish that endeavor. For three decades, the Foundation has supported the medical imaging and radiation therapy community with a steady stream of scholarships and grants that have helped R.T.s and students advance as patient advocates and as leaders. Like other tax-deductible organizations, the Foundation relies on charitable donations to accomplish its mission, explained ASRT Foundation Director Phelosha Collaros, M.B.A., M.P.A., CQIA. Because member dues don t pay for these programs, it s only with the support of generous members in the radiologic science community that we are able to provide R.T.s with opportunities to grow. This year alone, the Foundation awarded more than $250,000 in scholarships the most in its history to help 75 recipients achieve their educational goals. In addition, research grants have enabled R.T.s to take on the challenge of learning more and sharing knowledge with one another. Similarly, community outreach grants have made it possible for R.T.s to help underserved populations around the world by giving them access to medical imaging and radiation therapy knowledge, expertise and care. The Foundation recently launched the Positioning for a Brighter Tomorrow campaign to commemorate its 30th anniversary. By making a transformational gift to the Foundation during this campaign, you ll help keep the river of aid flowing. Reasons to Give One obvious reason to give is that charitable donations to the Foundation help others in the profession. Your gift will: Help R.T.s and students advance through scholarship, research and outreach programs. Enhance collaboration and initiatives to improve R.T. education and patient care. Safeguard the ASRT Foundation s impact on the profession for many years to come. But giving has personal significance too, said Becky Kruse, R.T.(R), one of the first of the ASRT Foundation s three officers (now called trustees). We, as a professional community, do a lot of good for our patients. It s important to be a part of something greater than oneself. Becky, who volunteers on a committee that helped the Foundation plan its campaign, recently made a planned gift to the Foundation. I never got a scholarship from the Foundation. I never went for a research grant I m a terrible writer, she confessed. But I m so proud of my profession, and I feel pride in helping my profession grow and become better. That s why I give. I m part of a greater whole. Becky joined the ASRT in 1973, while she was a radiologic science student. At that time, the ASRT was a small organization of very dedicated R.T.s, she recalled. Now, it s the largest association for medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals, and it s one of the most influential among health care associations. It s a true professional association that R.T.s join to be part of a larger whole. 48 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

51 Like Becky, Elaine Chin, B.S., R.T.(T), CMD, is a volunteer on the Foundation s campaign committee. She chose to make a pledged gift to support the campaign. I feel like I m giving back and helping the next generation out, she said. This campaign goes beyond me as an individual. The Foundation has touched a lot of ASRT members I don t think people realize how many and it crosses every single discipline and specialty, including radiation therapy. For members who don t have the financial means to donate a large gift but would like to contribute, Elaine said no gift is considered too small. We are looking for major donations, but if one member donates a smaller gift, it will be combined with the donations of others to help the Foundation reach its campaign goal. If a monetary gift isn t feasible, Elaine said there are other ways to help, such as spreading the word among colleagues and vendors about the campaign and the Foundation s work. Another option is department giving, she added. A member can rally his or her department staff to contribute to a lumpsum donation. Elaine, a clinical coordinator at California State University of Long Beach, has witnessed the influence of the Foundation s mission firsthand. Many of my students have received scholarships from the Foundation, she said. I m coming into my retirement, but I d like to see the Foundation s work carry on. It s time for me to look toward the next generation and ensure its viability. Now retired, Becky said her generation has left its legacy as volunteers and leaders in the profession. Throughout her journey as an R.T., Becky has supported her professional association in capacities that, as a student, she never dreamed she would, including serving as president of the Oregon State Society of Radiologic Technologists and as president of the ASRT. The thing is, my time is past, Becky said. I can still be involved, but I think it s important for our younger generations to get involved and help decide the direction of the profession. The ASRT represents the profession. We give to the Foundation so that it can improve the profession. Over the past 30 years, Becky has seen the Foundation develop from an admirable idea into a truly influential organization. The Foundation is one of the only charitable causes just for R.T.s, she said. If you want to give a meaningful donation, sometimes you have to make one organization a priority. The ASRT Foundation is going to be mine. Ways You Can Give During the holiday season, consider making a transformational gift to support the Foundation s campaign. Donors whose campaign commitments are made prior to April 30, 2015, will receive recognition on the ASRT Foundation Donor Wall at ASRT s headquarters. The Donor Wall will be part of the historic unveiling of the ASRT Museum and Archives. Pledge a one-time or multi-year gift. To receive recognition on the Donor Wall, the minimum pledge is $1,000, but you can pay the gift in smaller amounts over time. Create your own award program fund. Set up an endowment to help fund a scholarship or a research or community outreach grant. The endowment can be named after the donor, or in honor or in memory of another. Make a planned gift. Include the Foundation in your estate plan through a will or trust, or make the Foundation a beneficiary of an insurance policy or retirement plan. More Ways to Give Call others to help. Share information about the Foundation s campaign with an equipment vendor, your state affiliate society or your department, and ask them to participate. Donate any amount that s right for you. The generosity of many adds up. Your donation, combined with those of others, can help the Foundation achieve its campaign goal. Learn more. To be part of the Foundation s 30th anniversary celebration, contact Phelosha Collaros at or visit ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 49

52 We re Mobile Friendly ASRT can accompany you everywhere you go! Our new mobile-friendly website makes it easier to check your CE record, take Directed Reading quizzes, renew your membership and more. You also can view the latest radiologic science news and access practice standards using your mobile phone or tablet. TRY IT OUT ON YOUR MOBILE DEVICE AT I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I Save 20% on Flowers, Goodies and Gifts It s another perk of being an ASRT member! Enjoy a larger discount this holiday season from Flowers.com and its family of brands. Whether you re seeking easy-to-ship gifts or festive decorations for your home, you re sure to find tasty treats, floral bouquets and gift baskets that will brighten anyone s day. The discount is available through Dec. 31. SHOP NOW AT 50 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

53 New Courses in Medical Relief Readiness Our new Medical Relief Readiness education series can help you make a meaningful contribution to the quality of global health care. The 5-CE credit series includes six courses designed to prepare you for travel to remote places. The series explains how to work with people from diverse cultures, adapt to available medical technology and adjust to challenging working environments. Half of the proceeds from these courses will be donated to the ASRT Foundation to fund community outreach grants for radiologic technologists who want to work to improve medical care in underserved regions worldwide. LEARN MORE AT I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I STUDENT LOGBOOK 5Traits of Successful R.T.s You re passionate about being an R.T., but do you have the right stuff? Check out these traits of successful R.T.s. Then, ask your clinical instructor to help you assess your strengths and identify ways you can improve your chances of succeeding in your chosen field. 1. Be flexible. Successful R.T.s are able to adapt to a variety of situations. Not all patients are the same, not all facility workloads are the same, and many technologists use different positioning and technique styles. Cultivating this trait now will benefit you in the future. 2. Step up. Successful R.T.s take ownership of their mistakes. When you make a mistake, ask yourself: What did I learn from this? and What can I do differently next time? Then follow through. 3. Don t sweat it. No R.T. was born knowing how to image. Give it time. With education, training, experience and hard work, you will develop more confidence and skill. 4. Communicate. It s important to ask questions if you don t understand something, but successful R.T.s understand that how you ask and in what tone of voice is just as important. If your questions to instructors or coworkers come across as confrontational, you might not get the answers or support you need. 5. Observe. Successful R.T.s learn from observing other successful R.T.s. What characteristics do they exhibit? How do they work? How much time do they spend with patients? What you learn from their performance can help you assess and improve your own actions in the clinic. ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 51

54 MEMBER CONNECTION Budding Biz Marks the Spot When her teenage son Peyton sought something to do over the summer, ASRT member Amber Nelms, M.A., R.T.(R)(M), encouraged him to make and sell x-ray markers. Peyton set to work developing a unique marker design process. He s learning so much, not only about radiography, but about communication and managing his money and inventory, said Amber, a clinical coordinator and instructor. Peyton hopes to grow his business, X-Marks-the-Spot, throughout high school and college. FIND X-MARKS-THE-SPOT AT I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I SHARE Your Expertise Advance your career, share your technical knowledge and convey your insights as a speaker at the 2015 ASRT Radiation Therapy Conference, Oct. 18 to 20, in San Antonio. The ASRT is seeking qualified speakers and experienced professionals, including radiation therapists, medical dosimetrists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and others dedicated to cancer care. Submit your abstract by Feb. 27, LEARN MORE AT San Antonio 52 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

55 Get Ready to Voting in the 2015 ASRT election will take place Feb. 12 to March 12. Sign up to attend 30-minute open forums on Jan. 10, to learn more about the candidates. Have a question you want to ask the candidates? Send your questions to Candidates will respond to members questions in the ASRT Communities throughout the voting period. FIND OUT MORE AT IN YOUR NEXT ISSUE OF The January/February 2015 issue will feature Directed Reading articles about vertebral body fractures and the examination of suicide using imaging. If your continuing education preference is computed tomography or nuclear medicine, you ll receive a Directed Reading about dual-energy CT instead of the article about vertebral body fractures. If your CE preference is mammography or breast sonography, you ll receive a Directed Reading about breast disease in children and adolescents instead of the vertebral body fractures article. Peer-reviewed articles will explore clinical education in the radiologic sciences, pelvic radiography dose reduction methods, and the diagnosis of median arcuate ligament syndrome using CT and ultrasonography. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I QUESTIONSQ: Why Ask the Answer Guy should I join both the ASRT and the ARRT? Don t they offer R.T.s the same things? A: The acronyms can be confusing. The ASRT (American Society of Radiologic Technologists) and the ARRT (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists) serve very different functions. Essentially, ARRT establishes the rules for certification and registration, and the ASRT helps you comply with those rules. The ARRT is a credentialing organization that certifies technologists and sets the requirements for maintaining annual registration. The ASRT The Answer Guy offers advice on how to make the most of your ASRT membership. Do you have questions about continuing education, our website, your career search, your life? Let the Answer Guy get you back on track. Chime in with your burning questions by sending an to is a membership association that represents the R.T. community. In addition to advocating for the profession, conducting workforce research and establishing practice standards, the ASRT, most importantly, helps members meet the ARRT s continuing education requirements. Members can complete Directed Reading articles online and in print journals, as well as other online educational products, to earn CE credits. The ASRT also tracks members Category A or A+ CE credits. At the end of a member s biennium, ASRT automatically will send the ARRT the credits tracked by the ASRT for the member s current reporting period. Get the full picture of ASRT membership and member benefits at ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 53

56 MEMBER CONNECTION ASRT Supports Human Rights VIEW THE STATEMENT AT The ASRT Board of Directors voted at its fall 2014 meeting to issue a statement expressing the ASRT s commitment to human rights. The ASRT joins dozens of health care and medical organizations that have issued human rights statements. As the ASRT becomes increasingly involved in educational, professional and business initiatives in the international community, it is important to express our commitment to human rights around the world, said Chairman of the Board Julie Gill, Ph.D., R.T.(R)(QM). Our statement aligns well with the code of ethics for radiologic technologists, which states that the principal objective of the profession is to provide services to humanity with full respect for the dignity of mankind. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I Make a Gift Make a Difference Are you looking for the perfect gift for a mentor or coworkers? Select a gift from the ASRT Foundation s gift catalog and you ll receive an honor card to share with the individual who inspired it. Your gift this season has the power to change lives. Each catalog gift represents critical needs in the profession, such as immunizations for technologists volunteering in underserved communities, scrubs for students who are tirelessly trying to make ends meet, or research materials for technologists who are improving patient care methods. LEARN MORE AT 54 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

57 The 2015 ASRT Educational Symposium and Annual Governance and House of Delegates Meeting is set to take place June 25 to 28 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Enjoy courses in women s imaging, computed tomography, management and general education while networking with peers and leaders in the profession. The day of education includes several courses just for students. Be sure to include the Symposium in your budget and make plans to join us! FIND OUT MORE AT I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I A Week of Education and Fun The radiology department at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, celebrated National Radiologic Technology Week with a focus on their own Image Right Image Safe initiative. Carolyn Palazzolo, M.S., R.T.(R) (CT), chairman of Image Right Image Safe, led education sessions and encouraged radiology staff to support nationwide advocacy efforts to advance the medical imaging and radiation therapy profession. As part of their festivities, the team incorporated the official NRTW poster design into cakes featuring this year s theme, Many Views With One Vision. ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 55

58 MEMBERSHIP The Measure of a Good Advocate BY KATHY DROTAR, M.ED., R.T.(R)(N)(T) Ten Ways to Take Action 3. Recruit friends and family. Ask them to advocate for state licensure for medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals to help ensure quality care and patient safety. 2. Communicate with local, state and federal legislators. Send friendly letters or s to introduce yourself as a professional radiologic technologist or radiation therapist. Offer to be a resource for them. 5. Volunteer at political functions and get to know policy makers in your state. The better you know your legislators, the more your voice will be heard. 4. Go grass-roots. Work with the ASRT Grass-roots Network to build a stronger local and state group. Learn more at 1. Educate patients, family, friends and legislators about the role of R.T.s in health care. 6. Monitor local, state and federal legislative and regulatory issues. Stay abreast by subscribing to your lawmakers mailing list. Inform the ASRT as issues arise. Want to be a stronger advocate for the profession and patient safety? Start here. 7. Click to commit. Support ASRT s ACE campaign to educate patients about the profession. Pledge your commitment at 8. Spearhead campaigns. Invite local health care workers, lawmakers and friends to tour your radiology department, or organize a meeting that promotes the profession. 9. Join your state affiliate society to unite with like-minded, advocacyfocused R.T.s. Learn more at Be polite, positive and persistent. Advocacy is a long-term commitment. Don t give up. You will make a difference. Learn more at KATHY DROTAR has been an ASRT member since She is a member of the Radiation Therapy Chapter, the ASRT Grass-roots Network and the Committee on R.T. Advocacy. 56 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

59 Stand Up for Your Profession BY WILLIAM J. BRENNAN JR., M.A., R.T.(R)(CT), CIIP, ASRT PRESIDENT Join Your State Affiliate s Crusade JOINING YOUR STATE AFFILI- ATE SOCIETY might seem like a strange topic for the ASRT president to write about. Shouldn t I be more concerned with increasing the membership of our national society? Naturally, I encourage R.T.s to join ASRT, because it s the world s premier professional association for medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals. R.T.s value their ASRT membership. Unfortunately, many members don t see the need to join their state affiliate. I could give you half a dozen reasons why it s important, but I can t describe them all in one page. So, I ll focus on the most important reason: advocacy! Monitoring national and state legislative activities that affect the profession is a huge job. The ASRT has a robust Government Relations and Public Policy Department to track legislation, but they need help. ASRT s state affiliates stand on the legislative front lines. They monitor new and pending state legislation such as attempts to weaken or eliminate licensure, which could endanger patients by allowing unqualified individuals to perform medical imaging and radiation therapy procedures. State affiliate members are a valuable asset to all of us. Let me give you a few examples. The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, a legislative committee assembled to reduce costs by deregulating licensed professions, proposed repealing licensure laws for more than a dozen professions, including radiologic technology. The Texas Society of Radiologic Technologists sprang into action, spearheading a successful grass-roots campaign to educate commission members about the importance of maintaining licensure standards in Texas. Similarly, the Montana Society of Radiologic Technologists waged a battle when a legislative committee recommended dissolving the Montana Board of Radiologic Technologists, which oversees practice in that state. Dissolution of the board would lead to the deregulation of radiologic technology licensure in Montana. Once again, a state affiliate stepped up and cried foul. The MSRT successfully stopped the legislative machine from advancing the initiative, which was aimed at saving money at the expense of patient welfare. Alarmingly, West Virginia and Maine fought similar battles in the past two years. In each case, the state affiliate took the fight to the legislature, and with the help of the ASRT, protected the practice in their backyard. Folks, I m here to tell you that licensure is not a divine right in today s economic and legislative climate. State legislatures can eradicate licensure with the stroke of a pen. The eyes and ears of your state affiliate stand between you and the deregulation of your livelihood. The ASRT lends assistance anytime a request for help comes in from a state affiliate member, but your state affiliate can t continue to be the watchdog at the gate without your support. Please join your state affiliate. It makes us stronger on all fronts. MEMBERSHIP ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 57

60 MEMBERSHIP Operation Uncle Arthur BY DONALD WINBURN, R.T.(R)(CT) An R.T. and craftsman turns wood to help veterans. SPINNING OBJECTS HAVE ALWAYS FASCINATED ME. At age 12, I owned my own grinding wheel for knife making. Soon, I also acquired a small wood lathe with a saw attachment. A year of machine shop classes in high school further fueled my interest in the art of woodworking. I went on to graduate from an engineering program at Trident Technical College in Charleston, South Carolina. So, you might be asking why I became a radiologic technologist. I m a visual and hands-on person, and I appreciate precision. Machine shop work requires all of these things. You are expected to construct precise creations from drawings, for example. Medical imaging requires similar craftsmanship. As an R.T., I get to have the best of both worlds. I enjoy creating precise images on the job, and in my free time, I craft precise woodwork as a wood turner. Wood turning involves fashioning wood pieces on a lathe to create an object, such as a bowl or pen. The cutting tool stays in place while the craftsman moves the wood to form the desired shape. Many of my polychromatic or sectional bowls comprise more than 75 individually cut pieces of wood, which take about a week to make. What cabinetmakers, shipwrights and kiln operators throw away, I collect. If I see someone cutting down a tree as I drive by, I stop and ask for sections. I have oak from the grounds of the South Carolina State House, teak from the Charleston shipyard, magnolia from a church yard, pecan from a farmer, and pink dogwood from my backyard. Over the past several years, I ve concentrated on pen making. In addition to wood, I ve experimented with acrylics, deer antlers, buffalo horn and rifle casing. For example, I create pens out of antlers, which are very hard by nature, so my turning tools require continual sharpening. My antler pens undergo a 14-step process that finish up with 120,000 micro-grit abrasive. (Some car finishes are smoothed with 1,200-grit abrasives.) I m currently experimenting with fatwood (also called fat lighter wood). Once a pine tree is cut or falls from natural causes, its root system will continue to produce a resin called turpentine. Resin is what PHOTOS: COURTESY OF DONALD WINBURN Bowls and wood pens turned by Donald. 58 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

61 PHOTO: COURTESY OF DONALD WINBURN MEMBERSHIP heals a tree s wounds. With the tree trunk gone, the turpentine will concentrate in the remaining sections of the pine tree. If fossilized, tree resin will become amber. Amber has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since the Stone Ages. Sometimes fat lighter is so saturated with resin that it has an amber-like hue. Turning fat lighter is extremely messy. The wood is sticky to the touch and its sawdust clings to skin, clothes and tools. Drill bits and saw blades quickly gum up. Because the wood is so sticky, the wood is encapsulated and polished after it s turned. In addition to bowls and pens, I ve created a large collection of wood walking sticks and canes. I became interested in walking aid devices after developing a hip problem from an injury I suffered on a construction job years ago. My injury helped me relate to the challenges of my patients at Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina, where I work as a technologist. Putting on and removing socks can be a challenge for injured and disabled veterans. Having worked in health care for 15 years, I observed sock sticks made from a coat hanger and handle forceps. When I saw a patient using a simple dowel and hook to put his socks on, I set out to craft an improved version. I designed a stick that is comfortable to hold and use, and named it the Uncle Arthur s Stick. Growing up in the South, I often heard older people say, Uncle Arthur is visiting me today. This was southern slang for My degenerative joint disease is killing me. I used a band saw and router to create my first Uncle Arthur s Stick, made of a very thin maple strip sandwiched between Brazilian cherry. The Wood Zone, a local wood craft store, hosted several wood pen turning meets for active duty overseas personnel. I Donald works on an Uncle Arthur s Stick during the Patriot s Day turning meet. suggested having an Uncle Arthur s Stick turning meet to help veterans with hip and knee problems. They agreed. In honor of Patriot s Day, I led a woodturning event that was free and open to the public no woodworking experience required. The woodworking skills of participants ranged from novice to very experienced. We created 40 Uncle Arthur s Sticks using six miniature lathes, and donated a majority of the sticks to the physical therapy department at Dorn VA Medical Center. I saved several to give to my patients who struggled with putting their socks on and removing them. Each stick came with a note of appreciation from the turner: This Uncle Arthur s Stick was hand made by John Smith. Thank you for your service. The event was a success, and now I m working with Campbell Folk School in South Carolina to host a similar turning meet. Eventually, I hope the school will host a yearly event that produces Uncle Arthur s Sticks to help our veterans. DONALD WINBURN has been an ASRT member since He is a member of the Computed Tomography Chapter. Patriot s Day is celebrated by Maine, Massachusetts and Wisconsin residents. It commemorates two of the first battles of the American Revolutionary War in ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 59

62 MARKETPLACE 60 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

63 MARKETPLACE ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 61

64 MARKETPLACE 62 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

65 MARKETPLACE ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x 63

66 HEADSCAN HEADSCAN Colcher-Sussman Method A Colcher-Sussman ruler from ASRT s archives. Recognize this tool? Ever use it before? ASRT member Sue Taylor, R.T.(R), now retired, remembers it well. When I was a radiologic technology student back in the mid-1960s, we performed x-ray pelvimetry exams on pregnant women who were having difficulty in labor, Sue explained. Technologists took anteroposterior and lateral pelvis projections using the Colcher-Sussman pelvimeter, a metal ruler that measured the pelvic inlet and outlet with the patient in the supine position. The ruler was adjustable by centimeter intervals and could be rotated 360 degrees. Although both the mother and the fetus were exposed to radiation during the exam, we used high-speed film in cassettes with high-speed screens, Sue said. This was the only way we could provide a radiographic diagnostic tool for the obstetrician while keeping the exam as safe as possible. Needless to say, our positioning techniques and exposure factors had to be very accurate. Now we have ultrasonography. How far we ve come! SIDE NOTE If you have interesting images to share, please them to ASRT Scanner Editor Kim Agricola at Sue s daughter Melissa Mahoney, D.O., an obstetrician and gynecologist, passed away two years ago from a fatal arrhythmia. She was 35 years old. For me, remembering this important exam we once performed as technologists, and sharing it in ASRT Scanner with other technologists, is my contribution to her memory as an outstanding OB/GYN physician. 64 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 x

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68 Use our NEW Online Testing System for Instant Certificates GAGE CONTINUING EDUCATION New Courses: Imaging in Parkinson s Disease 21.0 Category A Credits $ Practical MR Physics 9.5 Category A Credits $79.50 Spinal Cord Injury 25.5 Category A+ Credits $ FREE same day certificate faxback service FREE replacement of lost certificates Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!...Another excellent course! I learned things I never learned in school... L.S., Lexington, NC Serving imaging professionals 23 years! Gage Continuing Education has been serving imaging professionals worldwide since We were one of the first to offer continuing education to radiologic technologists, and we continue to be the leader in the field of home study continuing education. Over 60 home study courses are available. Give our friendly staff a call, they look forward to assisting you. All of our courses have been reviewed and approved by the ASRT and meet the ARRT requirement for Category A continuing education credits. We also have Category A+ continuing education credits for the Registered Radiologist Assistant (RRA). You can count on Gage CE to be here when you need us. COURSE NAME CREDITS PRICE MRI in Practice 28 Category A Credits $ Molecular Diagnosis 6.5 Category A Credits $ Diseases of the Human Body 20 Category A Credits $ Stress Management 11 Category A Credits $ Parkinson s Disease 7.5 Category A Credits $ The Lung 9.5 Category A Credits $ Pulmonary Medicine 36 Category A+ Credits $ Human Anatomy 22 Category A Credits $ Anatomy for the Radiology Professional 15 Category A Credits $ Pathophysiology of Disease Part One Category A+ Credits $ Pathophysiology of Disease Part Two 34.5 Category A+ Credits $ Diagnostic Sonography 18.0 Category A Credits $ The Central Nervous System 41.5 Category A Credits $ Immunology, Infection and Immunity 30 Category A+ Credits $ Discounts available for group orders call for details! or GAGE 2416 Merchant Ave. Odessa, FL Thank you! We appreciate your business!

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