From Lab Trend Visionary to Dark Group CEO: HPI connects with the Founder and Editor of the Dark Report, Robert Michel
From Communication Strength to Just in Time Reopening at MGH A conversation with Dr. James Brink, Chief of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital
Solving Lab Challenges through Recruiting Innovation: HPI connects with Lighthouse Lab Services President, Jon Harol
Providing Value-Based Care in a Pandemic through Telehealth and Data Resources: An HPI exclusive with Dr. Darrel Weaver
Blood Banking is more complex today than ever before. Rob Van Tuyle, President of Vitalant's Blood Division, tells us why.
The Future of Imaging: Assessing the early impacts of COVID-19 and the path to innovation through Artificial Intelligence (AI) A conversation with Dr. Geoff Rubin
Pivoting in a Pandemic: How a U.S. 3D printing manufacturer is helping healthcare in its time of need
CHI Nebraska’s Laboratory Director Connie Wilkins, describes How To Manage a Clinical Laboratory During the pandemic
Former Commercial Lab Leader Highlights the Hospital Lab as the Solution to Community Sustainability in a Healthcare Crisis
Three Phases Essential to Crisis Preparedness in Patient Blood Management with Anne Burkey of St. Luke's Health in Boise, ID
Bringing Clinical Skills to Operational Leadership During a Time of Crisis; Dr. Blanton, Chief Medical Officer at Peterson Health
Reviewing Your Patient Financial Journey with Melody W. Mulaik, President of Revenue Cycle Coding Strategies
PELITAS President and CEO Steven Huddleston Wants Patients to Have a Great Experience – Both Clinically and Financially
How COVID-19 inspired TeraRecon to accelerate their imaging solutions to the point of care with Jeff Sorensen
Imaging technologists are on the front lines of healthcare every day, taking care of patients at a critical junction in their lives. No one comes for a CT or MR or US just for fun. They are often scared, waiting for the results of the exam, hoping the doctor’s suspicions are wrong. Sometimes the exam confirms their worst fears. Occasionally the results reveal an “incidental finding” – a brand new issue that neither they nor their physicians anticipated. It is a privilege we embrace, and a responsibility we take very seriously. But performing the exam is only one part of an imager’s role. Taking care of people at a time of uncertainty is the other large, often overlooked part of an imaging professional’s role in the care continuum. Patients are scared, sick, injured and often stressed, and they instinctively want to connect to us as part of their care team. For patients managing a chronic illness, frequent visits to the imaging department means we get to know them over time. We laugh with them, cry with them, listen to their fears. It is a unique bond, unlike any other in healthcare, and one that we cherish.
The other side of this coin, however, is that imagers are deeply affected by our patients. We are sad with them, happy with them, fearful for them. While genuine empathy is part of our role that we embrace, the effects of internalizing a patient’s emotions takes a toll on any given day.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made this exponentially worse.
Imagers are often the first line in diagnosis – we perform exams to confirm or rule out diseases routinely. Imaging exams cannot be performed without intimate direct contact for often prolonged periods of time. But the unknowns around COVID-19 transmission, the lack of a proven treatment, the lack of PPE and accurate testing, and the loss of tight camaraderie in a “socially distanced” workspace that relies heavily on human interaction has upended the emotional apple cart. Performing exams and being present for our patients while worrying if you are endangering your family when you go home, if you will be furloughed, if you yourself will become ill – all of these legitimate stressors send imagers into the same category as any front line worker in this crisis: at serious risk for intense, long-lasting mental health challenges. The research is clear – but line of sight to the imaging team and their unique challenges is often not.
This mental health month, I urge you to keep a clear line of sight to the imaging team. Working in the “background” does not usually bother us much. In these times, imagers who need extra support are likely hiding in plain sight.