During the week of March 6th, I observed in the radiology department at Johnson Memorial Hospital. The first day, March 6th, I observed 6.5 hours. The day after, March 7th, I observed for 1 hour. When observing, I watched all radiologists in the MRI department. The MRI office/lab is in between two rooms that have the MRI imaging machines. The office is where the radiologists sit and control the MRI imaging machines. The radiologist manually adjust the machine to get the most optimal image. The radiologists choose certain settings for different views of the “suspected” area. Some of the different views included: axial, sagittal, and transverse. The two imaging (MRI) machines were different in size and “power.” The “power” is how strong and accurate of an image that the machine can produce. When following the radiologist, I learned how important patient interactions are. When dealing with patients it is important to make the patient feel comfortable with the procedure and you. It is important when situating the patient in the sliding table that goes within the machine, that you should protect and pad the area so that the patient will not move. In addition to comfort, it is important to not cause further damage to the patient. After this is set-up, then that radiologist can start the imaging procedure. The time of the procedure/treatment varies by the size of the area, how still the patients are, and the clarity of images. When observing, it is sad that you can see when something is wrong. It is crazy to think that in a day you can see anywhere from an ACL tear to a brain tumor. Then the radiologists, by law, cannot tell the patients what they saw. The radiologists simply send the images to the doctor who then gives a DX.
As a sophomore in the Emory & Henry athletic training program, I had the privilege to observe in the outpatient physical therapy clinic. I primarily observed with Matt Harris on February 8th, who is also my professor. With Matt I was able to help him with treatments and therapy, as I conversed with the patients. Two of the three days, February 9th-10th, I observed Matt and Chandler. Chandler is a junior in the AT program. This PT clinic is his primary clinical rotation. Matt and Chandler taught me the importance of clear communication with their patients. We did not want to further or create another injury. When assisting with exercises I learned that, with many of the patients it is important to follow them closely in case they were to fall. I observed that Matt primarily likes to use mechanical therapy and when needed hydrocollator packs. He stated “Why use a machine when you can provide the same treatment with your hands? This helps the patient trust you.” Compared to the patients we treat in the AT clinic, the overall patient population in the PT clinic is older and much more fragile. Knowing this when stretching and performing exercises is important, because most likely they will not be able to perform at the same level of a younger collegiate athlete. On my first day, I observed for three and a half hours. The second day, I observed for a hour and thirty minutes. The last day I observed for three and a half hours. This experience left we wanting to gain more clinical experience in this setting next year.