Monday, September 29, 2008

I Hate Seeing My Old Guitar Up On Ebay!

Just out of a random search for an '87 Surf Green Strat Plus, I find this auction....the guy who bought my Strat Plus earlier this year! It was like catching my ex-girlfriend dating another guy. Really hit me in the gut.

But hey, if I hadn't sold this Strat, I would not have my Master built Jaguar that was built just for me. The Strat was made for the masses. Plus I'm a little pissed he's selling it for more that I got for my auction after being told I wouldn't get anymore than the winning bid. Plus the auction was won by a mistake that had made. But that's water under the bridge though. Like I said, I have my CS Jag now.But I'll be honest with you, after getting my MB Jag, I'm already thinking about having Dennis build me a Custom Shop version of my old '87 Strat Plus, in Surf Green. I'll have a tough choice deciding which child to sell off to a Malaysian child labor sweat factory. ;0)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Orange Crate And "Fall Leaves" Might Be Finished By November '08.

Looks like both guitars might be finished by November. I have no idea what to call my carving guitar so I'll just refer to it as "Fall Leaves" guitar. Looks like I got both guitars mixed up in seasons; Orange for Fall and the Fall might be ready for Spring?
By the way, that's not supposed to be a moldy leaf on that corner section of the guitar. That's a mistake that I haven't cleaned up yet.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Youngest Wants To Play Sax!

My youngest daughter comes home from school today and she said the school's music teacher made a presentation to their class regarding band. He was listing all the different instruments that they offer for starting players. They talked about where to rent or buy, what was the best price, what's the easiest to start on.

So she wants to either try the clarinet or saxophone. The clarinet would be cheaper and easier to learn on, but the sax might have more uses but costs more. Hmmm. Pretty cool. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Called Into DA's Office To Discuss My Last Blog.

Don't worry, everything is cool. I managed to avoid any red flags like actual names, locations, facility name, exact situations have been changed around. There was some concern that I might actually start "opening up" more on future blogs. As an administrator, you can't really condone this sort of stuff, but I could tell they could understand my plight.

I guess I was venting (ha, you think?) a little since it seems so hard to be viewed as a professional in an overwhelming low opinion of your position.

I mean, nobody says they want to grow up to be an x-ray tech, right. Patients are usually at their worst when they've had to sit in traffic, maybe leave their work early to pick up their injured kid at school, or just having to wait forever in our waiting rooms. So yesterday being the day after a holiday (also our busiest days), there were more occurances than usual. And I guess all experiences of being put down, insulted and made the cause of whatever error, came to a head yesterday.

Ok, I'm a little freaked out that two techs now read my blog. Won't THEY be disappointed when they find out it has more music and guitar building topics than anything else x-ray related. Hey you two, if you look up "art" in my TOPIC LINKS. You'll get to scroll down and see a cool heat map enhanced KUB I snapped. And please tell me that you're NOT digital. We're still using Dynasonics (Dino-sonics).

Did some research today and found that the physician who blamed me for taking the wrong views, actually was referring to the nurse who ordered the initial exam. She said, "oh, they did the wrong part" meaning nurse. The patient took "they" as x-ray's fault.

I guess compared to what doctors go through, I should tolerate the lack of respect. In other words, be happy I can just "shoot and scoot" a patient (a crude term for taking an exam and then sending them on their way). I don't have to answer to the patient if their meds didn't work or that surgery made their pain worse. The only rath I feel is from my radiologists (physicians who are trained to read and dictate diagnostic studies).

Many would think, "You still get paid the same, why let it bother you?" I guess when I trained to become a Radiology Technologist, I thought I was getting into a field where everyone contributes as a whole team unit. Like a Verizon Wireless network all standing together backing up the little nerdy guy with glasses, except with a lab coat, oxford shirt, slacks, wing-tip shoes, stethoscope hanging around his neck, clipboard in his hands with a big thumbs up. You know, all working together to help out who matters most, the patient. On the surface, from a patient's perspective, I'm sure it all looks like we're a team, but it's all blue team against the red team behind the scenes. To me it's very high school and petty. And no matter how crummy any staff is at any level, I'm still killing them with kindness, a smile on my face and still willing to go out of my way for any of them. Who knows, I may just convert everybody's person at a time. I'm even getting some Urgent Care nurses to actually wave at me when we pass by NICU.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Hero vs The Fall Guy (Big X-ray Rant).

X-ray techs seem to be the fall guy when it comes to mistakes. It's aways X-ray's fault. When ever every upper level area of expertise messes up, it was always "X-ray". When we go up stairs to do a portable X-ray, we screw up the sheets, we mess with the I.V.'s, move the heart monitor leads around, and never put the bed back in the proper position. It's like how the jocks and cheerleaders view the drama department and band geeks (I am in no way saying that our doctors and nurses resemble jocks and cheerleaders, and hey!, drama and band is an important form of self expression!)

We are the most disrespected part of the whole medical community. It's true. There was a study made about 7 years ago that a fellow X-ray tech, now an ER Physician's Assistant who showed me a study regarding a survey asking all levels from top surgeon's, physician's, and nurses. Radiology Technologists were rated as the lowest respected in the field, lower than janitorial staff.

I find this interesting because if it weren't for x-ray, many diagnosis would never be discovered. Without X-ray, how would you know if you, a doctor, had placed a broken bone back to it's proper position (post reduction), a P.I.C.C line in it's proper place, making sure your hardware pins are going directly into the fractured bone for a hip pinning? Kidney stones, bone erosions, calcifications, bone malignancies, colon cancer, brain cancer, brain bleeds, subluxation of the cervical spine, scoliosis (degree of curvature), Calve Perthe's disease, displasia, growth plate fractures, radiculopathy, dislocations, foreign bodies, cardiomegaly, degree of severity of fractures (either trauma or pathological), pneumothorax, hemothorax, heel spurs vs plantar fasciitis, osteophytes, osteoma's, Osgood Schlatter's disease, nurse maid's elbow, osteoporosis, COPD, CHF, pleural effusion. I don't list pneumonia because I think some physicians can diagnose pneumonia without an x-ray. That's what the stethoscope is for, right? Or is that just the universal badge that says, "I'm a doctor"?

I'm not sure what reputations past X-ray techs have bestowed upon us but we are the filter for other people's mistakes. Today, I got an order for a wrist. Performed the x-ray and sent the patient back to the doctor. One hour later, the patient returns with another order. The Mom insists on coming into the exam room this time. She has been informed by the head UC physician that WE took the wrong views on the first visit. The new orders were for a hand x-ray. No matter how much I tried to convince the patient that I did exactly what was ordered, she accused me of trying to get out of my incompetent mistake because doctors don't make mistakes like that, only underachieving x-ray techs. Like I just sit here and pick whatever body part to x-ray.

To many people's surprise, x-ray orders are like prescriptions; you can only do what's ordered. All the time I get, "Hey, my shoulder hurts too. Could you take one of my shoulder also? CALL MY DOCTOR TO HAVE HIM ADD IT!" We have more than 50 doctors working in the building and sometimes they all send just one patient to us. When we have to stop and call to do one of these "add-ons", it puts the breaks on our operation, making all other patients checked in wait even longer.

I am bound by law to perform an x-ray to the exact request ordered by a physician. Only physician's order x-rays....sort of. The problem is, we have nurses that order the x-rays for the doctors before the doctor see the patient. So the nurse makes a guess as to what orders to make and promptly send them to x-ray. We get orders like hand & thumb, wrist & hand, foot & ankle, foot and toes. We cannot pick and choose which order best fits the patient's needs. If your pinky toe was injured and they order a full foot, then you're entire foot gets "nuked". So that's what happened today: nurse thought the wrist needed to be x-rayed, has no real knowledge of anatomy, doctor sees the patient finds out it's actually his entire metacarpals are the area of interest and sends them back to x-ray. The mistake? Physician makes the X-ray tech the idiot, because x-ray always messes up, right?

In my training as a tech, we went over countless anatomy training, pathology training, alternative methods of getting the most out of an exam even when you get a patient for an abdomen who's in the shape of a pretzel. When I received my Radiology license, I made a vow to do the best I can for the patient, always have the patient's best interest and to maintain the responsibility to uphold radiation safety by limiting the amount of radiation dose to every patient regardless of age. That is out the window when it comes to patients who demand X-rays for sore throats and blood blisters. Exams like an 85 year old woman for knee x-rays to rule out arthritis......You think? Geez, if you own a mirror and can read the birth date on your driver's license, then I'm betting you already know the answer to that.

Doctors don't have time these days to explain and educate misled patients regarding the necessity for x-rays. There are doctors that feel that ordering these exams help give the patients a peace of mind. Sometimes if a persistent patient asks for an x-ray, they'll get it, just to shut them up. It works. Even though that toothpick won't show up on an x-ray, or that Dorito that you swear is still stuck in your throat, or that cat bite that didn't even break the skin. Hello people, you just nuked yourself for no reason because those things don't show up on an x-ray!

X-ray techs must be known for lying a lot too. We have nothing better to do than make up some story in order to get out of doing our job. Regardless if an Urgent Care patient is going back to..well, Urgent Care, I always ask if the doctor is expecting them to return today. Most everybody says yes. But sometimes, some people use Urgent Care just to be seen that day when their primary doctor is not available. Occasionally, those people can leave after their x-ray is finished. They might be following up with their provider later or being referred to a specialist so it's not necessary to return to Urgent Care. I took an exam of a Urgent Care patient today, he told me that the doctor told him he did not need to return but had to go back for some other treatment. Ok, what reason do I not believe this patient? I send the patient back and then 3 hours later get a call from that patient's nurse saying, "where are the x-rays, the doctor is waiting to leave and he can't because he's waiting for us to deliver the films." I explained the situation and then I was blamed for the delay in the patient's treatment. Of course the patient never admitted to saying they didn't need to return with the films. So it was now MY responsibility to call and track down this film because this was all My mistake.

Ever since my back injury, I am to never return to portables and surgery exams. I miss surgery. I felt like an important key to the OR "Team". I was addressed by my first name, not just "X-ray!" They knew my work. I could intuitively know when and where they needed my flouroscopy "C-Arm". I developed this 6th sense, knowing when to run up to OR before they would even page me. I was fast, accurate, and I always helped out with assisting patients onto the surgical table. I felt respected. That was my arena. Everyone seemed to breathe out a sigh of relief when I'd be the one on duty (well, maybe not to that extent but I was told once how many surgeons were glad I was working with them on those surgery days).

One last good one; nurse forgets to place an order for an inpatient for an AM Chest x-ray, pages the portable tech to come up for a STAT exam (STAT by the way is supposed to be for life or death situations, not for right away because I've got to get to lunch). The nurse does this so that she does not get chewed out by the doctor. The doctor comes up to the patient's room to see the film, sees the x-ray tech taking the exam, yells at the tech for sitting on his butt all this time when the order was supposed to be done at 7:00 AM and it's now 10:30 AM. Nurse sits in her chair looking at the tech in the room, and not a word is said from the nurse. Anything the tech says at this point sounds like lame excuses in an attempt to get out of trouble. The x-ray fall guy, it's always our fault. Wouldn't that be cool to have a fall guy at your job to make you maintain your professional status? Find someone who can absorb all of everybody elses incompetence.

But it is funny, being the fall guy also means that you are perceived you have a breaking point as to telling the patient "did you see anything?" For being the fungal layer on the basement of the medical staff, we sure seem to be important enough to get badgered with that question. Nope, that's for the glory of the physician to tell you (and legally the only one who can tell you the results). After all, he's the most respected one in the medical community. The hero.

The people who tirelessly work, to strive, to obtain the best images possible, in the patient's favor, the ones who are trying to assist by x-raying patients in order to assist doctors better help patients, are the ones who are frowned upon the most. The fall guy.

(Disclaimer: In spite of my opinions I do respect many doctors at my facility. There are many great doctors that don't abuse their ordering privileges. These opinions are a generalization regarding radiology technologists as a whole. There's good and bad in every facility. Most of my opinions are based on the hospital poll and some personal experiences. I hope this does not offend the many doctors that I'm friends with who read this blog. I am not pointing a finger at any particular physician or patient care entity in particular.Order and patients from experiences have been changed drastically to adhere to confidentiality and to avoid acknowledging the location of my hospital and individuals involved.)