Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hippity Hop

Next week is our last week of the semester and I have one more upper extremity comp to get. Then I need to go back and cert on a forearm but those don't come through during the day very often.

While waiting for my needed comp exams to come up, I also managed to cert on a portable pediatric chest and a patella.

After next week, I'll be splitting my time between class and clinicals. Two days a week I'll have to drive down to the college (about a 20 mile drive and I'll be getting out of classes just as rush hour picks up steam) and the other three days I'll be at my site (a very easy 4 mile zip down the freeway from my house!). My classes this semester will be positioning (everything we haven't done yet) and a lab to go with that class and contrast media. As much as I'm not looking forward to the drive, it will be nice to switch up my weekly routine a little bit.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Hands Down

This was a good week for me! I got my elusive hand cert. I also had a tib-fib and elbow come in this past week which I was able to cert on. I'm now ready to start comping in both upper and lower extremity and I finished off my week by getting my ankle comp. By the end of the month I need 7 more comps and I may actually end up making it.

I feel like I've done more portables this week than I have in a while. Before I would have said that I could do them, but I'm not comfortable with them. Now, though, I feel like I have a better idea of what I'm doing and it's becoming easier to figure out the angle of the tube in regards to the patient position. And it's also getting easier to manhandle the tube into place! Another thing I feel I'm getting better at is picking which technique I'm going to use.

My next goal is to try to speed up my exams. I tend to futz around with my positioning a lot longer than I need to and, honestly, I think all my futzing isn't really enough to change the image I'm going to get. I have noticed this week that one of the techs will start rotoring when he feels I've been in there long enough. One of the speakers at the ACERT conference I attended last month referred to the rotor as a "student motivational device" and I have to laugh because it's true. I hear the rotor go and BAM I'm out of the room.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

In Like a Lion...

I hate subject/title lines. When I email, I usually use some variant of hello, hey, hi. Now I have a blog and a never-ending series of "hello, hey, hi" titled posts just aren't going to cut it! I had toyed with the idea of numbering the days but I think that would come too close to that "excerpt from a cat's diary" that's floating around on the net. You know, the one that starts:

Day 752: My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.


I wasn't able to cert on anything last week but I did manage to comp on everything in the chest category and I'm finished with that. I'm still waiting to cert on a tib-fib, patella, hand, forearm and elbow.

I was having great difficulty the week before with my hand images. One hand come through last week and I asked to go down to the ER to do it. My images were absolutely beautiful with no retakes necessary. So, as I thought, for some reason I was just psyching myself out. Now I'm ready to cert on that and hopefully another one will come through this week.

Tib-fibs don't come through very often (while I'm there, at least) but one did come through the ER and I thought I was going to be able to get some experience with positioning. Unfortunately for both me and the patient, it was a pretty severe break (spiral fracture to the distal tibia and a fracture of the proximal fibula) and the tech had to stay in the room holding the leg in place while I went to the controls and shot the images. While I didn't actually get to position or assist, it was a good exercise in thinking outside of the box and how to compensate for the inability of your patient.

Other than that, it was a pretty quiet and slow week.

Goals for this week are to work on getting those remaining certs. Although I need to cert in everything I have left on my to-do list, once I have 4 in each extremity category, I can start comping in that category. In each category, I need 2 more certs before I can start comping. Hopefully I'll be able to do that soon. This clinical rotation is finished at the end of the month and we're supposed to be done at that time with all certs and comps. We've been told, though, that something will be worked out should we be missing any because our site is slow. I'd rather not have to go there, though!