Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Closing comments

April 11, 2024

Closing Comments

Patient Coaching

Communication is an interchange of ideas and information with others. Accurate communication is essential to quality patient care. The ability to give instructions depends on the speaker being clear and precise. The listener, on the other hand, is equally responsible for attentive and receptive behavior. The need to establish a rapport with patients is essential for a successful examination. Communication with a patient starts with an introduction and should continue until the completion of the examination.

Ethical and Legal Issues

Limited operators are taking the first steps toward making limited radiography a profession. Your work is closely associated with that of physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. The public does not distinguish between limited operators (LXMOs) and professional radiologic technologists. All healthcare providers have a duty and obligation to perform competently and professionally. A high level of professionalism is expected of the limited operator. Strict adherence to professional standards is an expectation.
The Standards of Ethics for the radiologic technology profession is a two-part document that consists of a Code of Ethics and Rules of Ethics. Both are developed by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). They are available on the ARRT website at www.arrt.org. The Code of Ethics is an aspirational document that establishes a high standard of professional conduct and assists the members of the profession in practicing ethical principles. The Rules of Ethics are mandatory standards of minimally acceptable professional conduct for all registered radiologic technologists.

Patient-Centered Care

As a limited operator, your work must be focused on the patients in your care, and your efforts must be devoted to providing high-quality service. Patient-centered care is the practice of caring for patients in ways that are meaningful and valuable to the individual patient. When in your care, you must treat a patient with courtesy and respect. Involve patients in decision making, recognizing they are individuals with unique values and preferences. Treat patients with dignity, respect, and sensitivity to each patient’s cultural values and autonomy.

Professional Behaviors

Patients expect professionalism from healthcare workers and are most likely to respond with cooperation and confidence when these expectations are met. A professional attitude also promotes positive relationships with coworkers in the radiology department, as well as other departments in the healthcare facility. In radiography, as in any rapidly changing technical field, continuing education is necessary to learn about new practices and maintain competencies. As part of professional practice, limited operators are required to earn continuing education credits to maintain certification. There are many opportunities available for continuing education. Education may take the form of courses, workshops, seminars, or conferences. Failure to maintain competence and required certifications places both the employer and the employee at risk, resulting in a loss of employment and one’s professional reputation. Knowing the credentials and keeping them current are essential professional responsibilities.

Summary of Scenario

Although Stephanie was initially apprehensive about Mrs. Gordon’s x-ray examination, she was able to perform the examination with ease and made sure the patient was comfortable. Mrs. Gordon was not able to lie on the x-ray table. Stephanie was not deterred, and she was able to perform the x-ray examination while Mrs. Gordon remained in the wheelchair. Stephanie used a stool to prop Mrs. Gordon’s knee on, and she was able to obtain the AP and lateral projections of Mrs. Gordon’s knee. Stephanie learned she needs to rely on her skills to perform x-ray examinations.

Summary of Learning Objectives

1. Examine the scope, education, and certification requirements of limited x-ray machine operators.

The limited x-ray machine operator (LXMO) is a role in the field of healthcare. Similar to radiographers, limited x-ray machine operators work closely with general physicians and work directly with radiologists, and their duties involve direct patient contact. Many are employed in ambulatory care clinics, and their work may vary considerably, depending on their place of employment. Many limited operators enjoy their work and later enter accredited programs to become radiologic technologists.

2. Differentiate between the primary x-ray beam and scatter radiation.

The primary x-ray beam originates at a tiny point within the x-ray tube. It exits in one general direction through the tube port and diverges into space. Objects in its path attenuate the beam, forming scatter radiation. Scatter radiation is present throughout the x-ray room during exposure, creating a potential radiation hazard that requires proper precautions for safety.

3. Examine radiographic equipment.

Radiographic equipment is used to create the x-ray beam and produce the image. Typical equipment in an x-ray room includes the IR system, x-ray tube, radiographic table, upright IR, control console, and the transformer cabinet.

4. Examine basic radiation safety.

Radiation exposure may pose a health hazard to operators if proper safety precautions are not followed. The potential risk is greater for the operator than the patient because the operator is often faced with the possibility of exposure. Scatter radiation is present throughout the x-ray room during exposure. The only time the potential for exposure exists is when the x-ray exposure is taken.

5. Examine basic physics for radiography.

Limited operators do not require an extensive background in physics, but some basic principles of physical science are essential to an understanding of x-rays and their use. LXMOs must understand the basic concepts of matter, energy, and electricity and muse be able to relate these principles to radiography. Everything of a physical nature in the universe can be classified as either matter or energy. Both matter and energy can exist in several forms.

6. Examine the components of x-ray production.

There are four essential requirements for the production of x-rays: (1) a vacuum, (2) a source of electrons, (3) a target, and (4) a high potential difference (voltage) between the electron source and the target

7. Examine the x-ray circuit.

An x-ray circuit diagram provides a means for studying the devices that make up the x-ray generators and understanding how they work together to meet the radiography requirements. The limited operator controls the functions of these devices utilizing a computer console. The control console provides the means for selecting the kVp and mAs and for making the x-ray exposure.

8. Examine rectification.

Rectification is changing alternating current into direct current so that it flows in one direction only. The primary purpose of the rectifiers is to change the AC into direct current (DC). The rectification process prepares the current for x-ray production by ensuring that it flows in the right direction—pin this case, from the filament to the target.

9. Examine single-phase, three-phase, and high-frequency generators.

The x-ray generator delivers the electrical power to energize the x-ray tube and permits the selection of x-ray energy, x-ray quantity, and exposure time. The generator’s major internal components include transformers, diodes and rectifier circuits, filament circuits, timer switches, and kilovolt and milliampere meters. Single-phase, three-phase, and high-frequency generators produce different voltage waveforms (ripple) and x-ray beam spectra.

10. Explain the components of the x-ray control panel.

All control panels provide some means for selecting kVp, mA, exposure time, and focal spot size. There will also be switches to control power to the console and the Bucky, plus rotor and exposure switches.

11. Examine the principles of exposure and image quality.

The primary factors of exposure are mA, time, kVp, and source-to-image-receptor distance (SID). According to the inverse square law, the SID influences the quantity of exposure in a given area of the IR. Distortion refers to both magnification and changes in the shape of the image as compared with the object. Magnification, the enlargement of the image due to the relationship between the object-to-image receptor distance (OID) and SID, includes shape and size distortion.

12. Examine digital imaging.

Computed and digital radiography systems are the most recent equipment used in radiography. The ability to manipulate images has improved the efficiency of imaging.