Some mistakes are impossible to avoid, but with some education you can do your best. Though you may think that you’ll never make these, many X-ray techs do and it’s your job to try and avoid them as much as possible.
1. Never show your emotion. This can be difficult because many of the patients that are coming to you are in a dire situation. Though you may feel as though you want to empathize or feel sorry for the patient and their circumstance, you don’t want to show that emotion. You also want to try hard not to get emotionally attached as that can really cause some problems down the road. Though this takes practice, you can still be helpful and sympathetic without expending too much emotion.
2. Not putting yourself into the patient’s mindset. You do have to be mindful that many of the patients coming to you have some sort of health problem and associated anxiety. Though they may get snappy, they probably don’t mean it towards you. Try to avoid your temptation to snap back and remember that these patients are going through a lot and that your professionalism can go a long way.
3. Not being thorough enough. If you don’t get the proper results out of the X-rays that you are taking, you may very well be asked to take them again. Though this happens to nearly every X-ray tech out there, try hard to be thorough the first time. This can save some wear and tear on the patient and can also be helpful in allowing you to develop a good reputation.
4. Avoid the temptation to stay in the room during the actual X-ray process. Though you may be asked to stay there to support the patient or you want to get that perfect angle, don’t stay in the room while the X-ray is being taken. This is hard because the patient may be asking for you to hold their hand or it may be hold for them to hold still and get that X-ray done perfectly, but it’s imperative to your health and longevity that you protect yourself from unnecessary radiation.
5. Forgetting that different patients will require different types of help with an X-ray. Not all patients can quickly and easily jump up on the table and hold the perfect position. With kids, people with special needs, injuries, or senior citizens there may be a need to provide additional assistance. This comes with experience and asking the right questions, so just learn as you go. Don’t just assume that all patients can handle this step the same, sometimes you may need to help a bit more and change up your disposition.
6. Trying to diagnose without proper medical insight. The problem that a lot of X-ray techs get into is providing diagnosis that they aren’t qualified to give. This is most harmful when it’s to the patient themselves, but it can also be harmful if it’s to other staff members. Know what your job is, work at perfecting it, and leave the diagnosis to the proper member of the medical staff.
7. Answering patient questions without all of the facts. It is inevitable that patients will have their fair share of questions, but you have to work at avoiding the temptation to answer them.