Would it be helpful for nurses to have actual X-rays on the computer? (comment)

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Digital images, such as X-rays and scans, will be stored on computer – enabling them to be sent by email or stored in a USB device. This ends the need to physically transfer X-rays or scans by hand from hospital department to another. This is extremely important that the diagnosis could be made faster and so as the treatment. Also, other health professional could share the same information and of course we need the patient’s consent.
This will also eventually see patient records being stored electronically and all GPs making hospital appointments for their patients from computers in their surgeries.
People in rural areas will especially benefit because it will save many journeys to hospital. The digital image will follow the patient wherever they go and will be able to be recalled whenever and wherever they need to be accessed by a patient’s healthcare professional. In addition to patients not having to wait whilst their X-rays are processed and delivered by hand from one department to another, clinicians will no longer have to hold X-rays up to a light box in A and E to make a diagnosis.
There will be improved staff and patient safety due to reductions in radiation dosages from X-rays and avoiding the use of hazardous chemicals for film processing.
Apart from that, health professionals should learn to read the X-rays and scans so this would be more beneficial to patients through different other therapies. Although, protection of client’s private details would be another issue to be considered.

Original Post:
March 6, 2009
Currently physicians can pull up the actual x rays and ct scans on the computer but nurses can only pull up the report. Now I agree not all nurses can read X rays but in the ER, ICU and Recovery Room seasoned nurses can read basic films (chest x ray, bones for fractures, etc). I was taught this skill when I first trained in critical care. As a nurse I always appreciate the ability to look at a film and be able to see if my patient has fractured ribs, which would prepare me to understand the complications for this type of fracture. Or to see a pneumo following central line placement and have a chest tube set up at the bedside when the physician arrives. In the ER I can set up for a closed reduction if I have access to the films. Most of the time a nurse has more time to keep checking for results than do physicians. Additionally, printed reports are, in most cases, not downloaded into the computer system until long after the patient receives treatment. I am an advocate for electronic documentation and medical records however nursing education and the level of knowledge we have these days is under estimated. Yes, the radiologist reads the results and the physician orders the treatment but most nurses can anticipate what the treatment will be which in turn decreases both patient and physician wait time and decreases the risks associated with those wait times.

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One Response to “Would it be helpful for nurses to have actual X-rays on the computer? (comment)”

  1. Chelsia Says:

    I’m impressed by your writing. Are you a professional or just very knwoledgebale?

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