Mr. Don Cull
Advances In Radiography
Film Screens-CR- DR
February 21, 2015
When I decided to change my career in to medical career, I had no idea what field I would like to venture into. I had so many options and I couldn’t wrap my head into what I could see myself doing for the next forty years. I looked into nursing, and realized that being a nurse or a doctor required a lot more responsibility than I would care to have.
So I looked into more fields such as sonographer, radiography, and surgical techs. Each of the fields I have listed above has had many advances throughout the last decades. One of the reason I chose a career in the medical field was because of job demand. I thought to myself, someone would always be going to a doctor’s office or the hospital. If someone has a broken bone, they will need an x-ray to see what is really going on.
With that aspect I chose radiography, and for the last two years or more of my life, I have thought about x-rays, and patient dose, learning the correct technique for certain procedures. When I think about what is a great advance in radiography, I first think about the basics, the x-ray tube. When you think about the tube, and x-ray itself it is extremely dangerous, you as a radiographer could be just as harmful as a nurse were to a patient giving the wrong medication. When doing an x-ray procedure you could irradiate a patient that could kill them! I think it is unlikely but it could happen and that is very scary. I can think back to my clinical experiences and have had the pleasure of working with many types of equipment in the x-ray departments and have seen the good and bad. I have been to places were there are nothing but CR (computed radiography) and some places that have DR (digital radiography). I have not been to a site that has had the dark room and you had to physically develop our own images but I can see how that would have been time consuming and frustrating. I have read in my textbooks about how to process the films and the proper way to clean them and I think that medical advances film process has helped just as the x-ray tube has.
Before there was CR or DR there was only film processing. When the x-ray was performed they had to take the cassette into the darkroom to be processed. Processing the film includes a six-step process. The first step is when the exposure is taken. Following the exposure is when the development starts and the film is covered in black metallic silver. The next step is to wash the film, which removes the developer from the film. Following the wash cycle is the fixer, where it dissolves the unexposed crystals out of the image. Step five and six are when the image is then rinsed and dried. There are three types of processors, manual, semi- automatic and automatic. Can you imagine the time it would take to process hundreds of films on a given day? That is how advances in medical technology have benefited not only the doctors and nurses in the hospital but radiology as well. Computed Radiography uses an imaging plate instead of a film cassette, that stores the energy from the exposure until it can be read in the reader, which is usually housed in the main department. CR imaging plate are more effective then the film developer but are much more costly, but the same x-ray equipment that is used for film screen can be used for CR. I think the most advance technology about CR is that since it’s computed it can be stored digitally. This means that all of those file cabinets of images would be gone and the mage would be saved electronically. Another advantage when comparing CR to film screen is the image quality. If you are to take an x-ray of a patient and the image is a little underexposed, with film screen the image will be difficult to read and may have to be retook. The advantage is that CR you could digitally alter the image to appear lighter or darker as for the Radiologist to see the contrast. Also with