When you have an X Ray....

(76 Posts)
MrsWinnibago Thu 12-Jun-14 21:50:17

Does the person doing it usually know what's wrong with you? I've got an ankle injury and had an X ray today...saw the GP yesterday and she sent me....

The X Ray person (what are they called??) said "Well I've had a sneaky look at the x ray and I can't see a fracture but I'm not the expert...call the GP's surgery tomorrow....I'll put this on a fast report."

confused I thought the person doing the x ray was the expert?

MrsWinnibago Thu 12-Jun-14 21:50:49

Ooh didn't mean to post this here! Sorry! But either way...give me answers please! grin

Bankholidaybaby Thu 12-Jun-14 21:51:24

No, they're expert at taking x-Ray images for a doctor to interpret.

Goodadvice1980 Thu 12-Jun-14 21:53:14

No, the radiographer is not the expert.

The image will be reported on by a reporting radiographer or a consultant radiologist (or a doctor if you're in A&E).

LIG1979 Thu 12-Jun-14 21:54:31

They are radiographers and whilst they can most likely diagnose most common issues on the scans they are not meant to do do this and the Dr should be giving the diagnosis.

deakymom Thu 12-Jun-14 21:54:35

needs a doctor to look at it but if they are experienced they can sometimes tell

Greenoes Thu 12-Jun-14 21:55:05

The person doing the X-Ray is a Radiographer, the expert is a Radiologist. The radiographer is like the technician who works the machine but is not a doctor. They see many X-rays each day so do know what they are looking at but each image needs to be looked at by the radiologist before it can be reported. Fast reporting in my Trust is called "hot reporting" - I picture them all in shorts and Hawaiian shirts in there wink

Hope you are feeling better soon.

MrsWinnibago Thu 12-Jun-14 21:55:39

Yes...she said "They know more about the bones...there's loads in there."

I just hoped that because she couldn't see a crack that it meant there wasn't one for sure.

MrsWinnibago Thu 12-Jun-14 21:56:32

Green thanks for the inside info! Why do a fast report if she saw no crack then?

Doinmummy Thu 12-Jun-14 22:00:58

Radiographer here. We do have reporting radiographers who have undertaken extra training and are allowed to report on radiographs( X-rays are the bits that fly out of the X-ray tube -radiographs are the images they produce)

We are all able to diagnose on anything obvious but refrain from telling the patients anything just in case we are wrong . Also if we do tell a patient what's on the radiograph we are then questioned on what treatment the patient can expect to receive , what painkillers can they take, can they go back to work etc and we just don't have the time or expertise to do this.

NorbertDentressangle Thu 12-Jun-14 22:01:31

Like others have said , they are the experts at using the machine and obviously don't know much about broken bones, patients and pain etc otherwise the one who Xrayed my broken ankle wouldn't have asked me to move it in all sorts of impossible and painful positions in order to get a good Xray result

<disclaimer - I do appreciate all health care professionals, honest but that particular radiographer just didn't seem to grasp that it REALLY FUCKING HURT and I couldn't bend it that way!!>

Poppiesway Thu 12-Jun-14 22:04:09

I'm my hospital if we see a fracture your referred to a&e, even if your from the GP. makes no sense to send you home if we know it's broken..
We "red dot" fractures, or anything we know is not normal The a&e drs ring us to ask our opinions on fractures.. smile

Doinmummy Thu 12-Jun-14 22:05:25

Not all radiographs are hot reported on . We decide whether to out the image through for urgent reporting or not.

It is also up to us whether we do carry out the X-ray or not and also what part of the body we X-ray. If a GP has asked for a foot and on questioning the patient it is clear it's the ankle that's the problem, we can change what bit we do.

Legally we have to 'justify' the X-ray so if we think it's not needed we can refuse to do it. Eg if a GP has asked for rib X-rays we won't do it as this is not justified- there's no treatment for fractured ribs.

Greenoes Thu 12-Jun-14 22:06:44

If the results needed to go back to your GP (unlike if you were sitting in A&E waiting) they don't want you hobbling around on a potential fracture doing more damage so try to get them processed as fast as possible. There's usually a team looking at the images and discussing what they see as everyone is only human so each see things slightly differently - there's no X-ray reading computer (yet) so teamwork is the best policy.

If you went to A&E for X-rays the images are initially seen by the A&E doctor who can make a quick diagnosis but the images all still go off to be scrutinised by a radiologist - that's why you hear of people being discharged from A&E then getting a phone call a few days later telling them that a fracture may have been seen.

Poppiesway Thu 12-Jun-14 22:07:04

Norbert.. They would have moved it to try and get between the joint spaces.. Different views demonstrate different bones.
If it was obviously broken they wouldn't have moved it too much and worked around you.

Doinmummy Thu 12-Jun-14 22:07:15

There are standard positions for all X-rays and unfortunately whether it hurts or not we have to get you into awkward positions to get the best diagnostic pictures. Some radiographers are kinder than others though .

bobsleighteam Thu 12-Jun-14 22:13:54

I had an x-ray on my foot last year. radiographer thought I had fractured my big toe and told me to come back to fracture clinic the next day.
I had fractured my big toe but id also broken another 5 bones in the middle of my foot that hadnt been picked up on at all until a doctor looked at my results and sent me for an additional ct scan.

Doinmummy Thu 12-Jun-14 22:17:30

Sometimes we don't see fractures on the X-ray but the patients pain level suggests there is something else wrong so other scans are given. Some fractures (scaphoid) don't show up immediately so we X-ray about 10 days after the original one.

MrsWinnibago Thu 12-Jun-14 22:17:39

Oh thanks all. So helpful!

NorbertDentressangle Thu 12-Jun-14 22:19:06

Doinmummy and Poppiesway - I just felt the machine should've been doing the work and not my joints IYSWIM!

The Xray was the most painful time of the whole experience.

Doinmummy Thu 12-Jun-14 22:24:56

We can move the machine around you most of the time but in some cases we do have to move the patient. It's no good taking an X-ray in any old position as the images won't be diagnostic.

BumWad Thu 12-Jun-14 22:42:13

Radiographers are the expert when diagnosing broken bones.

They just won't be the ones that have taken your xray.

Junior doctors, GPs and most radiologists are not expert at reading X-rays. Reporting radiographers are the gold standard. Radiologists l

BumWad Thu 12-Jun-14 22:42:35

Radiologists look at more complex imaging such as scans, ultrasound etc.

BumWad Thu 12-Jun-14 22:45:04

Norbert - it's either getting a decent xray or a mis-diagnosis which would you like?

Doinmummy Thu 12-Jun-14 22:45:45

We quite often 'red dot' an image and get A&E doctors phoning up asking what we've seen as they can't spot the fracture.

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