Feature article

Continuing education for radiographers

Continuing education is important in many fields, especially those that progress regularly. Radiology, for example, adds new techniques or ways to help detect different diseases on a fairly regular basis. New technology is released and should be learned by the radiologists who will be utilizing it. This can be in the form of new applications or new or upgraded scanners. Both the new techniques and the advanced technology may require training for the radiographers.

New techniques and findings are released on a regular basis. For example, scientists found that a measurement acquired during MRI may help determine whether a patient has developed progressive supranuclear palsy with parkinsonism or not after the initial diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.1 Because the study on this was just released, many radiologists may not have heard about its potential influence. However, there are two ways that educational information may become more widely spread: healthcare news and radiology conferences.

The development of the internet as a news source may make it one of the best ways to share information. Stories that were previously exclusively published in one area can be seen throughout the world. New findings in radiology can be shared across departments, companies, or friend groups, allowing for more exposure. This helps expedite the learning process of what to look for in different patients to help utilize scans for assessing different diseases.

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Radiology conferences occur regularly in different areas of the world. These conferences may offer educational presentations and seminars for everyone from radiology students to radiologists. The presentations offer insights on new findings and new techniques. If a radiologist attends conferences, such as the European Congress of Radiology (ECR), they have access to education on different topics, such as diffusion tensor imaging and can attend sessions to learn more about it.2

As clinics switch from one scanner to another through upgrading their current system or buying a completely new system altogether, radiographers may face confusion over the differences between the two systems. However, training can help prepare them for the changes and increase their comfort with the new device. MidState Radiology Associates, LLC found that working with the manufacturer of their new device could help increase employee satisfaction.3 Before the device arrived, the manufacturer worked with their radiographers and trained them on the differences between their current systems and their new ones. The training they received was delivered both online and in person. This training led to increased comfort among the team when they had received their new systems. Within a few days, the scanner was imaging as many patients per day as its predecessor.

Radiology news websites and magazines, radiology conferences, and system training can help improve the efficiency and proficiency of a clinic's radiology department. This may be because they are more aware of the new developments in their field. Radiology, like other fields, changes regularly because of new techniques being introduced and new discoveries about different diseases. Continuing education may help keep departments aware of these different changes.

For more information about MidState Radiology Associate's. LLC's experience, check out the SIGNA Pulse article "GE MR applications training ramps up productivity...even on day one."

References

1. Jose Marques Lopes. "MRI Technique Helps Distinguish Between Parkinson's and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Study Reports." Parkinson'sNewsToday.com. 18 February 2019. Web. 20 February 2019. <https://parkinsonsnewstoday.com/2019/02/18/mri-strategy-helps-distinguish-parkinsons-psp-p/>.

2. ECR. "ECR 2019 - Final Programme." MyECR.org. 14 February 2019. Web. 20 February 2019. <https://www.myesr.org/media/4090>.

3. Tom Cappas. "GE MR applications training ramps up productivity...even on day one." Signa Pulse. Spring 2018. Web. 20 February 2019. <http://www.gesignapulse.com/signapulse/spring_2018/MobilePagedReplica.action?pm=2&folio=22#pg22>.