Monday, December 05, 2005

X ray can see through you

1. The X ray department are there torture you. If the X ray department are driving you mad that's good, they're doing their job.

2. Your consultant will demand an expensive test you have never heard of on a patient you have never met and you will be made to go and request it. Your consultant will make it clear that your job depends on you arranging this test. As you leave the ward, X ray request card in hand, the nurses will laugh out loud. Your colleagues will cross themselves.

3. If your ward is at point A and X ray is point B, the distance between point A and point B will be longer than the circumference of the hospital. This is impossible.

4. There will be no-one in the X ray department except for one old lady on a trolley singing the Serbian national anthem. You will look for a single human being for ten minutes. You will decide that it must be Sunday and you have come to work by mistake.

5. You find a technician in the scanner room but there is no radiologist. You ask where you can find one. She doesn't know. She doesn’t know anything and wouldn't help you if she could. She hates you and so does everyone else in the X ray department.

6. You are now in limbo. You can't go back to the ward and your consultant without an answer. You can't stay in the radiology department. You are in Radiology Limbo. (The longest single period or radiological limbo was spent by Dr Yves Verland, a visiting French clinical fellow in urology. His consultant had requested a reverse micturating anal atomic spasmogram, a test that had only been previously performed on Squirrels at a research center in the Andes. The equipment to perform the test did not exist, and most importantly of all, the test was of absolutely no clinical value. It thus met all the criteria for a standard consultant radiological request. The entire X ray department were on a 3 month conference in Bermuda. A single lone radiologist was manning the department for this time and Dr Vercland made a total of 74 separate requests for the test, relaying the replies, always in the negative, back to his urological consultant. At no point did the two consultants speak directly to each other to resolve the dispute, despite the fact that they were husband and wife. The reasons given for refusing the tests were as follows:
1) Incorrectly filled in request form - 62 times
2) Incorrect form used - despite not owning an Atomic Spasmogram, the department still had specific Atomic Spasmogram request forms, and would refuse requests written on other radiology tests*. - 4 times
3) Servicing of the Atomic Spasmogram - 2 denied requests - despite not having an Atomic Spasmogram, the department still paid £2000 yearly to have it serviced
4) No staff available - 3 times - the department paid 3 radiographers
£21000 per year each to man the non existent device.

*No copies of this form were ever made. This is normal.

7. In keeping with radiological thinking, at no point was the Atomic Spasmogram refused because it was not clinically indicated. This particular denial is reserved for tests that are absolutely vital to save a patient's life.

8. The issue was only resolved when the patient died from malnutrition, having been kept nil by mouth the entire time in the hope that if the test became available he would be ready to undertake it.. This occurred on Dr Vercland’s last day, the entire process having taken every single day of his urological placement, including holiday. He immediately gave up medicine and now farms butterflies in Occitane region of France.)

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