"SUPERTECHS" STAY IN THE RADIOLOGY DEPARTMENT, WHERE THE
BACKLOGS EXIST, WHILE FLEDGLING X-RAY TECHNOLOGISTS
ARE SENT OUT TO DO THE PORTABLES
Since backlogs generally develop in the radiology ward, it is the newer, slower x-ray
technologist who is more likely to be sent out of the department to do the portable
exams. A recent graduate can take about one picture every 3 minutes. Thus, it will
takes relatively Inexperienced X-ray technologist about 10 minutes to complete x-
rays for a patient requiring three to four pictures. The highly skilled and experienced
"supertech", on the other hand, can complete 10 patients In 15 minutes. That is
because the seasoned radiographer doesn't have to slop to think of the correct
procedure. This means that on a slow day, the experienced radiographer will have
done four patients for every one patient an inexperienced x-ray technologist can do.
Thus, if the waiting room is filling up with patients and there is a need for portable
exams in the OR, it is generally the newer x-ray technologist who will be sent out.
The x-ray department workload supervisor cannot afford to sacrifice the "supertech"
to the OR, because the biggest backlogs occur in the radiology department. (The
biggest backlog occurs for patients requiring radiographic examinations.)
Consequently, it is the 91P10 who will be sent to the OR. A "supertech" will probably
show you how to change into a gown, booties, and mask and will help you to setup.
Then you'll wait in the lounge, eating doughnuts and reading magazines until
someone yells, "x-ray!" You'll lump to your feet, take a few x-rays, and then go back
to the lounge for another 40 minutes. According to the Army Testing Board, this is,
strictly speaking, a lob for an E-5. In fact, you will be doing portable exams as early
as your on-the-job training, for the reasons stated above.
SKILL LEVEL 3: 91P30(E-6)
a. Performing Duties of the Preceding Skill Levels. The extent to which you
perform the duties of the preceding skill levels will depend, in large measure, upon the
influx of patients at the clinic to which you are assigned. At a location such as Walter
Reed Army Medical Center, which may have only 20 E-6's and a heavy flow of patients,
E-6's are likely to be performing essentially the same patient care duties as junior
personnel. It is at skill level 3, however, that you will start to assume significant
responsibility for ensuring the safety of clinics, personnel management, and supervision,
as outlined in paragraphs 4-8b. through 4-8h, below.
b. Operating Audiovisual Equipment. Some radiographic procedures require
the use of audiovisual equipment, such as: videocassette recorders (VCRs) and cine
projection systems. You will have to show slides or video recordings of radiographic
examinations and provide in-service training on the use of the equipment.