1-10. AN ON-THE-JOB INJURY
a. A civilian RT injured his back during a failed attempt to lift a patient. The
technologist, a slight man of 5 foot 4 inches, did not want to take the time to get help in
moving his patient, a rather heavy-set, but mobile individual. The RT had already
experienced some difficulty in assisting the patient with the initial move from wheelchair
to X-ray table, which was supposed to have been patient-assisted.
b. The mishap occurred when the partially-mobile patient was stepping down
from a step stool. He lost his footing and toppled over the RT. As a result of this fell,
the technologist injured his back, suffering nerve damage and rupturing his L-5 disc.
The injury resulted in chronic pain and discomfort, which led to absenteeism. This, in
turn, caused a personnel shortage within the department for a full six months. The RT,
who loved his job, ended up getting Workmen's Compensation and being medically
retired. He wanted to work, but no longer could because of one hasty decision based
on a mistaken notion about saving time.
c, The fall was, almost literally, the straw that broke the camel's back. This
radiologic technologist's back had already been weakened by years of misuse resulting
from poor body mechanics. As a secondary observation, if he had known how to take
the fall, his injury might have been less serious.
1-11. TRANSFERRING A PATIENT FROM A WHEELCHAIR TO AN X-RAY
a. Patient Able to Assist. Even a mobile patient must be given some help in
making the transfer from wheelchair to X-ray table, or from the X-ray table to the
wheelchair. While it is desirable to let the patient assist to the extent possible, the
patient might, in fact, not be as strong as he thinks. A sudden movement, for example,
may make the patient dizzy and fall. So, you must be on the alert, ready to provide the
assistance needed. The next series of figures shows what you need to do for a patient
who is able to assist from properly positioning the wheelchair in relation to the table
(figure 1-13), helping the patient to stand up (figure 1-14), helping the patient onto the
step stool (figure 1-15), easing the patient onto the table (figure 1-16), positioning the
patient on the table (figure 1-17), and placing him in the supine position (figure 1-18).