2-10. ORDER OF PROCEDURE, STEP FIVE: TAKING THE EXPOSURE
a. Final Steps. You are nearly ready to take the exposure. But before you
actually make the exposure, there are two more things left to do: (1) verify the factors,
and (2) instruct the patient,
b. Verifying the Technique Factors. Go back to the machine. Verify that you
have set the technical factors correctly in terms of amount and duration of exposure
(mAs) and strength of radiation (kVp). Check, too, that you set the factors according to
the technique chain for that exam. (The technique chart should be posted in the
exposure room.) You will need to check technique chart factors for both the body part
being radiographed and the measurement of that part.
c. Instructing the Patient. Instructing the patient carefully can spare the
patient from unnecessary additional radiation exposure, save you film, and save time
lost in repeating the procedure or examination. If the examination requires preparation,
such as a gastrointestinal (GI) or kidney exam, explain the procedures carefully to the
patient. While the procedure may be like second nature to you, the procedure is still
new to the patient. The best results are obtained if the patient not only understands
what he is to do, but why. If the patient understands the reasons behind the procedure,
he is more likely to follow your instructions. Some procedures do not require much prior
explanation, but you will have to provide verbal prompts before and during the
procedure. You may be saying to the patient, "Take in a deep breath and hold still," or
Drink, drink, drink," during an esophagram.
d. Making the Exposure. You can now take the X-ray. There may be some
post-instructions, such as "relax," "breathe," or "hold still," depending on whether or not
there is another exposure that follows.
ORDER OF PROCEDURE, STEP 5: TAKING THE EXPOSURE
Verify technique factors (mAs and kVp).
Instruct the patient, as needed. (Explanation, verbal prompts.)
Make the exposure.
Give post-instructions, if applicable.