Role in Safe and High-Quality Nuclear Cardiology

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Technologist’s Role in Safe and High-Quality Nuclear Cardiology Images Essay

We as technologists play a very crucial role in safe and high-quality nuclear cardiology images because we are the experts. We are performing tests and images on the heart, which is a very vital and complex muscle within the human body so it only makes sense that our job is to safely perform nuclear cardiology tests on patients while providing accurate and good quality images. Patient safety should always come before quality images, because the patient care should be the technologist’s top priority always. As technologists it is important to focus on the ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) philosophy and monitoring patient dose. With the combination of both principles there should be a balance between dose and image quality (Watson & Odle, 2013). Therefore, you are considering the patient’s safety in the amount of radiation that they are receiving while also being mindful of what dose will also better serve for a good enough image quality. While maintaining the ALARA philosophy for both the technologist and patient, it is important to explain the entire procedure to the patient and ask them if they have any questions to ensure they fully understood what scan they are about to be taken in for(Watson & Odle, 2013). It is crucial that the technologists inform the patient that their heart will be put under a lot of stress, but there are precautions that are considered beforehand to ensure the risks outweigh the benefits. It is also important to inform them that they have the chance of crashing, but there will always be a crash cart near by and monitored the entire time during the whole study. Technologist’s Role in Safe and High-Quality Nuclear Cardiology Images Essay


Another thing to keep in mind as a technologist for patient safety is to constantly meet their needs. A lot of patients coming into the cardiology department do not have good hearts, and that is why we perform our studies to further gather more information on their heart related problems. If a patient does not want to have the study done, the technologist can not force the patient to undergo the study. However, it is strongly encouraged to ensure the patient that the study would be in their best interest in the long run to enable an accurate diagnosis and possible treatment due to the images that were taken. Once safety concerns are addressed, it is important to ensure good imaging protocols to ensure the best diagnosis. To ensure the most accurate protocol is performed, it is important to have close communication between the referring physician and all technologists who are performing the test (DiPuey et al., 2012). All tests are patient specific, so obtaining and understanding the patient’s medical history can be important when deciding what is best for the patient. For example, and exercise stress test is preferred rather than administering a pharmacological stressor but sometimes a patient is physically unable to perform exercise. However, it has been found that pharmacological stressors can enhance nuclear cardiology by providing a more flexible and broader accessibility for SPECT procedures. With the pharmacological stress agents, it is important to know the contraindications of all also, as we the technologist are responsible for that. It is clearly indicative that a patient centered approach will improve the overall diagnostic and prognostic performance of MPI (DePuey et al., 2012). It is super important to understand what the patient is experiencing to ensure they receive the correct protocol that is given or considered. Through good radiation safety practice, strong communication, and a good understanding of medical history the technologist should always be pristine all the way around when it comes to patient safety. Quality patient care leads to quality images because it is all patient specific when dealing with the heart, and within nuclear cardiology.


DePuey, G., Mahmarian, J., Miller, T., Einstein, A., Hansen, C., Holly , T., . . . Wann, S. (2012). Patient-Centered Imaging. ASNC Practice Statement, 1-31.

Watson , L., & Odle, T. (2013). Patient Safety and Quality in Medical Imaging: The Radiologic Technologist’s Role. Retrieved from American Society of Radiologic Technologists : source/research/whitepapers/asrt13_patientsafetyqltywhitepaper.pdf?sfvrsn=a119f22f_12

Technologist’s Role in Safe and High-Quality Nuclear Cardiology Images Essay