Over the short amount of time since I was hired for this job, I have learned a great deal. Aside from the job duties and functions you would expect to learn, I’ve also learned more about the “behind the scenes” activity. I think this has been the most interesting to me.
You know when you walk into a hospital to be seen that you should expect to wait a while. You count on spending at least a couple of hours from start to finish. I mean, it is a hospital after all! 🙂
What you don’t know and don’t see are all of the things that take place while you are waiting in a room. There are a few radiologists that are in a darkened room reading all of the MRI’s, x-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, etc. for the hospital. Once they look at the study and read it, their dictation is sent to transcription so it can be typed up into a report that your doctor can then see. Obviously, the really critical patients will have reports that are called in directly to the doctor for them so that the doctor gets a quicker “update” on what’s going on. However, most studies are performed and handled as I mentioned above. The radiologists also get interrupted by phone calls that may come in, other urgent matters that come up, and doctors that happen to stop in with questions.
The amount or number of studies for the radiologists are constant. They may get all of them currently on the list read and then think it’s safe to get something quick to eat in the cafeteria, but by the time they’ve managed to walk down the hall — there are 10 more studies there waiting. Not only do these radiologists read the studies that come in, but they have their own procedures that they also perform. They are doctors, too! They have their own biopsies and such that they have to perform on any given day as well. At the hospital that I work in, these same doctors also read Mammo’s done. So women (or men) that come in and have a mammo done to check for breast cancer and the like, will all be read by one of the radiologists there in the reading room.
My point is… I have all new respect for doctors and I am more understanding of the long waits. They have A LOT on their plates and I am only seeing it from this one department’s point of view! The whole hospital is composed of many departments and each one is just as busy! I never truly understood just how busy a hospital was and it’s really great to be able to see the “inner workings” of how things are handled. If you get impatient from waiting on doctors, try to understand that they are just incredibly busy. They have important jobs and honestly, I’d rather them go at the pace they feel comfortable with and do their job correctly than to rush around because someone is impatient. Their job is both rewarding and underappreciated.