All posts by Ekaterina Kostareva

What is radiology?

Radiology is a specialty of medicine that uses ionizing and nonionizing radiation for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Radiology uses technologies, such as X-Ray Radiography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Nuclear Medicine, Ultrasound, Computed Tomography (CT), and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to see within the human body in order to diagnose disease and abnormalities.

What is the difference between a radiologist and a radiographer?

A specialist in radiology is a radiologist; a doctor who then specializes in radiology. To become a radiologist you must first complete your training at a medical or osteopathic school to become a doctor, and then train for an additional five to six years.

A radiographer, or radiologic technician is a person who performs the radiography imaging scans, such as X-Rays – they then operate the imaging machines. A radiographer is not a doctor, while a radiologist is.

The radiologist looks at the images and interprets them. He/she pinpoints an injury or abnormality, determines what it is and possibly how severe the abnormality is. The radiologist will typically consult with the patient’s doctor when interpreting the results of an imaging scan.

A radiologist is a qualified doctor who then specializes in radiology


What is Fluoroscopy?
This is a type of medical imaging that displays a continuous X-Ray image on a screen – a bit like an X-Ray movie. It displays the movement of a body part or of an instrument or contrast agent (dye) through the human body.

In this procedure, an X-Ray beam passes through the body, the image is transmitted to a screen so that a specific body part and its motion can be viewed in fine detail.

Fluoroscopy may be used in several different types of examinations and procedures, such as:
– To see movement through the gastrointestinal tract, using Barium X-Rays and enemas
– An angioplasty or angiography procedure, to direct the placement of a catheter
– To be able to see how blood flows through specific organs
– To look at fractures or fracture treatments following orthopedic surgery

What is Interventional Radiology?
This is a rapidly expanding field of medicine. Interventional radiology is minimally invasive, targeted treatments which are performed using imaging guidance. These procedures are often carried out instead of open surgery. They are less risky, involve no large incisions, and are less painful, compared to surgical procedures. Patients who undergo interventional radiologic procedures usually recover faster.

Some interventional procedures, such as angiograms, are done for just diagnostic purposes, while others, for example angioplasty, are treatment procedures.

Somebody who works in this field is called an interventional radiologist. They can diagnose and treat several different types of diseases and disorders, including hepatic interventions, gastrostomy tube placements, inferior vena cava filter placements, renal artery stenosis, and peripheral vascular disease.

The main purpose of using images in interventional radiology is for guidance – the images help the surgeon use his/her instruments accurately and precisely. The main instruments used are needles and catheters.

With the guidance of images, the interventional radiologist can thread the instruments through the body to wherever the disease or injury is located. Interventional radiology involved much less physical trauma to the patient, compared to other procedures.

Stronger economy drives more nursing turnover, higher wages

A stronger economy is increasing employee turnover rates at hospitals, particularly among nurses, and putting additional pressure on wages that are already straining hospital balance sheets.

Hospital operators around the country have been reporting increases in staffing costs, including contract labor, in the third quarter of 2015. Nursing positions have been most in demand, and the need is compounded by the increased patient volume that many health systems are seeing under the Affordable Care Act.

HCA, the largest hospital operator by revenue, last month attributed a year-over-year drop in third-quarter net income in part to increased labor costs.

“We do have an improving economy across most of HCA’s markets and we think that is having some effect on our overall labor equation,” Samuel Hazen, president of operations for the Nashville-based chain, said on an earnings call.

The company said its nursing turnover has increased to 19%, up from 17.5% in 2014. Contract labor has been used to fill the gaps.

Providence Health & Services, a Renton, Wash.-based system, similarly reported last week that it spent $85 million more than it expected on labor costs and purchased services. Contract labor was used to fill open positions at its hospitals.

Labor costs in the third quarter pressured not only acute-care hospital groups but also post-acute care operators like Kindred Healthcare, which blamed “a tightening labor market in certain regions” for driving up its third-quarter expenses.

The rising costs have come amid a hiring boom in the healthcare industry, which has added 407,000 jobs during the first 10 months of 2015. Healthcare companies shed jobs during the uncertainty in the lead-up to the Affordable Care Act, but as patient volume has returned, they’re now rushing to meet the demand.

Hospital System

The latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that average weekly earnings across all industries have increased to $869.40, up 2.2% from $850.81 during October 2014. Nurses who work in operating rooms have the highest average age, but the impact is likely to be felt across the board.

“The improved economy … is leading clinicians that postponed retirement following the credit crisis to retire and reduce shifts,” A.J. Rice, an analyst at UBS, wrote in a research note. “This is leading to gradually increasing open positions at hospitals and the willingness for more nurses to take temporary staffing assignments.”

Adapted from Original Source

New vital sign monitoring system

New Vital Sign Monitoring System may improve the care for hospitalized patients

A recent study indicated that a newly designed Vital Sign Monitoring System can improve patient safety in medical and surgical units without an abundance of unnecessary alarms.

When the system was installed for four weeks in two medical/surgical units, one in Utah and one in Alabama, 92% of the nurses agreed that the number of alarms and alerts were appropriate and 100% agreed that the monitor provided valuable patient data that increased patient safety. On average, both units experienced 10.8 alarms per patient, per day. The system continuously monitors patients’ oxygen saturation levels, heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rate.


“We are very excited to be using this advanced technology. Continuous monitoring of our patients is revolutionizing the way we care for our patients,” said Pam Booker, senior author of the Journal of Clinical Nursing study. “Our nurses love the ability to keep a closer eye on their patients, and this system has the ability to notify the nurses when vital signs change, no matter where they are in the hospital.”

Eight vital signs:
1. Temperature. Physiology: Controlled by AgeCore temperature differsthe hypothalamus.
2. Pulse. Physiology: Reflects circulating volume and strength of contractility.
3. Blood pressure. Physiology: Regulated by vasomotor centre in the medulla.
4. Respiratory rate. Physiology: Controlled by the respiratory centres in the medulla and pons.
5. SpO2. Physiology: Reflects the peripheral saturation of haemoglobin by O2.
6. Pain. Physiology: Detected by peripheral nerve fibers; interpreted by thalamus and cerebral cortex.
7. Level of consciousness. Physiology: Controlled by reticular activating system in the brain stem.
8. Urine output. Physiology: Produced by kidneys.

Journal reference: Journal of Clinical Nursing

Gurnick Academy – Concord Campus New Flash!

The Mount Diablo Unified School District ‘s 3rd Annual College Fair was in full force on Monday night October 26, 2015 at Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord California.

The event was geared for all High School students and parents in the Contra Costa County with 106 colleges and institutions present. The college fair had over 800 curious students and parents walking through the maze of booths presented by various colleges and institutions. Parents took the lead, if there student wasn’t able to attend, to gather as much information possible about the schools there child might attend. Such dedication and interest these parents and grandparents displayed!

Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts located in Concord California brought great awareness to many students and parents, that there were alternatives to attending a four year University. A medical vocational school that offers Nursing, Medical Assisting, Radiologic Technology, Psychiatric Technician, Phlebotomy and Registered Nurse to a Bachelor of Science in nursing programs.

With well over 60 interactions with parents and students, Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts brought a lot of interest. Showcasing our Vocational MedicalPrograms of which some could be completed in less than a year. A jump start into their career in the Medical Field with hands on training, preparing each and every student to become as successful as can be.

Blogger – Steven Brown