Effective communication

5. Effective communication tips for radiographers / radiological technologists imaging Covid-19 positive/suspected patients

5.1. Step 1: Greeting the patient and introducing yourself

  • The radiographer / radiological technologist should greet the patient by stating his/her name and surname. For example: “Good morning, Mrs. Jane Smith”. Being familiar with the patient’s details beforehand is the first step to establishing a rapport with the patient and is also necessary to check and verify patient identification (see also Identification of correct patient section).
  • The radiographer / radiological technologist should introduce herself/himself and mention that she/he is a radiographer / radiological technologist. This is consistent with ‘#mynameis…. I am a radiographer’ theme. Given that PPE will make it difficult for patients to distinguish between different professions, radiographers / radiological technologists can help enhance the patient’s experience by having their name and profession made clearly visible and/or maybe even taping a photo on top of their PPE - this will allow radiographers / radiological technologists to add a human touch and ‘show’ the patient who you are without the additional layers of PPE. Different approaches can be taken for this from simply writing your name, and profession, onto your PPE (Figure 1), to producing disposable labels, which may incorporate the #HelloMyNameIs theme and can include a photo.

Figure 1: Moranda is a diagnostic radiographer from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Australia (photos used with permission)

The inclusion of a photo of yourself can make a huge difference from the patient perspective as, while eye contact is hugely important, the inability for a patient to see our faces, and facial expressions, is a major loss with full PPE. Figure 2 shows an example take from a Covid ward.


Figure 2: Members of staff in the Covid ward of Beaumont Hospital Dublin, Ireland

see also https://www.insider.com/coronavirus-doctors-photos-over-protective-gear-2020-4