Effective communication

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

5.2. Step 2: Briefly explain your role in the patient’s care and outline what is to be done

  • The radiographer / radiological technologist should provide a simple explanation of her/his role in the patient’s care, i.e. that she/he will be taking chest X-ray so as to visualise the thorax.
  • The radiographer / radiological technologist should aim to reassure the patient that the X-ray will not hurt and that the X-ray will be performed in a few minutes.
  • Keep the patient informed about what is to be done and avoid assumptions. The radiographer / radiological technologist should, therefore, explain the placement of the ‘hard’ cassette/detector under/behind the patient; the need to remove anything that may unnecessarily obscure the chest area (removal of artefacts); as well as the importance of remaining still and following the given breathing instructions.
  • In fact, if at all possible and practical, the radiographer / radiological technologist should verify that breathing instructions were appropriately understood and maybe even practice this with the patient beforehand. This is important so as to ensure that the chest X-ray is obtained on full inspiration so as to allow better visualisation of the thoracic contents.