The Cross Training Care

Doctors rely on the Radiologists and Radiologic Technicians to diagnose their patients by using medical imaging. But with employees leaving, the hospitals are left with money issues and rough times with the staffing. The most challenging aspect in the radiology department and management can be the people; the hospitals are facing issues with staffing. Since, there is not enough staffs onsite, the employees have to work harder and make the imaging and diagnose decisions on their own. Therefore, it led up to where they needed to start cutting the hours and cross-training their technologists.

That means that the radiology staffs are starting to be trained in more than one or two skills with the different imagings. For example, an ultrasound technician would have to be trained to do x-rays on patients if there isn’t an x-ray technician around. Cross-training the radiology department broadens the focus on skills and improves efficiency as a company.

Many of the employees are suddenly realizing that cross-training can be very beneficial for them.

Michael Harrah, radiologic technician in Oregon says “My day is never boring and I am able to help out in multiple areas.’ Cross-training can be very beneficial for technologists because they are learning new skills and expanding their knowledge on the different imagings they’re being trained on. With everyone staying productive and busy, it keeps the hospital running more efficiently. David Reisman, operations manager of radiology at Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health, says “There’s no way you can justify having CT(Computed Tomography), MRI(Magnetic Resonance Imaging), X-ray, and ultrasound techs onsite 24/7 with very little work to do.

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We cross-train technologists to do basic exams across modalities…It’s essential.” Over the past few years, David has seen the numbers of staff members in medical imaging drop between 3% and 10%. That means that when employees leave, they have not been and will generally not be replaced with another.

Cross-training can also help the employees when they can’t make it to work for any reason that day, he or she knows that there is someone else at work that will be able to fill in for them since they did the training on that particular imaging.  ‘Cross-training has increased my job satisfaction'(Harrah, Michael). Job satisfaction increases and the staffs leaving decreases. But what if the technician isn’t fully prepared on a certain imaging and a patient comes in and needs that particular imaging done? Each imaging requires a certificate and it’s not always easy for people to get that higher training they need in all the different imaging techniques. Kelli Sheldon-Hannan, radiology manager at St. Vincent’s Health Services in Bridgeport, Connecticut explains, “If you have someone who does a particular study only once in a while, it’s easier for them to miss something, CT is so busy; if I had someone who didn’t do it too often, I’d have a problem.” Over diagnosis and false-positive findings are the most challenging risks. It would be extremely hard for somebody to be able to learn all the skills and knowledge they need in every imaging. For the hospital to be more efficient, the radiologist must fully understand the problem with the patient before diagnosing. Therefore, the technicians should at least have some experience in the clinic before they can experience it with a patient.

If not, how would the patients feel for a new person who wasn’t fully trained in this specialty working on them? I know I wouldn’t want someone diagnosing me if they’ve never had true practice and training. The physician basically would have to because the hospital doesn’t have the person onsite who is fully knowledgeable and specialized in that specific imaging. The training takes up to at least 6 months to fully understand all the information to work on patients. Customer service remains high, which hospitals worry about with the decline in staffing hours. “If everyone comes in and it’s not busy, I’m sending people home, we staff down quite often.” (Kelly hannan). The toughest part would be finding the right time when the staffs can actually do the training; time management. While they’re in the training, who would be the one to help with patients throughout the 6 months? It would be a challenging time finding the right people to do the imagings for the patients but maybe the manager of the radiologic technicians can find time to do it on their own.

If the radiology department is having issues with low staff and cross-training is creating employee satisfaction, then I agree with it especially if the staffs are enjoying it. Ashley Parks, marketing department for an employee performance company in Arizona, says, ‘This is absolutely a trend that will continue, It increases morale, making people feel they’re working on a team instead of against each other.’ For this increase, hospitals are now more interested in cross-training their employees and making the company more efficient and flexible for their patients. Even though having low staff is challenging and it’s long months of training, I say the cross-training would all be worth it at the end of the day. Not only for the employees but also for the patients and the company. Rather than the hospital saying “no we cannot give you an x-ray because our x-ray technician is not onsite today, you have to go somewhere else.” they can say “yes of course, we could get you in right away.” The cross training builds a stronger team within the radiologist team and the technicians could get each others input before fully diagnosing the patient to make sure they have true diagnoses.

Cross training broadens out the knowledge and skills for the employees and staff for the radiology department. The employes can take those newly learned skills and can do so much more with all that knowledge. With the all of the employees knowing several different imaging techniques, there’s always going to be an employee on site which improves the hospitals efficiency for the patients. Cross-training creates a team of workers who are more knowledgeable, they can easily help out with covering shifts, and gain new confidence with all their newly learned knowledge. It leads to great motivation throughout the company which is why I agree with cross-training. I plan on becoming a radiologic technician before fully becoming a radiologist and I would love to do cross training because that would increase my knowledge in each of the imagings. Therefore, when I do become a radiologist, I would already know more about the different imagings and it would help me more in the long run of thriving into my career.

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The Cross Training Care. (2022, Mar 09). Retrieved from

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