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Radiology: Helping Airmen heal hidden hurts

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Rhett Isbell
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Without members of the radiology clinic lending a guiding light, doctors would be the ones operating in the dark.

Members of the 19th Medical Support Squadron radiology clinic on Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. work to aid radiologists in diagnosing Little Rock team members of any maladies, which may be able to be observed on an X-ray or ultrasound machine.

“My mission is to make sure that I provide the best quality images to the radiologists so they can make an accurate diagnosis,” said Senior Airman Akilah Hall, 19th MDSS diagnostic imaging tech. “I just want to make sure the patient is taken care of by providing the best service possible.”

A diagnostic imaging tech. starts with process by preparing X-ray cassettes, which record the X-ray, turning off the lights and guiding the patient into the proper position to allow a complete and clean image. She then takes a series of X-rays, while taking shelter behind a lead-lined wall to protect herself from higher doses of radiation. After the images are processed, they’re sent off to the U.S. Air Force Academy for diagnosis by the radiologists there.

“The hardest part of my job is not being able to tell the patient if it appears that the scans returned a bad result,” said Melissa England, 19th MDSS ultrasound technologist. “I’ve been doing this for long enough that I can usually tell what the images show, but the radiologists are the ones who have to diagnose the results.”

Dealing with patients may be one of the more difficult aspects of the job, but when viewed from a slightly different angle, it can be seen as one of the most enjoyable and rewarding.

“Interacting with the patients here is definitely the best part of my job,” England said. “Just being able to help at all is something I take pride in.”