5 Challenges of Portable X-Ray: a Tech’s Perspective

A portable X-ray seems easier to manage when compared to the range of bulky imaging machines in the market. However, like any other equipment, it comes with challenges. If you are thinking about buying one for your team, here’s what a tech tells you about the possible challenges your team will likely encounter with a portable machine.

Moving Around 

A portable X-ray machine gets moved from one room to the next. That means going into the hallways and corridors of the hospital. While the machine’s portability is a major draw for clients, it’s a common challenge to make sure the equipment isn’t damaged in any way. The more an equipment is moved around, the greater the risk of the staff damaging the unit. Utmost care is necessary to prevent any accidents like the machine overturning or a cord getting tangled along the way. 

Vendor Options 

There are so many machines in the market that it’s hard to choose. While they might all seem to have the necessary features, it’s important that buyers have a clear idea of the X-ray’s use and which departments will use it. There are X-rays with features specific to a certain field, so that makes it easier for those teams to carry out their tasks. The challenge is to determine which machines fall under those conditions. 

Navigating Rooms 

A portable X-ray machine doesn’t have a dedicated spot in the patient rooms. It can be difficult to maneuver the machine into the right spot, especially in the ward. Just imagine small rooms with plenty of occupants. You’ll need to squeeze the machine into that space, so there’s often a bit of logistical fumbling. And given that most portable units aren’t wireless, there’s the extra challenge of having to find an outlet close to the patient. Portable X-rays generate a scan in minutes, so finding the right spot often takes longer. 

One Size Doesn’t Fit All 

X-ray machines use cassettes. But different cassette sizes are needed. For instance, the cassette for adult X-rays is different from the cassettes used by X-rays for the stomach. Also, when it comes to portable machines used for taking scans of the lungs, the plate might not be big enough to accommodate all patients. That’s a problem. You and your staff will need to come up with a different imaging solution. 

Infection Rates 

Going from room to room comes with a high risk of infection. With the pandemic, that has become an even bigger challenge. Your staff will need to come up with better ways to control and prevent the infection. The unit must be disinfected and sanitized to prevent any cross-contamination between patients. That should already be part of your basic infection prevention efforts. You and the rest of your team will need to discuss what other precautions and measures you’ll need to take as well as protocols you and your team should comply with. Even with the pandemic easing, you still need to be on your guard to prevent infection through your imaging equipment.

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