Thursday, April 14, 2011

SDMC Hospital Attachment Day 4

Day 4: Imaging

I have no idea what this department actually does before this. It has something to do with taking photos i guess. So, here we are again, this time, running all the way from our house to SDMC because we are seriously late. hehe. :p

There are a few types of imaging methods here at this department, but we are allowed to see X-Ray, CAT Scan and MRI only. Fair enough. I will not talk much about X-ray as I assume, it is a very common thing nowadays, and many people might have taken their xrays before. So, 3 of us are separated and brought to each scanners. I went to the 1 Tesla MRI machine first. Shall not go into details about what Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is... refer to This and This if you really wanna know more.

I also went to another 3 Tesla MRI Machine, counted as very high end one. According to the technician, there are only very few of these machines in Malaysia (maybe only 2), one in UMMC and SDMC is the first private hospital to have it. Woo... 3Tesla has a very very strong magnetic field. Earth's magnetic first is 0.5 tesla, so...i guess you can imagine how strong it is. So the patient change into hospital gown, remove all metals items on their body, lie on the patient table and being pushed into this donut-like cylindrical machine..it actually has a very modern and nice design..
Almost the same thing i guess...same brand what, Philips. (advertising uh-oh)
Then, patient is require to stay perfectly still while the recording process takes about 5 minutes each. Planes of recording maybe axial, coronal or transverse. Unless you have claustrophobia, this machine is actually the safest one compare to CT and X-Ray because it only uses radio waves, instead of X-rays. Apart from the noisy sound it makes, i dont think it will cause any discomfort unless you have allergies to the contrast (dyes) used to create the image. Fat suppression can be done so the images taken only show parts without fats. Abnormalities can be seen easily without the fats.


Patients can just wear the headphones, and while you are enjoying the latest Glee music or Katy Perry (That's what they had this afternoon haha), the image is being taken. But you have to be very still as i've said, can't even swallow your saliva, or else the image will be blurred and you have to go through it again and again. Do take note that this is a VERY EXPENSIVE procedure. More than a thousand ringgit for each scan. Oh ya, you can even set the ambient for the whole room. Europe, Asia, Australia outback, fantasy world, sky, underwater...you name it, they've got it. Set it and the lightings will change according to the music, with projections of images on the wall...wooo.... calming... :) It looked so cool and cute, so i just couldnt stop playing with the themes while the patient is inside and technicians busy editing the images. (heeheeee.. :D) The patient i was observing this afternoon actually moved a lot.... So, she had to repeat the whole process a few times... Which...annoyed the technician...and the patient herself sounded pretty impatient too from the intercom.

If you happen to stumbled into a MRI room with it's magnets on, you could be "suck"/ "pulled"VERY vigorously towards the machine even with a small pin on your body. That was what happened to a technician here before, one of them told me. It cost them about RM30,000 to repair the whole thing (demagnetize) and resume it. Expensive. Oh ya, before i forget, it can take very high resolutions photos, in both 2D and 3D. Perfect for internal soft organs but not very good on bones.

Next is the CT scan or CAT scan. Heard of this before, but dont know what it actually does. Refer to here for what a CAT scan is. This one is actually more harmful compared to MRI cause it uses X-Ray. though, it's fast. May cause a little bit of discomfort due to heat from the radiation and also allergies to the iodine-based contrast used.
This is how it looks like. Kinda similar to MRI but a smaller doughnut. I wasn't given a lot of explanation of this because actually i was assigned to MRI only, but decided to secretly run over here to check it out. Zi Xuan is here, happily playing around with the images taken. It was coloured and in 3D!! :) The images taken looks like something we always see in our bio text books.

All involve very complex computer softwares.

So, we ended earlier today. Then decided to complete what we chicken out that day. Today, we took the lift to basement level again, walked BRAVELY towards the mortuary and stood there for quite a while. There are 2 mortuaries, 1 for muslim and another for non-muslim. I dont know how they are inside... So we went up and requested to have visit there tomorrow. The person in charged went home, so her colleagues there said actually no students have ever requested to visit a mortuary before. They could consider that, but we'll have to ask again tomorrow. Though..the chances may be very low... No harm asking right? Though, there's a little voice in me fully anticipates in the what we may get to see tomorrow...

So, that's for today! :) I like Imaging Department most, so far. Their staffs are very friendly and relaxing bunch of people also. They have music on while working....This is the only part of the hospital where this is allowed. Their working environment is comfortable too.
Last day tomorrow. Woots!!! :D

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