Child Friendly Care in Medical Imaging

Our goal in Medical Imaging is to have children leave the department with a smile. It is important for all of us that parent and child come away from Medical Imaging knowing the job was well done by professionals who really do care.    

Our skilled and courteous Medical Imaging team works to provide the best care possible so that parents and children have a positive experience. Although the procedures for each modality may be slightly different, here's what you can expect when you bring a child to Medical Imaging:

Being prepared — By examining the schedule, our technologists know a child is coming in. They ensure the appropriate equipment for the child’s needs is readily available. 

Parent can be with their child — Parents are encouraged to be with their child during most Medical Imaging procedures. For procedures involving radiation, we practice radiation protection for both the parent and child. Parents put on a lead apron and their example helps make it easier to put a smaller apron on the child when the exam ordered permits this (for example, when the area being x-rayed is not the pelvis). 

It is our policy to limit the radiation doses for all patients. We are guided by the ALARA principle, (As Low As Reasonably Achievable).

Child friendly — We explain to a child in words that they can understand.

Lowest radiation dose — We practice the ALARA principle, (As Low As Reasonably Achievable), that is, the lowest dose of radiation will be used to achieve the best images. For example, during a CT, the scanner is programmed to scan based on the child’s weight in order to ensure we achieve diagnostic images at the lowest possible radiation dose.  

Importance of good images — It can be challenging to have an injured or ill child, who may be afraid and crying, remain still long enough to get quality images. Any movement can cause a blurry image that will need to be repeated. In order to prevent this movement Medical Imaging utilizes special equipment to help hold the child in place in a gentle yet effective manner. Our professional and efficient technologists strive to take good quality images the first time.

Fewer images needed for children — We adjust our procedures whenever possible to allow for less images, thereby reducing the radiation as well as the length of the exam. 

Digital images — All general radiography images are filmless and are generated electronically on the computer. Filmless images provide enhanced image quality, increased efficiency, speed and security. In the past, images on film that were too dark needed to be retaken, but digital radiography lets us brighten the image on the computer.

This technology helps us to be even more child friendly because we can do the work more quickly and efficiently. Young patients spend less time in the room and get better results. 

PACS saves critical time — Our Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS) is an information technology system that stores and distributes images. Minutes after we take an image, it is on PACS and available to be viewed by our physicians at the General Site and Branson Ambulatory Care Centre. In fact, our physicians (usually radiologists on call) can access images from their office or home computer. 

A child with a possible head injury arriving in Emergency late at night can have her CT scans sent to a radiologist's home minutes after they are taken. The radiologist will make a diagnosis and communicate quickly to the Emergency physician by phone so the best treatment for the child can begin promptly. This technology saves times, critical minutes that can mean a real difference to a child's outcome.