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The Medical Imaging Technologist’s Role in Infection Control
Erica C. Schuster Rieffanaugh, RT(R)(CT)
*Diagnostic Imaging Technologist, Harrison Medical Center, 2520 Cherry Ave, Bremerton, WA 98310.
Address correspondence to: Erica C. Schuster Rieffanaugh, RT(R)(CT), Diagnostic Imaging Technologist, Harrison Medical Center, 2520 Cherry Ave, Bremerton, WA 98310.
Disclosures: Ms Rieffanaugh reports having no significant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.
Although medical imaging technologists may or may not be aware of it, they are exposed to various infectious diseases throughout the day. Understanding the differences between these diseases, as well as how they are transmitted, can help reduce the risk of transmission from patient to patient, patient to healthcare worker, and healthcare worker to healthcare worker. There are diseases that are both infectious and noninfectious in nature. There are also 2 types of disease processes. Pathologic processes occur within a single patient and cannot be transmitted to anyone else. Infectious processes associated with pathologic processes or that result from pathologic processes can be transmitted to others. Because medical imaging professionals frequently encounter patients prior to diagnosis, they need to apply standard precautions to each and every patient as well as follow isolation procedures when they are in place. Following isolation instructions, proper hand hygiene, and facility procedures and protocols for infection control processes will significantly reduce their chances of becoming infected and the potential for transmitting these infections to patients or other healthcare workers. The following article discusses several infectious diseases that radiologic technologists may encounter and methods for reducing transmission.
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