Abstracts

RETURN TO ABSTRACT LISTING


E1039. On Someone Else's Watch: Issues With After Hours Traffic in Radiology and Nuclear Medicine For On-Call Radiology
Authors
  1. Lillian Chiu; New York Medical College
  2. Latoya McLean; New York Medical College
  3. Jared Meshekow; Westchester Medical Center
  4. Joseph Dobtsis; NYC Health + Hospitals / Harlem - Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons
  5. Perry Gerard; Westchester Medical Center
Background
An on-call radiologist interprets studies “after hours”, such as during nights and weekends. This is particularly relevant in the emergency department (ED), which can see an influx of patients at any given time and often relies on preliminary interpretation by radiology residents who are on call. While having round-the-clock radiology services is important for patient care, there are also safety and security issues that can occur when one is working after hours. We review potential issues that can arise when radiologists are working after hours and discuss strategies for increasing safety awareness and personal protection. Radiologists may feel vulnerable when they are working during times of low foot traffic. Personal safety measures include: -Communicating your work hours to others -Notifying somebody when you leave -Parking your car in a well-lit area near a hospital exit -Knowing where exits are located -Keeping your phone with you at all times Strategies to ensure staff safety on an institutional level, include: Adequate security staffing to prevent physical threats, theft, etc. Actively controlling and monitoring who goes in and out of the radiology or nuclear medicine area (i.e. using closed circuit television systems) Preparing for emergencies and training staff appropriately Some after-hours safety issues are more specific to radiology. For example, the nuclear medicine department utilizes a “hot lab” containing radioactive materials which need to be locked down. Facilities and equipment malfunction can also occur. In these cases, it is helpful for the radiology resident to know who to contact.

Educational Goals / Teaching Points
-To discuss safety and security issues that can occur after hours, when radiologists are working on call -To review proactive personal safety practices for those working after hours -To discuss strategies for counteracting after hours safety and security threats on an institutional level

Key Anatomic/Physiologic Issues and Imaging Findings/Techniques
n/a

Conclusion
On-call radiology is an important component of patient care, particularly in the ED. Radiologists working may be concerned about personal safety and security when working after hours. We hope to address these risks by reviewing personal and institutional strategies to ensure safety.