Radiating Hope: Radiology Department Blog


Patient Experience: Carter

Patient Experience: Carter

Over the past few months my son Carter has been treated by many departments at Cincinnati Children’s. He had an emergency room visit, inpatient stay, lab work, outpatient surgery, and was seen in both Neurology and Radiology. During our many visits to Children’s, Carter was seen as a patient in Radiology three times, which involved getting a chest x-ray, head CT and, most recently, a brain MRI.

He got a concussion in December and as a result spent Christmas day in the emergency room getting a head CT. Thankfully the results were normal, but since December, he continues to get recurrent headaches. The severity of his headaches has caused him to miss school and miss out on other fun things that a 5-year-old who is feeling well would be doing. When we reached the point where Carter had been experiencing severe headaches for almost two months, we followed up with his pediatrician for some additional testing. His pediatrician suggested that Carter have a brain MRI and then be evaluated by the head injury clinic. We talked about the possibility of having Carter sedated for his MRI and I really wanted to avoid that if possible.

We went ahead and scheduled the MRI without sedation and hoped for the best. When we arrived for our scan, the child life specialist and MRI technologists were so helpful and patient with Carter. Carter said that he was nervous so the child life specialist talked to him about the MRI scanner and even had recordings on her iPad of the noises that the MRI scanner makes. After showing Carter the pictures of the scanner, letting him listen to the noises and allowing him to choose a movie to watch, he was no longer nervous and instead was ready for his scan. Carter was able to get through his scan, which lasted about 45 minutes, and held perfectly still without requiring sedation.

I’m so grateful for the team of technologists and child life specialists for all their help in getting Carter through his scan. Without their help, I’m sure he would have required sedation, which has additional risks and requires more time at the hospital plus recovery time for the remainder of the day. The team really works together to get their jobs done while putting both patients and parents at ease.

Contributed by Melissa Osborne and edited by Sarah Kaupp (RRA).

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About the author: Alex Towbin

Alex is a radiologist and the Neil D. Johnson Chair of Radiology Informatics. In this role, he helps to manage the information systems used by the Radiology department. Clinically, Alex is the Assistant Director of thoracoabdominal imaging. His research interests include liver disease, liver tumors, inflammatory bowel disease, and appendicitis.