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X-Ray Images the Thoracic Spine

You have a formal request for a radiologic examination of the thoracic spine. You have the assistance of additional personnel if required. You will need a properly equipped X-ray exposure room with various sizes of film in cassettes, sandbags, lead apron, letter markers, calipers, and various sponges.

1.  Select the required view(s) based on the request.

2.  Gather the necessary materials and supplies.

a.  Appropriate cassettes.

b.  Radiographic film.

c.  Sandbags.

d.  Letter markers.

e.  Tape.

f.  Positioning sponges.

g.  Lead shielding.

h.  Calipers.

3.  Prepare the patient.

a.  Bring the patient into the X-ray room.

b.  Ensure the patient is properly dressed.

(1)  Ensure foreign objects are removed from the patient as necessary.

(2)  Ensure the patient's clothing is removed as required.

NOTE: Gown the patient as necessary.

(3)  Use a drape sheet to cover the patient as needed.

c.  Explain the procedure as applicable.

d.  Assist the patient onto the X-ray table.

4.  Measure the body part through the entry-exit site of the central ray.

5.  Set the control panel.

a.  Consult the technique chart.

b.  Set the appropriate mAs and kVp on the control panel.

6.  Select the proper size film cassette.

NOTE: Use a 14" X 17" cassette for both views.

7.  Place the cassette in the bucky lengthwise.

8.  Position the overhead tube.

a.  Set the tube angle perpendicular to the film.

b.  Set the source to image receptor distance (SID) to 40 inches (101 cm).

c.  Center the tube to the cassette.

d.  Restrict the cone field to 10" X 17" lengthwise.

9.  Position the thoracic spine.

a.  AP view.

(1)  Place the patient supine with the median plane perpendicular to and over the centerline of the table.

(2)  Flex the knees with the soles of the feet flat on the table.

NOTE: This will reduce dorsal kyphosis.

(3)  Central ray directed to a point 3 to 4 inches below the jugular/manubrial notch.

b.  Lateral view.

(1)  Place the patient laterally recumbent with the knees flexed and arms at right angles to the body.

(2)  Adjust the coronal plane perpendicular to and over the centerline of the table.

(3)  Place radiolucent material under the lower dorsal region to bring the long axis of the spine parallel to the table.

(4)  Central ray directed to a point 3 to 4 inches below the jugular/manubrial notch.

10.  Place the appropriate identification marker on the cassette.

11.  Place the lead apron across the patient's lap.

12.  Tell the patient, "STOP BREATHING AND DO NOT MOVE."

13.  Make the exposure.

14.  Tell the patient, "RELAX AND BREATHE NORMALLY."

15.  Process the film.

David L. Heiserman, Editor

Copyright   SweetHaven Publishing Services
All Rights Reserved

Revised: June 06, 2015