Diagnostic radiology is the use of x-rays to image the human anatomy. There are many different machines utilized in the department to achieve these images. General radiography x-ray rooms are multi-purpose with the ability to take many difference types of x-rays. The two most common forms of x-rays produced here are digital radiography and computer radiography. Digital radiography produces images without using cassettes or x-ray film. Computer radiography produces images with a special x-ray plate that can be used over and over. Both of these images can be manipulated by the radiologic technologist or radiologist. These images can be sent to viewers and workstations where other doctors can view them. The radiology department also uses digital and computer radiography in imaging the organs of the abdomen. This is achieved with “live” or continuous x-rays and viewed on a monitor. This type of imaging can also be used in such areas as the operating room with the use of a portable imaging machine called a c-arm. This provides both “live” x-rays as well as still x-rays to assist the surgeons during an operation. The use of low level x-rays are used in the determination of bone density of a patient by a machine known as a DEXA scanner.
Since The Nebraska Medical Center is a trauma center, the radiology department has to be ready at all times to respond to any critically injured patient arriving in the emergency room. The use of portable x-ray machines allows us to get quick x-rays of vital parts of the body to allow the trauma team to treat the patient.
The diagnostic radiology section is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.