“Hey let’s get bed 3 over to CT quick”

“Any word on bed 3’s scans?”

“Why hasn’t bed 3 gone to CT yet?!?”

We’ve all been there. Here are some tips and tricks on how to work effectively with our radiology colleagues.

TLDR: Be polite, check the GFR>30, make sure the line works, get charge involved, use the script (see below).

**The following comes from speaking with Elmhurst radiology’s scheduling manager Joan, techs Terrance and Tony, and nurse Sandy; as well as Dr. Cherkas from our end; plus my own experience. By no means is this the end-all-be-all how-to guide to get your B side yellow gown CT head and neck over in a snap, but rather broad strokes to bridging a gap that sometimes feels colossal **

Of course this is mostly Elmhurst specific – and is all subject to change in the next few months as a new department head comes on – but a lot of this goes for our other sites as well.


– If calling, use this script, “Hi, this is ________ calling from _________ regarding (insert specific exam) for patient (Last name).” 

— you can add “Hey I’m really worried this patient has (blank) and I’d like to get them over quick” every once in a while – do not abuse this.

— you would be SHOCKED as to how far this can get you. Just being in the tech room for half an hour I heard a good dozen calls from hospital providers who hit 0/4 of these simple identifying features. You can guess how successful those providers were at getting their scans through… 

– Call 4-2072 (CT tech) from the trauma room if you’re trying to get a trauma over and identify it with the above script plus the color of the trauma. This may take multiple calls, but color traumas have priority (next to stroke codes, ICU emergencies) so keep pinging. Techs know to prioritize.

– If you’re from the sides, you’ll need to establish whether the CT tech prefers to hear from one person (usually this is charge nurse) or whether they want direct calls. Establish with Charge and/or the CT techs which method they prefer

— It usually doesn’t hurt to get the charge nurse involved with getting your patients over to radiology. They mostly handle dealing with transport (which I will not be getting into here) but I have seen Maureen and other charges work miracles. This can be as simple as an epic chat.

– If getting a scan with contrast, make sure their 20 g IV works and that GFR>30 or that an attending note is in


– Be rude, talk down, yell, etc. People do not forget. Everyone has bad days. Apologize immediately.

– Forget to optimize your patient’s ability to lay still beforehand re pain/agitation/etc. This often takes coordination and sometimes you have to physically go over with the patient with meds in hand. “The patient was in too much pain” and couldn’t lay still cause the last time you treated their pain was 4 hours ago is unacceptable.

– Push the patient over without calling/getting the OK before. Duh

Get to know our radiology staff – they carry a tremendous load and we need them. Joan has a house in Puerto Rico. Terrance has a daughter starting her sophomore year in college. Pavel doesn’t like sweets. Call me crazy, but my scans get done.

July 2024