Patient experiences in medical imaging and radiation therapy—the importance of skilled patient care professionals

A special issue of the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences features stories about the interpersonal skills beyond the technical aspects to care for and guide patients through medical imaging and radiation therapy procedures


New York, August 10, 2020

“I went into the MRI bracing for the wave of panic I knew would come as soon as I was strapped down and inside the machine.”

In “A Tale of Two MRIs” by patient Lelainia Lloyd, her experiences—good and bad—are shared as part of an upcoming special issue of the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, published by Elsevier. This unique issue will feature stories about the interpersonal skills that medical radiation technologists must learn beyond the technical aspects to care for and guide patients through medical imaging and radiation therapy procedures. These skills—empathy, cultural competence, compassion—are not taught in a textbook. Rather they are gained through continuous learning on-the-job—and listening to patient voices is an essential part of that learning.

“I took the initial experience I had into every single MRI for years. Despite knowing that having the MRIs my neurologist ordered was important (not to mention hard to get), there were times when I would cancel because I just didn’t have the capacity to cope. People who have chronic and/or serious illness often carry trauma related to medical treatment of their illnesses. With each successive stressful experience I had, that anxiety and panic grew. When I finally met with compassionate, patient-centered care, it transformed my experience.”


Author Lelainia Lloyd, NMOSD/MS, Ambassador with the MS Society of Canada

The Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences is the professional journal for medical radiation technologists—healthcare professionals that include radiological, nuclear medicine, and magnetic resonance imaging technologists and radiation therapists. This issue is special because it features the voices of patient authors.

Guest Editor Sue Robins, a patient and published author (“The Radiation Therapist and the Patient: Epiphanies, Stories, and Social Media”) has curated this issue as a learning experience for technologists and therapists and patients alike. As Lelainia recounts, “How you choose to engage with patients matters. These experiences stick with patients and color future interactions with healthcare professionals. Done correctly, this can move the experience of healthcare being something done to a patient to something done with the patient.It shifts the balance of power from hierarchical to cooperative and honors the patient’s right to autonomy.”

Lelainia’s eloquent story is a reminder to all healthcare professionals how crucial interpersonal skills are to patients.

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Notes for editors
The article is “A Tale of Two MRIs,” by Lelainia Lloyd (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmir.2020.05.010).It appears online in advance of the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, volume 51, issue 4S (December 2020), a special supplement on the topic of interpersonal skills in medical radiation technology featuring Guest Editor (and patient) Sue Robins, published by Elsevier.

Full text of the article is available to credentialed journalists upon request; contact Wendy Montalvo, Elsevier, at +1 212 633 3981 or hmsmedia@elsevier.com. Lelainia Lloyd may be reached for comment at tatterededge@shaw.ca.

About the author
Lelainia Lloyd is an NMOSD/MS Ambassador with the MS Society of Canada. She has written for the MS Society’s SomeoneLikeMe.ca blog, The Rick Hansen Foundation blog, and NMODiaries.com. She serves as a mentor with the UBC Interprofessional Health Mentors Program where she teaches future healthcare providers about patient-centered and collaborative care. She is the first and only patient advisor on the BC Medical Imaging Advisory Committee (MIAC). To learn more about Lelainia, please visit her personal blog at tatterededge.blogspot.com or follow her on Twitter @tatterededge.

About the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences (JMIRS)
The Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences (JMIRS) is the official bilingual, peer-reviewed journal of the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT). We aim to influence practice within the rapidly evolving fields of radiological, nuclear medicine, MRI, and ultrasound technologists and radiation therapists, grounded in our circular tagline, "research informing practice - informing research." JMIRS provides an essential platform for Canadian and international medical radiation technologists and therapists to publish and discover their own body of knowledge to define and inform their practice, enabling translation to a global audience. Published by Elsevier, JMIRS is included in MEDLINE and CINAHL. www.jmirs.org

About the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT)
The Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) is the national professional association and certifying body for radiological, nuclear medicine and magnetic resonance imaging technologists and radiation therapists. Recognized at home and internationally as a leading advocate for the profession of medical radiation technology, the CAMRT is an authoritative voice on the critical issues that affect its members and their practice. Established in 1942, the CAMRT today represents over 12,000 members. www.camrt.ca

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a global information analytics business that helps scientists and clinicians to find new answers, reshape human knowledge, and tackle the most urgent human crises. For 140 years, we have partnered with the research world to curate and verify scientific knowledge. Today, we’re committed to bringing that rigor to a new generation of platforms. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education; including ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, 39,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray's Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. www.elsevier.com

Media contact
Wendy Montalvo
Elsevier
+1 212 633 3981
hmsmedia@elsevier.com