Diagnostic Imaging and COVID-19: What has changed?

November 3, 2020

Phoebe Bicknell, Emma Billings, Laura Fanjoy, Destiny Larocque, Abigail McFawn and Mackenzie McKnight, fourth-year students at Horizon’s The Moncton Hospital School of Radiologic Technology

As medical radiation technologist (MRT) students at Horizon’s The Moncton Hospital (TMH), we have encountered many patients who didn’t know what to expect when arriving in the Diagnostic Imaging department for an X-ray during COVID-19.

We also know some patients are hesitant to schedule their appointment during a pandemic, so we are here to discuss the changes brought on by COVID-19.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the quality care you’ll receive!

Diagnostic imaging: By appointment only

Horizon-wide, diagnostic imaging appointments are scheduled in advance.

This creates an orderly flow of patients throughout the day, without long wait times. It is important to arrive 10 to 15 minutes before your appointment.

Appointments allow us to keep the waiting area less busy to allow for appropriate physical distancing.

Hospital screening

When arriving for your appointment, you will be screened at the hospital’s main entrance. You’ll be asked COVID-19 related questions to ensure the safety of all patients and staff.  

Everyone entering a Horizon facility must wear a mask! If you do not bring your own community face mask, the screener will provide you one.

If you answer yes to any of the screening questions, you won’t be allowed to enter the hospital and will be required to reschedule your appointment(s).

If you respond no to all the questions, you can make your way to your appointment. But first, use some hand sanitizer!

Support person for Outpatients Department

It is important to limit the number of people in our department due to the small size of the waiting rooms.

There are situations where one support person will be allowed to accompany a patient to their appointment.

Some patients who may require assistance and can have a support person accompany them include those with:

Pediatric patients can be accompanied by their parent or caregiver.

Each support person will be screened when entering the facility and asked to wear a mask and clean their hands.

Cleaning

Cleaning protocols play an important role in keeping patients, visitors and support persons, and staff safe. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, surface areas and objects in X-ray rooms were cleaned and linen was changed between every patient.

These standards continue during the pandemic and the Diagnostic Imaging department has enhanced cleaning protocols to provide a safe environment.

Waiting areas and changing rooms are monitored and sanitized regularly throughout the day. And high-touch surfaces are cleaned more often.  

Up-to-date infection prevention and control guidelines are followed.

Preventative measures

The most effective preventative measure in our facilities is physical distancing.

Staff and visitors should maintain a minimum distance of two metres from one another to limit the spread of COVID-19, whenever possible.

When physical distancing cannot be maintained:

These precautions are for the safety of everyone within the building and the community.

It is important to note that despite these protocols and precautions, patients will continue to receive the same level of care during their X-ray and we look forward to caring for you at your next visit to Diagnostic Imaging.

The Moncton Hospital School of Radiologic Technology and Saint John School of Radiological Technology partner with the University of New Brunswick Saint John (UNBSJ) to deliver a 4-year Bachelor of Health Sciences in Radiography. Graduates of the program become medical radiation technologists.