December 13th: Festive special

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Have you always wondered what to do when you or a loved one have swallowed a Lego figurine head? We’ve all been there, right?

All things must pass – including Lego figurine heads – but how long will it take? Luckily there is a recently published international, multicentre trial that provides some answers.

Our Christmas paper is Tagg et al’s Everything is awesome: Don’t forget the Lego. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. Early view.


T1: What do you think of the approach/methodology of this month’s paper? Would you agree with their conclusions?

T2: What is your experience with imaging ingested foreign bodies (FBs)? What is the most surprising ingested FB you’ve encountered? (If you’re posting images – remember no patient identifiers!)

T3: Speaking of work… (festive segue)…. tell us how your department is celebrating!

More readings:

Times: Vancouver 12pm/Edmonton 1pm/Toronto 3pm/UK 8pm/Sydney 7am (14th)/Auckland 9am (14th)

This December vote for your favourite MRJC chat from last year in our first annual awards!

Categories are:1f3c6

1. Most impactful blog (most read)

2. Favourite chat (you vote!)

3. Best gif (we decide!)

Vote now on Twitter! Closes December 17th!

Prizes and major bragging rights to the winners!


November 21st: Working with children

We often hear “children are not just small adults”  and that they have unique needs when we image or treat them. How do we manage their anxiety and ensure a safe and relatively stress-free experience? This month’s paper discusses MRI procedures, but we will also talk about other imaging modalities and the challenges of treating children with radiation therapy.

Kada S, Satinovic M, Booth L, Miller P K. Managing discomfort and developing participation in non-emergency MRI: Children’s coping strategies during their first procedure. Radiography 2018. In press.


T1: The article talks about preparative (prior to arrival) participation being important to manage the experience. How does your department manage this?

T2: Other key areas of support are enabling participation (before the scan) and sustaining participation (during the scan). How do you approach these key points with paediatric patients?

T3: The article comments” this order of support rarely seems to be given to their adult counterparts”? Do you agree? How can we improve this?

Additional reading:

Hansen S. Feed‐and‐sleep: a non‐invasive and safe alternative to general anaesthesia when imaging very young children. JMRS. 2013.

Jacques A, Udowicz, Bayliss Y, Jensen K. Thinking Differently About the Kids: An Innovative Approach to Improve Care Provided to Pediatric Patients Undergoing External Beam Radiation Therapy. 2014. JMIRS. 45(3), 269-275

Gårdling J, Edwinson Månsson M, Törnqvist E, Hallström I. Caring for children undergoing radiotherapy treatment: Swedish radiotherapy nurses’ perceptions. 2015 Eur J Onc Nur. 19(6), 660-666

Munn, Z. and Jordan, Z. (2013) Interventions to Reduce Anxiety, Distress, and the Need for Sedation in Pediatric Patients Undergoing Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Systematic Review, Journal Of Radiology Nursing, 32 (2), pp. 87-96

Times: Vancouver 12pm/Edmonton 1pm/Toronto 3pm/UK 8pm/Sydney 7am (22nd)/Auckland 9am (22nd)

October 17th: Global issues in advanced practice


To align with the conversations at the “Leading the Way: International Radiographer Advanced Practice Conference” in Toronto, Ontario this month (20.10.18 – 21.10.18) we will be discussing advanced practice in a global context.

October’s paper is a scoping review that examines the literature regarding the development, implementation, scope and extent of Advanced Practice Radiation Therapist (APRT) roles in Australia. How are these roles different from roles in the UK, Canada, the US and beyond? What can we learn from the different paths taken, and roles developed, in different countries and jurisdictions? What’s next for APRT roles?

Hilder B, VanDam P, Doherty K. Advanced practice radiation therapists: an Australian context. JMRS. 2018: 65(2); 137 – 147

Attending LTWRAP and want to join us at a meet up? Details here

While we have your attention – pop over to read Amanda Bolderston’s blog “Advanced Practice radiation therapy roles: where is the evidence?”

Chat themes:

1. Are there advanced practice (AP) roles in your organisation? How have they evolved? Has the impact of these roles been examined?

2. The review by Hilder et al found that literature is sparse on the implementation and impact of AP roles, why do you think this is?

3. An initial scoping review would suggest that there is a difference in volume of evidence on AP roles between diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy, why do you think this is?

4. What are the best ways to move the whole profession forward in terms of evidencing the impact of advanced practice roles?

Further reading:

Harnett et al. The Clinical Specialist Radiation Therapist (CSRT): A case study exploring the effectiveness of a new advanced practice role in Canada. JMRS. 2018. 65 (2); 86-96

Thom S E. Does advanced practice in radiography benefit the healthcare system? A literature review. Radiography. 2018: 24(1); 84 – 89

Missed the chat? Catch up here.

Times: Vancouver 1pm/Edmonton 2pm/Toronto 4pm/UK 9pm/Sydney 7am (18th)/Auckland 9am (18th)




September 26th: Engaging with your profession

“Have you ever had a great idea, wanted to try something new, or had a desire to step outside the daily boundaries of your career? Have you ever discussed your great plan with someone else and been told “good luck with that”? September’s discussion paper by Kathryn Moran looks at ways to engage with your profession and how to take that first step onto the dance floor!

Moran K. Good Luck With That: Making Your Own Opportunities. JMIRS 2018. 49(2), 127–129

Don’t forget to check out the blog for this month’s chat by Patrick Eastgate

Chat themes:

1. Have you ever shared your great idea and been told “good luck with that”?! When it comes to role extension or research, what barriers have you come across? How have you overcome these?

2. In Patrick’s blog he talks about engaging with our Profession – what does this mean  in practice? What are the advantages of being professionally engaged?

3. The author challenges us to change our mindset about opportunities and refers to these three steps; find your niche; become a Guru and give in order to receive. We might all be at different stages of Guruhood – but what do you think can help us get there?

More reading/viewing:

TED talk – Daniel Pink “The puzzle of motivation” 2009

JMIRS article collection on clinical research (21 open access articles)

Cancelliere M, Hilario K. How We Found Purpose, Passion, and Happiness in Our Profession. JMIRS. 2018. 49(3); 228-231

Times: Vancouver 1pm/Edmonton 2pm/Toronto 4pm/UK 9pm/Sydney 6am (27th)/Auckland 8am (27th)

Missed the chat? Never fear! The tweet archive is available here.



August 21st: Assistants and limited practice

In the UK Assistant Radiographer Practitioners (ARPs) are part of the skill mix strategy and have been working in radiography for 20 years. What is the impact of ARP or limited practice roles, and what can we learn from experiences in the UK and beyond?

Palmer D, Snaith B, Harris M A. Assistant radiographer practitioners: Creating capacity or challenging professional boundaries? Radiography. 2018. 24 (3), 247–251

Chat themes:

1. In the UK, ARPs are part of the skills mix strategy and embedded in the team. Is this the case for other countries? What’s the experience in other disciplines (e.g. radiotherapy?)

2. Does the role of the ARP in the UK contribute to role expansion for registered radiographers as was originally expected?

3. Scope creep in response to service pressures is also an issue highlighted in the paper, has anyone experienced this and what impact can this have (e.g. with supervision?)

4. Most ARPs work in plain film and breast imaging – is this optimal use of the role and how might this change in radiography and beyond?

Couldn’t make the chat? Catch up with Wakelet here

More readings:

Please also read this month’s blog Assistants and limited practice: A personal perspective by Martine Harris (one of the authors of the discussion paper).


Mugtastic news! 

Tune in August 21st to win one of our fabulous MedRadJClub mugs. Three lucky participants in the chat will win one of the limited edition mugs and bragging rights for life!

Times: Vancouver 1pm (21st)/Edmonton 2pm/Toronto 4pm/UK 9pm/Sydney 6am (22nd)/Auckland 8am (22nd)

July 24th: Quality improvement

July’s article is Gallant, Budrevics and D’Alimonte‘s  Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement in a Radiation Therapy Planning Department: A Pilot Initiative Using Quality Conversations (JMIRS, in press)

We’ll be discussing the importance of talking about and embedding quality improvement into everyday practice.

While you’re here – check out this month’s blog by Brian Liszewski here.

More readings:

Gillan et al. The Quest for Quality: Principles to Guide Medical Radiation Technology Practice. JMIRS. 2015. 46(4); 427–434

Weller, J., Boyd, M., and Cumin, J. Teams, tribes and patient safety: overcoming barriers to effective teamwork in healthcarePostgrad Med J2014 Mar90149–154

Chat themes:

  1. Are you involved in any quality improvement initiatives in your department? What kinds of tools do you use (e.g. PDSA*)?
  2. What are the keys to successful implementation of a quality improvement idea within a department?
  3. What did you think of the idea of huddles and quality conversation discussed in the paper? Do you use both/either?
  4. Brian’s blog touches on interprofessional quality conversations – would this work for you/your department?


Times: Vancouver 1pm (24th)/Edmonton 2pm/Toronto 4pm/UK 9pm/Sydney 6am (25th)/Auckland 8am (25th)

Missed the chat? Transcript is here


June 26th: Disease… New frontiers in imaging and treatment

The UKRCO 2018 conference is themed “Disease and Diversity“. Our inspiration comes from the upcoming Martine Jackson lecture on Proton Therapy.

Our approach to this month’s chat will revolve around a few key healthcare themes that resonate around the globe.

 The disease profile of our patients is becoming more complex – this is a challenge.

The way we image and treat disease is becoming more advanced (and complex) – this is also a challenge (and a fantastic opportunity for our professions to blossom).

 When we adopt new technologies, what considerations do we need to make at a local site level? At a professional level?

Share your experiences on any adoption of new technologies (Proton therapy, MR Linac, theranostics, AI/ML)

Three webinars hosted by the British Institute of Radiology on proton therapy are now open access online. You just need to register for a free account.

Proton webinar 1

Proton webinar 2

Proton webinar 3

Also check out the curated May #radonc Journal Club archive on protons here.

  1. Which new advanced imaging or treatment technology have you had recent experience with?
  2. What challenges were presented? How are these overcome?
  3. This month’s blogger mentions a number of support networks/resources that were used during the implementation of the new service. How important are reference groups, site visits etc?
  4. In the chaos of implementing a new service, how do we ensure the patient is kept at the centre of the discussions?

Times: Vancouver 1pm (26th)/Edmonton 2pm/Toronto 4pm/UK 9pm/Sydney 6am (27th)/Auckland 8am (27th)

Our blog for June is live. This month’s blogger is James Donnelly, a Proton Gantry Superintendent in the Radiotherapy team of the Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester!