Working in a pediatric clinic has its share of joys and frustrations, probably in about equal parts. After having worked as a Medical Assistant in a clinic for nine years in Buffalo, NY, I can personally attest to that fact, but I can also declare honestly that the job itself is not a 50-50 proposition, but is 100% rewarding.
There’s something about contributing to a child’s well-being that just gives you a feeling of satisfaction that lasts long after the lights go dark in the office. One particular area though, always gave me pause for reflection, and made me dread my work ever so slightly, and that would be when we had to take X-Rays of a young child for whatever reason.
Have you ever tried to persuade a 5-year old youngster to sit perfectly still for radiography? I can tell you first-hand that it is not the best approach to tell him that even the slightest movement might be enough to blur the picture, and might force us to go through the whole procedure again. As often as not, I’ve found that youngsters actually seem to enjoy going through all the fuss of having X-Rays taken, and consider it something of an adventure.
The problem with the scenario is this: if the child absolutely will not sit still through the procedure, the results are invariably useless, and guess what happens next? Yes – someone has to hold the child in position. Who would that someone be, you ask? Me, myself, I. All three of us. That might solve the problem of the Wiggling Waif, but it creates another problem – more radiation exposure for me. This is no small issue, because even though X-Ray equipment settings for children are always administered according to ALARA protocol (As Low As Reasonably Achievable), any un-absorbed radiation has to go somewhere in the room.
And that’s when I started taking things into my own hands, researching what other offices use to manage this problem. And I came up with something that was absolutely perfect – the Pigg-o-Stat Pediatric X-Ray Positioner. It’s made by Kemper Medical Inc., and it seems to have been kid-tested with enormous success ever since 1960 (so how come I never heard about it??). In the article I read, the Immobilizer was advertised as an all-in-one positioner, which means it can help to keep kids stationary throughout the X-Ray process, whether it happens to be a foot, an arm, a hand, or a neck being pictured.
Our small children’s clinic in upstate NY certainly had nothing like this, and I had never heard about it from colleagues or friends, but after researching it a bit, it sounded like something that would provide the perfect solution for our clinic. Best of all, the folks at Kemper Medical offered it at the lowest prices of any medical equipment provider I could find – and that would give me the best chance of pitching it to my boss, Dr. Harvey.
The more I read about this child immobilizer, the more I became convinced it would perfectly serve the needs of our pediatric clinic, and would be a real benefit to all of us who worked there as well. I was so impressed that I had to jot these things down, so I could make big pitch to Dr. Harvey the next day in the office. Here’s what I found:
Naturally, the low price got me to wondering about Kemper Medical, so being the thorough person that I am, I checked them out too. And I loved what I found. Kemper is not the actual manufacturer of the product, but they are a worldwide distributor of Pigg-o-Stat, and they stand behind it as a premium product, made of the best materials. All products offered by Kemper are top of the line medical products, made by the most recognized name brand companies in the medical industry. So talk about credibility and reliability!
Because Kemper has developed a strong management structure which can operate the company on the slimmest of margins, they can legitimately afford to pass those savings on to clients. Kemper wins, the clients win, and the patients win. I was so excited that I called Kemper after reading all about the Pigg-o-Stat Pediatric X-Ray Positioner to talk to someone about what it would take to get one shipped to our facility as soon as I could get approval from my boss.
Even the call was a pleasant experience! The representative totally understood medical situations and terminology, and could easily relate to my own frustrations. Toward the end of my call, she even recommended that I have Dr. Harvey call the next day, and she would talk to him herself.
Fast forward three weeks. A shiny new Pigg-o-Static Child Immobilizer is installed in our X-Ray room, and our very first candidate is escorted in apprehensively, to sit for pictures. I am thrilled to get him all setup, reassure him about how easy and fun it will be, and then I exit the room entirely. The first X-Rays come out minutes later – crystal clear and perfect! Life is good again.