“We Do Almost Everything Digitally”
Caizhong Chen is responsible for 100 radiology technologists at Zhongshan Hospital in Shanghai. It goes without saying that he runs his department digitally. The mere question about digitalization surprised him.
radiology.bayer.com (rbc): How do you digital is your department?
Caizhong Chen (CC): We have no paper. I do everything with my phone – the schedules, a lot of our communication…
rbc: Is it a special hospital phone?
CC: No, my own phone. And we post our schedule each week by email.
rbc: Which role does the Internet play in medical education?
CC: We use the Internet to improve our knowledge. We use sites from the industry, for example from Siemens or GE.
rbc: Does the material have to be in Chinese?
CC: Yes, we prefer Mandarin.
rbc: Who decides about the protocols you use?
CC: Sometimes I or another senior technologist decides about the protocol, sometimes we ask the doctor to take part.
rbc: How often do you ask a doctor?
CC: We have frequent discussions. If a technologist does not know how to examine a patient, we ask immediately.
rbc: How standardized are your protocols?
CC: Our senior technologists all do the protocols pretty similarly. We have standardized protocols, for example for the liver or the kidneys. Senior technologists put in special sequences, if necessary.
They know diagnostics very well, so we usually have the experience to decide about an examination.
rbc: Do you usually measure radiation?
CC: Yes. The doctors and the technologists try to keep radiation as low as possible. We are experienced and consider every patient. We ask for example ‘Is it a big man, is he small?" Sometimes we use intelligent dose tracking.
100 Technologists at Work
rbc: How many senior technologists work for you?
CC: More than fifty, plus fifty freshmen.
rbc: Is every senior is the mentor for a junior?
CC: We have one senior and one freshman at every machine. They work together and the young people will learn a lot from the senior technologist.
rbc: When you employ young technologists, what kind of education do you require?
CC: They need to have a bachelor’s degree, which they get after four or five years of studies at a medical college. If they have a master’s degree or a doctor degree, it does not hurt either.
rbc: Degrees are one thing - what kind of person are you looking for?
CC: We need technologist who learn hard, work hard, and are very kind to their patients. That is the technician I need, a good and nice person.
rbc: Once you are a good technologist, how do you improve professionally?
CC: We have a two-hour lecture every two weeks, especially for the young technologists. Sometimes a doctor will hold the lecture, sometimes an experienced senior technologist.
rbc: What would you add to your department, if you could?
CC: That’s a difficult question. We spend a lot of time teaching our young colleagues and we see so many patients. We work from 7 am to 10 pm. We do not have a lot of time. So I would maybe add more time.
rbc: What do you do, if you don’t work?
CC: Not working? That’s rare. I may go outside and take part in some meeting. Sometimes I go to another province to teach and exchange knowledge.
rbc: Your hospital has a very good – which differences do technologists from other hospitals usually see first different?
CC: The number of patients. We serve more patients than in many other regions in China. There are many patients who need contrast. As far as I know, a lot of other hospitals also have many patients, but they use contrast on a much smaller proportion of patients.
CC: It might be due to different indications. We have a lot of patients with liver or lung cancer. These patients need contrast, because we need to find and characterize the tumor and potentially metastases. We also use Gd-EOB-DTPA. This morning we had six patients with this contrast medium. We use it in hepatocellular carcinoma, if we suspect small nodules.
About Caizhong Chen
Caizhong Chen is the chief technologists and an associate professor at Zhongshan Hospital Affiliated to Fudan University in Shanghai, China.
He has majored in radiology technology with a renowned professor, who became his mentor. He liked his job from the very beginning. “The workflow is fast and the workload is very high, so the days are busy and feel fulfilled,” he says.
He is enjoys living and working in Shanghai. “It is a great city that develops so well and so quickly, I think everyone can feel that,” he says.