Friday, September 30, 2011

Stopping the Effects of Heart Disease as an X-Ray Technician

Guest Post:

There’s a reason why heart disease is known as the silent killer, because before a victim becomes aware of what’s happening, it’s either too late or the damage is severe. With an x-ray technology degree, an X Ray Technician can become a vascular and/or echocardiography specialist. These specialists can help people save themselves from a damaged heart.

Several of the more than sixteen plus tests that people can undergo to detect and stop heart disease involves the use of x-ray. Some of these x-ray tests include the C - reactive protein test, calcium build-up test, a coronary angiogram, a CT angiogram, a chest x-ray, a computed tomography, and so forth. It’s best to begin with the least invasive and less expensive tests, and only proceed to further testing when necessary. Most people should start with a general physical examination, where a general family practice physician can check blood pressure and cholesterol rates though a simple blood test. If either of these tests shows high levels, the doctor may ask other questions to further determine your risk such as family history, age, and smoking history.

Probably the most serious factor, but least considered, is family history because people do not take it very seriously. However, since 1948, the Framingham Heart Study has included this as a risk factor and consideration to bear in mind. Other risk factors that are associated with heart disease include low systolic blood pressure levels, high blood pressure, and low HDL cholesterol levels (the good type). The more negative risk factors you are able to find, the more likely you need to have further testing done.

Because of exposure to radiation, it might be a good idea to first have less extensive forms of testing. These tests would include a blood test, electrocardiogram, or stress test, but the exposure of radiation is little concern when dealing with such a central muscle, the heart. A professional x-ray technician has the important job of performing more extensive testing that tends to scare people.

A good x-ray technician, therefore, would have great communication skills and the ability to comfort those intimidated and scared by the thought of additional testing. Before having the most extensive x-ray testing called a chest test, a high-risk adult would go down a series of other tests. They would most likely begin with either a C - reactive protein test or special type of x-ray test that checks calcium buildup in the heart’s arteries. High levels of calcium build-up are no good to the high risk adult and an indication of blockage and or heart disease.

Once tests like these show positive signs of heart disease, a high-risk adult may move on to having other x-rays like the coronary angiogram or CT angiogram. A coronary angiogram shows details of the blood circulating in the heart, while the other CT shows detailed pictures of the heart. The last place a high risk-adult would want to rely on is having a chest x-ray. Unfortunately, it is the most common test because of how extensive it is. It allows radiologists to examine the patient’s heart, lungs, airway, blood vessels, and lymph nodes as well as all bones in the chest and lungs.

Although these types of test are fun from fun or inexpensive, they save patients from death, stroke, or going through cardiac surgery that results in people dealing with using oxygen tanks, etc and living with heart disease the rest of their lives. That kind of life is a slow death. My grandmother had that kind of heart disease. Some people live exhibit warning signs and never tell anyone about them, have no tests, and suffer through a heart attack that could have been prevented.

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