Phelps Memorial Imaging Department delivers outstanding care and strives daily to provide an environment to make patients feel as comfortable as possible. Not only does the imaging team have state of the art equipment, but they have a dedicated team with a wealth of experience to deliver the care. They work hard to maintain a high level of quality and service so that their patients can stay close to home.
Paula Keffeler, Imaging Leader stated, “My team is the best at what they do - providing the most current diagnostic examinations in imaging available today.”
Mrs. Keffeler noted that her team averages 43 examinations a day as both ancillary support throughout the facility and as a primary outpatient center for our community.
She added, “Our services encompass all diagnostic studies and also on-site radiologist interventional procedures that allow patients to stay close to home. All of this is uncommon in the world of critical access hospitals in our region.”
Shanda Pouk, radiologic technologist, stated, “We are fortunate to have the latest and greatest technology equivalent to a big town hospital, but we are able to give our patients a small town experience.”
The department of thirteen has 159 years of combined years of service. They offer many services including MRI, CT, general ultrasound, cardiovascular ultrasound, nuclear medicine, digital mammography, standard x-rays and PACS (Picture Archival Communication System). Mobile PET CT is also available. In addition, interventional radiology is available to patients multiple times a month through Advanced Medical Imaging.
Several technologists are certified in multiple areas so they can operate more than one piece of diagnostic imaging equipment and the entire department is digital and filmless which allows for faster reporting on exams. Because teammates are trained on multiple modalities, the team will take care of patients quickly and efficiently.
The imaging department frequently works together to move or adjust patients to minimize any pain they may be experiencing.
“Positioning is very important to correctly diagnosis,” said Renee Schulz, radiologic technologist. She added, “We work together a lot to make every effort to position patients with the least amount of discomfort or pain.”
The team knows tests can be scary for some patients. That’s why they make sure to let patients know what to expect. They answer questions about the way a radiology test will work and how patients can best prepare. During tests, they make sure the patient is comfortable while aiming for clear and accurate images for radiologists and cardiologists to review.
The team also understands that quality results can make a difference in the patient’s treatment.
“Providers rely on us for precise diagnostic tests. Accurate testing is essential, but patients can be in pain and anxious. We play an important role in helping prepare patients for those tests both physically and emotionally,” said Clair Hein, radiologic technologist.
And, there is work following the exam. There are a lot of processes and paperwork to be done prior to the imaging test in order for the radiologists to have the information they need to correctly get a report for diagnosis.
They certainly do their share of outpatient services, but if you think they just do outpatient work, think again. This department is directly connected to almost every other hospital department. You can find this team in the OR providing support services for surgeons during procedures, they go to the inpatient area to perform acute care procedures, they also can play a crucial role in the emergency room in emergent situations. In addition, they work with labor and delivery, the vein clinic, orthopedics, oncology, pain management, urology, cardiology and more. And, sometimes, they can do all of this on the same day. They work with every type and age of patient including expecting mothers, trauma patients, preventative screening patients, ENT, cancer patients, geriatrics, pediatrics, and more.
“I currently work in multiple modalities that makes me love my job and makes every day different and interesting,” stated Heather Pfeifer, radiologic technologist. She added, “Not only do I get to help sick patients, I help patients with screening exams and also fun exams such as 4-D ultrasounds that we provide to our patients who doctor here in town.”
Mrs. Pouk said, “We take care of patients multiple times over the course of days or years and so we get to know them on a personal level. No one is just a number to us. They are our family, friends, and community members.”
No matter what the scenario is for the day, compassion towards their patients is key. Phelps Memorial’s imaging department will to continue to grow and be progressive in order to provide their patients the services they need to keep them close to home.
Mrs. Keffler stated, “Our greatest accomplishment is providing services found at much larger facilities and maintaining the small hospital attention and relationship to those we care for.”