News | March 3, 2016

A view beneath the skin: Langley radiology serves as 'eyes' of hospital

By Airman 1st Class Derek Seifert 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Experiencing unexplainable pain can be frustrating. Whether the pain is making it difficult to walk, exercise or even commute, something must be done to diagnose and find the problem, then create a plan to alleviate the pain.

The 633rd Surgical Operations Squadron Radiology department at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, supports and provides the images to diagnose patients' illnesses and injuries while providing 24-hour support for the emergency room.

"Radiology is the 'eyes of the hospital'," said Senior Airman Glen Daniels, 633rd SOS diagnostic imaging technician. "Without radiology, doctors and providers wouldn't know what's going on beneath the skin without performing a surgery."

Radiology consists of five separate departments that see approximately 41,000 patients a year, sending diagnostic imagery to Family Health, Women's Health and other clinics within the hospital.

The clinic helps physicians diagnose patient illness and injuries through X-rays, mammography, MRI, CT and Ultrasound. The X-ray machines take two-dimensional images to include fluoroscopy during studies such as esophagrams. Mammography also uses two-dimensional images but for early breast cancer detection. The MRI and CT departments use cross-sectional imaging to study organs and vessels. The Ultrasound department uses ultrasonic sound waves to visualize fetuses, abdominal organs and major vessels. 

"Radiology is readily available for surgery and other emergency cases to ensure our active-duty members remain fit to fight," said Daniels. "In addition to providing quality services to Service members, we also provide care for retirees and dependents."

As the influx of patients continues to grow, Radiology looks to expand and improve their patient's care with better equipment, said Daniels. The department looks forward to receiving a new CT machine that will allow for more detailed exams and provide care for more patients. When construction is finished within the building, the department plans to bring the MRI machine inside, eliminating patients having to walk outside.

Daniels said he takes great pride in the work that he and his coworkers perform daily.

"I make sure the patient is as comfortable as possible for their exam, while also helping to figure out what is ailing them," said Daniels. "The machines expand the physician's knowledge of the patient's epidemiology, which can give the patient a sense of ease. Patients may be scared of the medical exams that radiology provides, but my peers and I provide care using the best technology available, which creates a healthcare environment that the Air Force and its people can be proud of."

For more information on hospital services, contact the USAF Hospital Langley at 757-225-7630.
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