A Sharp Saw
By Gary Naron, CRA
I am told that my daddy could build a
house with a hammer and a handsaw. I
watched him build things with wood and,
because of that, I have no reason to doubt
it. He was part of the “Greatest Generation.” When I was young he made me a
wagon entirely from wood. Wheels, axles,
everything. It was the best wagon in the
world. And he made it with a handsaw.
Daddy understood that his handsaw,
as well as his other tools, performed better if they were well maintained. Which
brings to mind a vision of him that will
always stay with me. That is of him sitting
with the saw turned upside down and held
between his knees. In his right hand was
a saw tooth file. This vision included him
meticulously filing each and every tooth
on that saw until each was razor sharp.
Not only that, but he also used what was
called a saw tooth crimping tool. This
tool, manually with the squeeze of your
hand, would align each tooth in the position it was supposed to be in to be the
most effective. The reason he did these
things was because he knew a sharp and
aligned saw made cutting smoother, faster, and almost effortless. Another thing
he did was keep the rust from building
up on the blade as that, too, would hinder
the gliding and operation of the saw.
In the 40 years I’ve been in this profession, I have seen just about everything.
From hand developing films to PACS.
Quite the span! Technology has exploded. Billions of dollars have been spent on
modality and equipment improvements.
Just think about where CT has come from
Do you have any staff members that just don’t “cut it?”
If so, you are not alone. And like so many others,
you may not know what to do for them.
and where it is going. Amazing! Also,
manual techniques for x-ray procedures
have gone by the wayside just like barium
studies. But how much effort have we as
imaging leaders put into keeping our saw
teeth sharp and in line and our blades free
of rust? Saw teeth being the staff that actually interact with the patients and perform
the work. In this throw away culture we
live in, it is almost understandable when
we develop the same attitude toward our
our techs. We just throw them away and
get another one. That may seem the easy
way but, in actuality, it is not. It costs so
much more to replace rather than maintain when it comes to personnel. But even
more important than finances is the fact
that our staff deserves a chance to grow
So do you have any staff members that
just don’t “cut it?” If so, you are not alone.
And like so many others, you may not
know what to do for them. I would like to
offer a few suggestions. And believe me,
when your staff catches on, your professional life will be all the better for it.
Sharpen Those Skills
Since we can’t use a saw tooth file on our
staff, how about giving them what they
need in order to do their jobs? No one is
born knowing what to do. It is a learn-
ing process which follows us to the grave.
So, continued sharpening of job skills is
mandatory if any of us are going to stay
productive. There are many good ideas
on how to do this. One is the education
needed to keep up with new innovations
and processes. No technologist can keep
up with these without proper education
provided by the manufacturer, vendor,
and/or employer. It is very important
that managers encourage staff to belong
to as many organizations and societies
as possible. They not only provide con-
tinuing education (CE) units needed, but
they also provide tips, suggestions, and
advice on many industry related subjects.
Also remember that each saw tooth (staff
member) needs individual attention.
While group sessions also work, some-
times individuals benefit most from ded-
icated instruction and education.