“True Compassion is about not bruising the other person’s self-respect”.

I am reading The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida right now and it is extraordinary. Naoki Higashida is a 13-year-old from Japan who has autism, this book is him explaining what it is like to live with autism. He answers questions that are quite direct like “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking to me?” with such honesty and so articulately that it allows the reader to see the world in a completely new perspective. I find myself completely consumed while reading, hanging on every word. It gives new insight to my relationship with my nephew and what it must be like to view the world from his perspective.

I am happy to report that I not only made it through my few days back at work in tact but I surpassed even my own expectations for myself. The first day back I helped by answering phones and either placing calls on hold for the girls or taking the call if the request was something I felt comfortable doing. I limited myself to film requests and things of this nature. I wanted to take notes and be more like a fly on the wall the first day back, just taking things in and letting the memory of these skills come back to me.

The second day back I began scheduling “easy” scans. What constitutes an “easy scan”?

a single MRI (versus multiple scans ordered for the same patient)

No CTs (certain CT scans have very detailed instructions for the patient and require a lot of follow-up by our office)

“Easy” Insurance (Which just means either insurance that does not require authorization for an MRI or insurance that gives authorization without a lot of extra work on the part of the facility, such as providing clinical notes etc)

And finally the diagnosis.. There are a lot of contraindications for MRI scans so we go through a long list of clinical questions to make sure it is safe for a patient to have an MRI. If I see a diagnosis like “S/P aneurysm SX x 3 mos” this tells me that this patient more than likely had aneurysm clips implanted in their brain in the last 3 months which means I am going to have to do some research about this surgery and the clips used to make sure it is safe for the patient to go on the machine. Where as a diagnosis of “HA” tells me the patient is being seen for headaches and hopefully when I call I am not going to find out that they have any medical issues that will be a contracindication.

Now, this is not to say that any patient, scan, diagnosis or insurance that does not fall in these guidelines is “difficult” per say, it just means that a little more work or attention to detail is required during and after scheduling and it is not something you give to the “new” girl. I need to brush up on some “easier” scans before I take on everything else just to ensure I do not make any errors. This is for the safety of the patients, the efficiency and liability of the facility and my own butt. Because ultimately “I didn’t know” or “Sorry I am new” is not an excuse if I forget an important detail and a patient ends up in harm’s way or the facility is put in a compromising position.

By the third day I was scheduling anything and everything that came across my desk, with acute accuracy I might add! The few mistakes I did make I caught on my own and corrected which felt great. It feels so good to get back into the swing of things. I love the scheduling process. I love being on the phone with the patients, building rapport, listening to their stories, and just helping. I love building this relationship with the patient during the scheduling process and then getting to meet and help them in person when they come for their scan. It is what makes this job for me. All the other nonsense that has ever come with it was worth it for this part of the job.

It was a great first week back. There is a lot of work to do and I am excited about digging in and getting it done.

School is going OK as well. We do not have class on Tuesday due to a conflict in the instructor’s schedule, however, she loaded us down with assignments for the weekend to make up for the loss of class time. My girlfriend from class and I decided to get together this morning to pound out the assignments. It took us no time to get through everything.

Tonight we are going out for Todd’s birthday, I am very excited. I love going out with him, we have so much fun just the two of us but it is nice when we have the chance to go out with friends as well. It will be a fun way to cap off a busy week.

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