A night in Radiology


Evening shifts at Manchester wasn’t really a thing, unless it was within obstetrics, so I was quite happy to find out that we had a evening shift at our first clinical placement. I didn’t really know what to expect but, who knew sitting in front of a computer looking at images for several hours could be so tiring. I’m in bed writing this and it’s not even 10pm…

If I could summarise the night with one word, it would be -ish. Or the Swedish equivalent, typ. For example:

  • “It is bigger-ish from the last image”
  • “There is -ish a lot of gas and faeces in her bowel, probably the reason for her constipation-ish symptoms?”
  • “There is a white-ish, shaded area on the inferior-ish lobe of the lung. Infiltration/inlammation/infection-ish?”

Like the Radiology trainees/registrars/ST-läkare told us all, even after a few years they’re still getting the grips of analysing radiological images. Many of the times, they’re pretty clueless too. You’ll never really know for sure they said.


Nevertheless, despite our lack of radiological expertise, it was still quite an exciting and educational evening. Sure, sitting in front of a computer for hours might not sound that great, but when you get to see images of medical emergencies happening literally at that moment, that makes it pretty damn exciting. For example, we saw images of someone who fell off an apple tree, someone who jumped in front of a train, and lastly ended the night with images of an aortic dissection (when the biggest and most important artery from the heart gets a tear and could lead to a rupture). As you see, knowing that the correct analysis of those images could lead to saving a person’s life, makes what we were doing a lot more than just sitting in front of a computer looking at images. Pretty damn exciting. I was happy to be a part of that, at least for one evening.

My groupmate and I luckily had a very nice doctor who showed us so many different types of radiological cases, and gladly explained them all. When we were looking droopy, tired and hungry, he gave us a break for however long we wanted. Possibly the best part in my case, he had patience for my Swedish-as-a-second-language difficulties. Luckily.

At the end of the day, my head was just such a big mush. I was wobbling from side to side on my way home, and accidentally bumped onto lamp posts a couple of times. My first 12h “shift” at the hospital done, and I’m sure there will be many, many more to come. Until then, hats off to everyone who works at hospitals who can keep their minds sharp even until this hour. I am clearly not there yet.

But tomorrow is another day. Another 8am start at Radiology. Our second to last 8am start at Radiology that is. Better make the most of it. Good night! 🙂