Radiology technicians provide inside look

Boy or girl?

U.S. Air Force Staff. Sgt. Nance Pea, the 35th Surgical Operations Squadron ultrasound NCO in charge, performs an ultrasound on a patient at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Sept. 14, 2017. This procedure allows technicians to look at organs in the abdomen, including the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas and kidneys. The machine sends out high-frequency sound waves reflecting off body structures, then a computer receives these waves and uses them to create a picture. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Xiomara M. Martinez)

See through the light

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman William Gathers, a 35th Surgical Operations Squadron radiology technician, receives a CT scan at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Sept. 14, 2017. CT scans take multiple photos of anatomy, giving radiologists the ability to see through a body part. The equipment quickly examines people who may have internal injuries caused by trauma. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Xiomara M. Martinez)

Seeing right through

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Samantha Bradford, left, and Senior Airman William Gathers, right, both 35th Surgical Operations Squadron radiology technicians, review x-rays at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Sept. 14, 2017. Technicians ensure patient images are correct, which is crucial for doctors to give correct diagnoses, including cancer and heart disease. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Xiomara M. Martinez)

Files for miles

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman William Gathers, a 35th Surgical Operations Squadron radiology technician, checks if patient files are placed correctly at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Sept. 1, 2017. Radiology specialists work seamlessly with the rest of the medical personnel to provide the most accurate and up to date diagnoses for their patients. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Xiomara M. Martinez)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- As the moonless, silent, solemn sky reflects, a brisk wind clouts medical personnel as they rush an Airman to the hospital. Their injured right arm pulsates with pain, but before a physician can see the patient, radiology lab experts assess the wound by gaining insight from the inside.

While operating high-end technology worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, 35th Surgical Operations Squadron radiology laboratory Airmen pinpoint exact injuries and advise doctors on the best way to treat patients.

“The radiology department provides special care to Misawa members, overseeing everyone’s health needs,” said Senior Airman William Gathers, a 35th SGC radiology technician. “We cater to the providers in the hospital.”

Gathers added that talking with patients and seeing what’s wrong are some of his favorite parts of the job. He also enjoys taking pictures to see if their description of what’s wrong matches up with what’s showing.

Not only can radiology technicians detect problems and analyze injuries, they also reveal the beauty of human life.

“Scanning pregnant patients and letting people know if they’re having a boy or a girl is my favorite,” said Staff Sgt. Nance Pea, the 35th SGC ultrasound NCO in charge.

Pea continued that seeing and detecting human life and passing critical information to expecting parents is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a radiology technician, but experts could also discover serious illnesses, such as cancer.

“A significant challenge radiology technicians face when giving ultrasounds are small movements of the probe which can throw the reading off,” said Pea. “We ensure we have accurate information because we don’t want to be the reason the doctor doesn’t diagnose correctly, for example, cancers, birth defects or blood clots.”

With extensive technology and equipment, radiologists can view through the figure and all internal complications.

“For each x-ray we use administration machines such as imaging plate readers,” explained Gathers. “Plate readers transfer x-rays from particles to digital images, and we have portable equipment we take down to the urgent care clinic for trauma cases.”

Radiology technicians work cohesively with medical group physicians to give patients the best quality care for personnel to be fit to fight at all times. Nothing is hidden inside from radiology flight, they’re able to view anything and everything. With their attention to detail, personnel are able to be mission ready.