Imaging technologists also specialize in human relations

Medical professionals called "technologists" are responsible not only for the technical aspects of an imaging exam, but for also making sure patients are treated with respect and compassion.

Michael Van Nostrand

Michael Van Nostrand

When patients come to Massachusetts General Hospital Imaging for exams, their primary point of contact is not a doctor, but a medical professional called a "technologist." These skilled and highly trained individuals are responsible for conducting the exam: operating the sophisticated equipment and capturing the high-quality images that our radiologists will need in order to make an accurate diagnosis.

While the job title of "technologist" may bring to mind a person more focused on machines than people, nothing could be further from the truth at Mass General Imaging. Our technologists strive to make sure that patients are not only physically and emotionally comfortable but also well informed about the exam they're undergoing. Ultimately, alleviating anxiety and making the exam process as smooth as possible maximizes the quality of the images and the overall patient experience.

Many technologists got into their line of work precisely because they find satisfaction in helping people—especially during a stressful time. And the positive feedback we hear from patients reinforces this.

The following is an excerpt of a letter we received from a patient who visited recently for an upper GI series: a multi-step exam that involves a complex sequence of moving and still images taken while drinking liquids that coat the digestive tract.

I was in your department recently for an upper GI series. I wanted to particularly commend one of your employees, Michael Van Nostrand. He was the technologist for my test, and he was excellent. He explained the test clearly, he was pleasant, and he made me feel comfortable—which is saying something when you are standing there in one of the hospital's lovely gowns—and he was kind.

Since I'm an employee of Mass General, as well as a patient, I always feel that it's important to recognize great patient care, and I feel that I received it from Michael.

I was also impressed by the two doctors, and particularly liked the fact that they introduced themselves to me, and that they explained a bit about their findings to me.

The waiting area was clean and neat, Caitlyn at the front desk was pleasant and personable, and I was just very impressed with my overall experience. Please pass along my appreciation to your staff, and thank you for your part in creating a positive atmosphere for tests that are not always the most pleasant to have!

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