Radiography Alum Demonstrates Commitment to Caring

As a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologist at Methodist Physicians Clinic in Omaha, Ben Tessin, R.T., (R), (MR), ARRT) (’16) interacts with numerous patients every day. Each interaction is unique and requires him to use different parts of his training to provide them with the best possible care. A recent experience demonstrated his commitment to exceptional care and willingness to go above and beyond for his patients.

Tessin first met patient Amy Brown after her medical providers recommended an MRI to help diagnose the cause of chronic neck and shoulder pain. Almost immediately, he could tell that the thought of entering the MRI machine was making her uncomfortable. “Every day, we encounter patients who are either anxious about the exam due to fear of the unknown, negative past experiences or claustrophobia,” he said. “I knew right away that the cervical spine MRI would be a problem just because of the patient’s body language when we positioned her.”

Tessin quickly adjusted his plan of care to accommodate his patient. He recommended moving on to the next step of the appointment, a hip MRI, which is more comfortable because the patient enters the scanning machine feet first. His calm demeanor and comforting presence allowed Brown to relax enough to complete the hip scan, but she was still too anxious to finish the cervical spine MRI.

She decided to come back a few days later to try again, but with no luck. Finally, Tessin had the idea to use a less restrictive collar to make her feel less confined. With help from the collar as well as Tessin and other providers’ reassurances, they successfully completed the scan. “While we were scanning, I was sure to check on her after each series of scans, usually every three to four minutes, to make sure she was tolerating the test and update her with how much time was left,” he said.

Because of Tessin’s efforts, medical providers were able to diagnose the cause of Brown’s pain, so that she could receive treatment and improve her quality of life. The extra time he took to reassure his patient is indicative of the instruction he received while at Clarkson College. “My instructors always reiterated, ‘pretend that it’s your family member on the table,’” he said. “I know how I would want to be treated, and I try to project that on to my patients.”