Save the darkroom!

The radiologic technology program I teach for is very lucky to have two different digital imaging systems.  We have the Fuji processor as well as a Kodak processor.  Having both has been an excellent way to prepare our students for their internships at the local hospitals.  All of our six clinical affiliates are using digital processing.  Most are using CR systems, and a couple have DR capabilities.

When using the CR systems we have in our lab at school it sometimes becomes frustrating to students and myself when they cannot see the effects of poor technique, grid alignment, or other tech errors because of the automatic correcting of the computerized processing.  This is why I believe we should save the darkroom in our learning environments.

When teaching students about the “S” number on the Fuji system, or the “EI” on the Kodak system, it is so valuable for them to first take the exposure with what I call “old school” film screen.  Having the film on the view box hanging next to the digital image they take next helps them to grasp what the numbers actually are representing.

With digital imaging taking over we hear a lot about dose creep and over exposure to our patients.  I believe that it is much more prevalent now that we only see a number and not the actual overall blackening of our films.  When we used film screen I would be embarrassed to hang a film that I just developed if it were over exposed.  Their was an unspoken quality assurance taking place every time you developed a film.

It is my hope that having the students use film screen in combination with the digital system that they will be more self-aware of the quality of films they are taking in regards to their “S” number or “EI”.

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5 Responses to “Save the darkroom!”

  1. ozoemelam ikechi says:

    over here in university of Nigeria, majority of our clinical affiliates still use the darkroom. i have had the opportunity of using a digital imaging system before – computed radiography

  2. Thank you so much for your comment. We try and stress with our students that all of our major hospitals here in the city have digital systems, but many other small facilities or outlying areas do not have digital. It is important that they understand both. I was trained film screen, and now am considered “old school” crazy how that happens. :)

  3. Miato says:

    I have already seen it somethere…

  4. SuperSonic says:

    Super post, Need to mark it on Digg

  5. Thank you for the kind words. I looked at Digg…and I’m not really sure what to do there :(

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