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Having been taught in school to scan from the side and from the
head--left-handed--I was apprehensive of sitting behind the head with my arm
around the patient's neck.  But, after finally having learned to relax my
death grip on the probe, I find this to be the most comfortable position when
given the choice.  But, as pointed out by a large number of others, if this
is not always possible, flexibility is the key.  After completely rearranging
a patient's room on my first bedside carotid, still to find that I could not
reach the machine AND him from this position due cramped quarters, I decided
that a little flexibility might be the way to go next time.  Incidentally,
there was nothing preventing this patient from coming to the vascular lab,
because after being told by a nurse that he could not be moved, I arrived in
his room to find him sitting BESIDE his bed, casually reading the newpaper,
with his feet propped up on the bed!  He was more ambulatory than I was!  I
quickly deposited him in a wheelchair and brought him down to the lab, THEN I
scanned him the way I wanted to!

Some of the male patients seem to like us girls using the
behind-the-head-arm-across the chest scanning technique--any bets on why? ;)

Larene Collins BS, RVT (as of today--yay!)