2 Things in FOX's "House" That Relate to Med Tech Professionals

HealthcareJune 12, 2014

If you are a med tech professional, you might find some value in watching "House, M.D.", where the antisocial physician Gregory House solved puzzling medical cases. The FOX show, which ended in 2012, was unique among hospital shows in that it possessed a uniquely clinical focus. While other medical TV series often highlight staff romances and drama, "House M.D." devoted large amounts of time to describing medical cases in detail. There are even ways that House is specifically relevant to the medical technologist field.

Laboratory Work

Since House was a diagnostic physician, he focused heavily on medical cases that involved lab work. Although some episodes may sacrifice perfect facticity for drama — and many cases are unlikely to happen in real life — the scientific details behind them are often realistic. In fact, sometimes they are so accurate that they help doctors solve real life cases. That was the result of the episode that featured a woman who had cobalt poisoning from her metal hip implant. The patient was suffering from heart failure because the hip implant released metal debris into her blood stream. A doctor who saw the episode (episode 11 of season 7) coincidentally had a patient with similar symptoms. Inspired by the show, he tested the patient's cobalt levels and found them much higher than normal.

Medical Imaging

Although House often made diagnoses based on speculation, he usually ordered medical imaging of the patient when it was relevant to confirm a diagnosis. Radiology professionals can learn a few lessons from the show. For example, in episode 14 of season 1, House noticed that Dr Robert Chase, another physician character on the show, X-rayed the wrong leg of a patient two times because he was distracted. He should have let an X-ray tech do the job!

Besides medical laboratory work and radiology, "House, M.D." occasionally covered cardiovascular technology and other med tech topics. Unfortunately, all the main characters were doctors, and they performed much of the work that is delegated to medical technologists in real life. Despite this, med tech professionals can take away some great lessons regarding the diagnostic process and real medical procedures.

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