Thursday, December 31, 2009

Imaging Problem

You won't find an X-ray department in a hospital anymore. It has been renamed Radiology or the Imaging Department. In the same update, the Personnel Department became Human Resources, The Housekeeping Department emerged as Environmental Services and the custodians morphed into engineers. The word secretary disappeared from the lexicon and "ward secretaries" became Health Unit Coordinators. The new name gave them new respect. A nurse knew she was going to have a really bad day at work if the "ward secretary" called in sick. Like all secretaries, they kept everything running smoothly. Most of these name changes happened over a decade ago in the hospital where I last worked.

We have had most of the decade to adjust to post-9-11 airport security. TSA scans our luggage; metal detectors scan us. We obligingly took off our shoes when that layer of security checks happened. We obediently limit our carryon liquids to 3 oz. and bagged them in Ziplock bags. Our motivation of safer travel helped us keep a good attitude when elderly white women like my husbands 90+ yr old aunt the nun underwent special scrutiny in TSA's attempt to keep security checks random. It's not nice to profile is it? Sorry, but I feel more secure when they pay as much attention to a young ethnic Muslim male as they do to the 93 yr old nuns.

The Christmas Day bombing attempt has it hitting the fan. Someone will eventually be held accountable. There will be lots of talk about policy change. My favorite proposed change was not allowing passengers out of their seats the last hour of flight. Did it occur to policymakers that the terrorists could detonate the bomb anytime during the flight?

Many airports have had scanners that see through clothes but have been reluctant to use them. Some use them on a voluntary basis. That makes sense. I am sure a real bomber / terrorist will voluntarily be scanned. Most of us just looked at those scans and cringed. Basically we would look naked to the scanner. Congressmen opposed using these scanners to protect our privacy. Now that we have had a fresh bombing attempt we will probably suck it up and go along with this latest indignity.

An aha moment. There is an "image problem" with the scanners that might be solved with renaming the experience. Come up with a name that suggests an instant makeover. I confess I don't like the idea of someone looking through my clothes. I don't like it because of modesty but moreso because I'm not thrilled about how I look neked! All that is needed is software that makes us look like we have had a makeover. All females would appear curvacious and minus sags. Guys would have six-packs and well developed muscles. They might even let us peak at how we could look if we stayed on the diet and exercised. Bingo. Two problems solved. A more secure flight and inspiration for overweight Americans.

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