As you remodel or build a new space for your new X-ray system, one decision that can easily be lost in the mix is whether to get a left-hand or right-hand loading chest stand. It may seem like a trivial, preference-driven detail, but if this decision is not weighed carefully and your system arrives with a chest stand that loads cassettes on the wrong side, it can derail the entire installation process for several days while the correct stand is obtained.
To help you avoid this problem, we looked back at the hundreds of X-ray installations we've performed over the last 19 years and compiled the most important considerations for choosing whether to get a left-hand or a right-hand loaded chest stand.
Some buyers have insisted on a particular loading side because their techs prefer it. Using a preference as your sole guide, however, is short sighted. You might end up with a room that doesn’t meet code or have a logical patient flow. It's okay to have a preference, but it really shouldn't come into play until you've looked at the rest of the items on this list.
Envision Your Room
As you begin discussing the logistical side of your project with your X-ray system provider, it will help to envision the end product. What's the square footage of your intended space? Which way will your table face? Once you have a general sense for that, you can begin to think about which wall your chest stand should be mounted to. This will have a direct bearing on which side it should load from.
Regs and Workflow
Keep in mind that there may be some regulatory codes to meet in terms of things like clearance between components or between fixed equipment and exit pathways. Meeting these codes will affect your layout and, thereby, the placement of your chest stand. Be sure to contact a qualified state or local inspector to make yourself aware of the requirements.
Your overall workflow will also play a part in placing your wall stand. Where will your patients be walking to access the table? Where will your techs be walking to position the patients?
Know Your Model
Finally, consider the chest stand itself and ask for some specifications from your system provider. How far will it sit out into the room? How close to the corners is it? How close to the table? Choosing right or left-hand load becomes more obvious here. One version just won’t make sense for your room, workflow, and layout. The other is the one you should request from your provider.
Once you have a general idea, you should contact your installer to let them know what you're thinking. Open lines of communication with all parties involved will help eliminate mistakes and delays that can put your project (and maybe your patient schedule) behind.
For even further clarity, you may also want to have a set of drawings made for your X-ray installer and other contractors to refer to. You can learn more about site drawings and how they help in our previous article: Imaging Equipment Site Drawings: The First Step to Installation Success. And, of course, if you're still unsure, our X-ray team is ready to discuss your equipment, project, spare parts, and service. Use the button below to contact us and tell us about your upcoming X-ray machine project.