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A Descriptive Study of the Department of Medical Photography at Lutheran Hospital, La Crosse, Wisconsin

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Ersepke, Carol M.
MS, Audiovisual Media
The study was made of the medical photography department at Lutheran Hospital, La Crosse, Wisconsin in order to determine its purposes and functions. Literature pertaining to various aspects of medical photography in general was perused in order to gain a working knowledge of the field and to provide background for a better understanding of the department at Lutheran Hospital. Information for the report, was gathered in several different ways. Readers' guides such as the Index Medicus and Biological Abstracts were consulted to determine the location of literature commensurate with this study. Much of the relevant written material was located in the publication of the Biological Photographic Association - Journal of the Biological Photographic Association. The rest of the information for the study was procured through observation of and discussion with the medical photography department members at the Lutheran Hospital. In order obtain a better picture of medical photography as a professional field, information was sought regarding the foundations on which the profession is built. Such study included early history stemming from even earlier times which saw attempts to illustrate the human body and its functions. Because of the growing demand for medical photographers, efforts are being made to provide better and more easily obtainable training. The report progressed further with a discussion of training in the medical photography field, showing the various ways in which the individuals involved acquire what they need to know and understand as competent professionals. Some schools along with their ideas on educating people for the field were also discussed. By examining the legal aspects, it was found that necessary precautions must be taken by the medical photographer and his employer. A chapter was devoted to the law regarding medical photography. Study revealed that medical photography is in the process of attaining an organized professional status through a two-fold communication process--first, communicating through its photographic productions and second, by communicating and dispersing information about its production techniques.
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