Thursday, July 1, 2010

academic pneumatic

Occasionally I come across the specific mention of hospital pneumatic tube systems in academic material. This might be in a hospital ethnography for example, such as CT Suite: The Work of Diagnosis in the Age of Noninvasive Cutting.
"In one corner of the Scheduling office there is a pneumatic tube column. Forms and schedules are placed in cylindrical containers and launched to destinations throughout the department - mostly on the second floor. This system has been around 'for a long time'; a change to a computerized tube system is anticipated" (p184)
I am half-way through CT Suite, which is an intricately detailed study of the practices associated with CT scanning. In his work, anthropologist Barry Saunders combines theoretical insights from a range of fields, such as photographic history, with the minutiae of his observations and overheard conversations. The book captures the CT suite in transition, with a writing style that is simultaneously dry/uncluttered, and filled with rich description and metaphor.

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