Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
VT 204
Course Title:
Applied Radiography
Credit Hours:
3
Lecture Hours:
20
Lecture/Lab Hours:
0
Lab Hours:
30
Special Fee:
$12.00

Course Description

Covers the practical application of radiography in the veterinary profession. Includes principles of x-ray production, the operation and uses of x-ray machines, the care and development of films, and radiographic positioning of animals. Prerequisites: Admission to Veterinary Technology program.

Addendum to Course Description

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the field of veterinary radiography.  Whereas radiography is the science of exposing and processing of x-ray films, radiology involves radiography plus the reading and diagnostic interpretation of radiographs, which by law is the domain of the licensed veterinarian.  Therefore this course is solely devoted to teaching radiography.   

The course is designed for second-year veterinary technology program students and is a graduation requirement for the Associates Degree in Applied Sciences in Veterinary Technology.  Credits in this course are not transferable to a four-year school towards a baccalaureate degree.  

The required textbook is Radiography in Veterinary Technology by Lavin. 

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:

Safely and effectively produce diagnostic radiographic images.

Properly (1) prepare radiographic and darkroom equipment, (2) measure and position animals using topographic landmarks, (3) choose an appropriate radiographic technique to minimize the need for repeat exposures (4) produce the latent image, (5) process the exposed film, (6) analyze the final radiograph for quality in order to provide maximum diagnostic benefit.

Use an understanding of diagnostic quality images to determine options to correct deficiencies and to maximize diagnostic benefit and minimize radiation exposure based on repeated images.

Apply knowledge of the health risks and effective safety procedures and professional judgment to minimize risks to personnel and patients during radiographic procedures.

Properly prepare the imaging site and equipment and position patients appropriately for the non-radiographic study being conducted (ultrasaound).

Course Activities and Design

This course is designed to be a lecture and laboratory course.  It is a three credit-hour course that meets for two lecture hours per week and three lab hours per week.  There are two three-hour lab sections taught in order to accommodate the number of students in the class.  Each section is limited to 15 students per lab section.  

Lecture topics covered are a review of radiation safety principles, the x-ray machine and parts, x-ray production, imaging, processing, positioning, interpretation of diagnostic quality, contrast studies, and the basics of ultrasonography.  In the laboratory students acquire hands-on experience in patient positioning and imaging techniques, creation of a technique chart, and assessment of radiographic diagnostic quality.  

Students will be divided into smaller working groups in lab.  Each group of students will submit a laboratory project to be graded. It will consist of their technique charts, the best radiographs produced during each laboratory session, and their evaluation of radiographic quality.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Grading will be based upon student understanding of the course content as demonstrated by periodic examinations, homework assignments, quizzes, a comprehensive final exam, performance of laboratory tasks, and attendance. To be eligible for a passing grade, the student must have attended a minimum of 80 percent of each of the lecture and lab classes
  • Graduate performance on the €œRadiography€ sub-section of the Veterinary Technicians National Examination
  • These outcomes will be routinely assessed and used to drive relevant changes in the curriculum.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Content labeled with an asterisk indicates content required by our accreditor.  Content that is also italisized indicates tasks that the student must be able to perform since they are listed as €œessential tasks€ by the Accreditation Policies and Procedures of the American Veterinary Medical Association's Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities.

1.0  INTRODUCTION  

INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL:  
Develop general knowledge of the field of radiography and it's applications in veterinary medicine.

2.0  THE X-RAY MACHINE

INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL: 
Develop a detailed understanding of the operation of the x-ray machine and its component parts.

3.0  PHYSICAL PRINCIPLES OF RADIOGRAPHY  

INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL:  
Develop an understanding of the physics of x-radiation production and its application to radiography.

4.0  THE X-RAY BEAM

INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL:  
Develop an understanding of how the different electrical and physical properties of a x-ray machine affect the x-ray beam before it enters the subject.

5.0  IMAGE FORMATION  

INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL: 
Develop an understanding of how the factors that affect the x-ray beam affect image formation; be able to discuss the parameters that describe the quality of this image.

6.0  RECORDING THE IMAGE  

INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL:  
Develop an understanding of the importance of screen and film preparation in the production of diagnostic quality radiographs.

7.0 RADIOGRAPHIC DETAIL

INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL:  
Develop and understanding of how variables in tissue thickness, positioning and radiographic technique affect changes in radiograph detail.  

8.0  BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF RADIATION REVIEW  

INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL:  
Develop an understanding of the health-related hazards of x-radiation and how to minimize unnecessary exposure of veterinary patients and personnel.

9.0  FORMULATION OF A RADIOGRAPHIC TECHNIQUE CHART  

INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL:  
Develop an understanding of the methods used for the development of a radiographic technique chart.

10.0  VARIABLE KILOVOLTAGE TECHNIQUE CHART AND VARIABLE mAs TECHNIQUE CHART

INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL:  
Develop an understanding of the use of the variable KV and variable mAs technique charts.

11.0  LABORATORY COMPETENCIES

INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL:  
Develop comprehensive knowledge of the positions and terminology used in the radiographic study of the various parts of veterinary patient anatomy.

12.0  INTERPRETATION OF DIAGNOSTIC QUALITY RADIOGRAPHS

INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL:
Develop an understanding of the concept of diagnostic quality for the various positional techniques and be able to identify if a radiograph is of diagnostic quality.

13.0  SPECIAL RADIOGRAPHIC METHODS  

INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL: 
Develop an understanding of special radiographic techniques including current techniques for hip evaluation of canine patients, positive-contrast radiography, and positioning of exotic animals including small mammals, birds, reptiles and fish.

14.0  QUALITY CONTROL

INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL:  
Develop an understanding of the principles of quality control for the maintenance of the x-ray machine and to recognize the common causes of failures.

15.0  THE DARKROOM AND RADIOGRAPHIC FILM PROCESSING  

INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL:  
Develop an understanding of proper processing and handling methods for radiopraphic film.

16.0  ULTRASONOGRAPHY  

INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL:    
Develop a working knowledge of the principles and diagnostic use of ultrasonography.

17.0  OTHER IMAGING AND TREATMENT MODALITIES  

INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL:
Develop an understanding of the use of x-radiation as a treatment modality for lesions and the use of other imaging techniques such as MR and CT.

18.0  LABORATORY COMPETENCIES

INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL:

  • Implement and observe recommended radiation safety measures*
  • Implement radiographic quality control measures*
  • Develop and properly utilize radiographic technique charts*
  • Position and expose radiographic film on dogs*, cats* and birds for radiographic studies
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the modifications of diagnostic imaging techniques as they apply to mice, rats, guinea pigs, lizards, and amphibians*
  • Utilize radiographic equipment to expose radiograph film on live animals (fixed*)
  • Utilize radiographic equipment on live animals to create diagnostic radiographic images, film or digital (dental and portable* units)
  • Process exposed films to create diagnostic radiographic images (automatic* and digital processing)
  • Appropriately label, file, and store film*
  • Complete radiographic logs, reports, files and records*
  • Perform radiographic contrast studies of the G.I. tract using Barium*:
  • Perform on a sedated canine radiographic techniques utilized in screening for canine hip dysplasia*
  • Demonstrate proper maintenance of radiographic equipment, including recognition of faulty equipment operation*