What Topics are Covered When Learning Radiology Principles?
Learning radiology begins with basic courses such as medical terminology, ethics, anatomy, and patient record management. These are courses that will give you the foundational knowledge that is required of a position in a health care position. Once you have completed the basic health care courses, you will then move on to the core radiology courses. This is when learning radiology becomes fascinating and you begin to see the power of imaging the body in the diagnosis process. The following are some courses for a typical radiology program:
It is vitally important that the patient be positioned properly so that the best possible image can be viewed by the physician to properly diagnose problems. Getting an image that will work the first time is also important in order to minimize radiation exposure to their patients. This is why it is not uncommon to find courses that are specifically devoted to the art of patient positioning. You will learn the proper names and protocols for positioning your patients, depending upon the area of the body being imaged.
Principles of Radiography Technology
Most radiology programs have a course that introduces you to the science behind the technology along with practical knowledge about the technology. These courses often will acquaint you with the methods of image processing and the basic principles of radiation biology. This way you know what exactly is happening from a scientific perspective when you are performing the procedures. Radiologic Technologists are not simply people who are training to push a button on a machine; instead, they are given the full breadth of knowledge to be considered professionals within the field.
Radiology Procedure Series - Principles of Imaging the Various Sections of the Body
Learning radiology often proceeds by moving from one section of the body to another. For example, you may take one class that focuses on examining the extremities, spine, shoulder, pelvis, and bony thorax. Then, you may move on to a course that focuses on the biliary, urinary, and digestive systems or the cranial area. Some programs are more comprehensive than others. If you are looking for training on a specific anatomical area of the body, you will want to ask a school representative about the specifics of their program before choosing a radiology school.
Additional Radiology Courses
In addition to the above courses, when you are learning radiology, you will also most likely take a course on radiation protocols and safety, anatomy, as well as detailed courses about digital image acquisition and x-ray physics. This is by no means an exhaustive list of courses you will take when learning about radiology; however, hopefully it will give you a hint of what to expect from a typical radiology program. Learning about radiology programs can help you be more vigilant about choosing a program that will work for you as you search for the right school to get your training completed.
During the clinical practice portion, you will be learning radiology from a practical, hands on perspective. The clinical practice will allow you to actually use modern diagnostic imaging equipment. Under the supervision of clinical faculty or registered RT's, you will have the opportunity to utilize the equipment and practice procedures. During this phase, you will need to show that you can complete a set of competencies and that you have grasped the theoretical knowledge in order to effectively complete your job function.
Most students who have been through a radiography program have enjoyed the experience and made lasting bonds with fellow students. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. For some, the physics portion of the program is challenging, and for others, it may be the equipment operation or learning about anatomy. Completing your radiology program is just the beginning of what is often described as a life long process of learning radiology and its many applications.