Print Version

Effective: Winter 2012

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: V T 54B.
Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU
3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (72 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Know and apply the principles of veterinary radiography to consistently produce diagnostic radiographs of animal patients.
  • Routinely and unfailingly employ all of the principles of radiation safety when working around ionizing radiation.
Description -
Introduction to the principles of veterinary radiography and ultrasonography for veterinary technician students, including radiographic and ultrasonographic terminology. Physics of X-ray and ultrasound production and interaction with matter. Occupational safety and radiation protection. Proper use and maintenance of standard and digital x-ray equipment. Radiographic exposure factors, technique chart development and usage, and patient positioning required for production of diagnostic radiographs. Processing of radiographic film. Discussion of equipment materials and special radiographic studies common in veterinary practice. Radiographic exposure troubleshooting and common artifacts. Intended for students in the Veterinary Technology Program; enrollment is limited to students accepted in the program.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. upon employment the technician will be able to enter any practice of veterinary medicine and, with minimum of orientation, be able to produce diagnostic radiographs for the veterinarian.
  2. apply principles of radiation physics, exposure factor settings, and patient positioning to the production of diagnostic radiographs in the clinical setting.
  3. list and explain the parts of an X-Ray machine and the ancillary equipment and supplies required to produce the radiographic image.
  4. integrate the knowledge of the various factors that affect radiographic image quality and perform a proper radiographic examination of small and large animal patients as required.
  5. create and use a radiographic technique chart.
  6. Properly care for equipment and process radiographic film.
  7. list the requirements for adequate protection of personnel and patients from ionizing radiation and demonstrate proper radiation safety procedures when working around ionizing radiation.
  8. conduct the common special diagnostic procedures in veterinary radiography.
  9. become familiar with state-of-the-art radiographic, nuclear, and ultrasonic imaging technology.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
Classroom with projection and videocassette playback capabilities, and radiograph viewing screen(s). Laboratory equipped with stationary and portable digital and conventional X-Ray machines and ancillary radiographic equipment and supplies. A radiographic darkroom with an automatic X-Ray processor. Radiograph viewing screens. Live animal patients and holding facilities. Sedation and anesthesia capabilities, and patient monitoring equipment.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Introduction to Radiology
    1. History of human and veterinary radiology
    2. Physics of radiation
    3. Principles of generators, transformers, rectification
  2. The X ray Tube
    1. Construction and housing
    2. Anode
    3. Cathode
    4. Principle of thermionic emission
    5. Voltage and amperage
    6. Anode and target -‚ƒîStationary, rotating, cooling methods
  3. Principles of radiographic exposure
    1. Latent image
    2. Intensifying screens
  4. Prime factors of radiography
    1. Milliamperage (mA): effect on film, definition
    2. Time: effect on film, definition
    3. Milliampere-seconds
    4. Distance: inverse square law
    5. Kilovoltage(kVp): Effect on wavelength, absorption of X -Rays, effect on contrast and latitude
  5. Radiographic quality
    1. Density
    2. Detail
    3. Contrast
    4. Magnification
    5. Distortion
    6. Film identification and marking
  6. Conditions influencing exposure factors
    1. Body types
    2. Age
    3. Thickness of part
    4. Contrast media
    5. Splints
    6. Filters
    7. Grids
    8. Cones
  7. Normal radiographic anatomy
    1. Routine radiographic positioning
    2. Anatomic landmarks, centering, collimation
  8. Darkroom chemistry and processing
    1. Safe lighting
    2. Hand tank solutions and development
    3. Film storage
    4. Handling
    5. Rapid automatic processing
  9. The nature of photographic film emulsion
    1. Characteristics of film: Type, speed, latitude
    2. Latent image formation and chemical development
  10. Medical terminology: application to radiology
  11. Common radiographic procedures using contrast media
  12. Radiation safety, state law, biological effects of radiation.
  13. Digital and film-based image troubleshooting.
  14. Ultrasound Principles and common procedures.
  15. Nuclear Imaging Principles


Unloaded Hours will be spent working on a comprehensive course review project consisting of a conceptual diagram illustration the cause and effect and interrelationships of various radiographic factors.
Methods of Evaluation -
Written quizzes and examinations. Production of a radiographic technique chart. Compilation of a written educational handout covering principles of radiation safety and giving an oral presentation on this topic. Practical skills examinations including completion of an Essential Skills Competency Checklist using Standard Criteria.
Representative Text(s) -
Lavin, Lisa M.Radiography in Veterinary Technology. 4th ed., W. B. Saunders Co. 2006.
California Veterinary Medical Board. Veterinary Radiation Control Regulations, 2006.

Disciplines -
Veterinary Technology
Method of Instruction -
Lecture, Discussion, Oral presentations, Laboratory, Demonstration.
Lab Content -
Study of veterinary radiographic anatomy using models, manikins, prepared anatomic skeletons, and live animals. demonstration and performance of all steps required to produce a diagnostic radiograph including proper exposure settings and patient positioning. Practical training in the American Veterinary Medical Association Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities List of Essential Skills Expected of Graduate Veterinary Technicians using a set of Standard criteria as a guideline for the accomplishment of performance objectives. Emphasis is on skill development and hands-on experience in all required areas.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Reading Assignments: Weekly reading assignments from text, class handouts, and outside sources ranging from 30 to 100 pages per week.
  2. Five-page written educational handout on radiation safety.
  3. Compile a comprehensive concept map of the entire term's topics showing the complexity and interrelationships of all factors involved in the image chain.
  4. Written short answer essay questions.