Imaging with Ionising Radiation (SPE101)

10 credits

Aim of this module

To introduce the trainee to a range of equipment and techniques used in Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Radiology and understand the effects of image acquisition parameters and post processing.

  1. Demonstrate safe practice when working with sources of ionising radiation, including X-ray equipment, sealed and unsealed radioactive material.
  2. Assist in routine patient investigations using uptake counters, gamma spectrometers, manual and automatic beta and gamma sample counters correctly and safely, and, where possible, other equipment such as whole body counters, demonstrating patient-centred, safe practice and the effect of equipment settings and counting geometry on measured count-rates.
  3. Perform a range of procedures in the radiopharmacy correctly and safely, including quality assurance tests of facilities, products, equipment and radionuclide calibrators.
  4. Handle sealed and unsealed radioactive sources safely and use safe practice when working with X-ray equipment.
  5. Operate radiographic and fluoroscopic equipment for the purpose of performance testing and undertake performance tests on a basic range of X-ray equipment.
  6. Make and collate patient dose measurements, calculating patient doses for a range of examinations, including the calculation of foetal dose.
Number Work-based learning outcome Title Knowledge
1 1

Perform routine quality control measurements on gamma cameras, Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT/ Computed Tomography (CT)) scanners and Positron emission tomography (PET)/CT scanners if available.

2 1

Investigate the effects of acquisition parameters and post- acquisition processing and display on planar image. This should include planar, SPECT, SPECT/CT and/or PET/CT imaging if available.

3 2

Establish appropriate operating conditions for sample counters, including energy calibration and choice of energy.

4 2

Perform routine quality control measurements on sample counters and associated equipment, e.g. centrifuges.

5 2

Investigate the effect on measured count-rate of factors such as energy window setting, sample volume and source–detector geometry for in-vitro and in-vivo counters.

6 2

Prepare radioactive samples and standards for counting.

7 2

Assist in routine patient investigations using uptake counters, gamma spectrometers, manual and automatic beta and gamma sample counters correctly and safely, and, where possible, other equipment such as whole body counters demonstrating patient-centred, safe practice and the effect of equipment settings and counting geometry on measured count-rates.

8 2

Control of infection risks pre, during and post investigations and actions taken to manage these.

9 2

Analyse data from non-imaging tests to give quantitative physiological information.

10 3

Measure and record air pressures in the rooms of a radiopharmacy.

11 3

Perform QC testing of the Tc-99m generator eluate, including yield, radionuclide purity and chemical purity.

12 3

Prepare a technetium-99m

13 3

Measure the radiochemical purity of a technetium-99m labelled radiopharmaceutical.

14 3

Perform routine quality assurance measurements on a radionuclide calibrator.

15 4

Handle sealed and unsealed radioactive sources, demonstrating the application of the principles of time, distance and shielding to minimise radiation dose.

16 4,5

Operate a range of quality control equipment, including ionisation chambers, solid state dosimeter an electrometer and a kV meter.

17 4,5

Change image acquisition parameters and review the effect on the measurements made using quality control equipment.

18 5

Undertake cross-calibration of an ionisation chamber or solid state dosimeter.

19 4,5

Operate a basic range of radiographic and fluoroscopic X- ray equipment under supervision and perform quality assurance tests.

20 4,5

Undertake image quality tests on a radiographic or fluoroscopic system.

21 5

Measure the parameters of an automatic exposure

22 6

Undertake a patient dose audit and present the results, including reference to appropriate dose reference

23 6

Measure the performance characteristics of a dose area product meter against a calibrated reference ionisation chamber.

24 6

Measure or calculate patient doses for a range of examinations, including the estimation of foetal dose.

25 6

Calculate the risks and the risk factors associated with patient doses.

You must complete
1 Case-based discussion(s)
1 of the following DOPS / OCEs
Assessment Title Type
Carry out a centre of rotation test on a SPECT system DOPS
Prepare samples and standards for GFR measurement DOPS
Measure the radionuclide purity, molybdenum breakthrough, for technetium 99m eluate DOPS
Draw up radioactivity and prepare phantom for QC studies DOPS
Operate and perform QA measurements on a radiographic imaging system DOPS
Undertake calibration check on a dose area product meter DOPS

Important information

The academic parts of this module will be detailed and communicated to you by your university. Please contact them if you have questions regarding this module and its assessments. The module titles in your MSc may not be exactly identical to the work-based modules shown in the e-portfolio. Your modules will be aligned, however, to ensure that your academic and work-based learning are complimentary.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the legislation that applies to safe working within the radiation, workshop and clinical environments. 
  2. Explain the physical principles behind the interaction of radiation with matter.
  3. Describe the basis of clinical measurement. 
  4. Discuss and evaluate the role of Medical Physics in innovation and service development.

Indicative Content

  • The physics and mathematics of image formation with ionising radiation as it relates to:
    • the radiological image
    • computerised tomography (CT) scanning
    • nuclear medicine
    • positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Introduction to image reconstruction techniques
  • Introduction to image processing and analysis
  • Image display characteristics
  • Clinical application and a basic understanding of normal and pathological appearances within the image
  • Introduction to image registration
  • Quality assurance

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

  • The range of general purpose computer software in common use, including spreadsheets, flat-file and structured databases, online reference and collaborative resources
  • An understanding that computing applied clinically involves additional safeguards when ‘the computer acts as a clinical device’, including an understanding of the role of the Medicine and Healthcare products
  • Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and their role in CE Marking
  • An introduction to the concept of the software life cycle and the tools and frameworks used to specify, develop, validate and verify clinical software
  • The basic principles relating to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) security, including firewalls, virus protection, encryption, server access and data security
  • Information Governance, including NHS security policies
  • The need for data exchange standards and be aware of some of the common standards, e.g. Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) and Healthcare Level 7 (HL7)
  • The networking systems in common clinical use and be aware of the relevant local trust information technology policies
  • The basic principles of applicable legislation and of local policies, including the Data Protection Act, Computer Misuse Act and Freedom of Information Act