Course Descriptions - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Course Descriptions

The School of Radiologic Technology curriculum is composed of courses relevant to the field of Radiologic Technology. The School follows the Curriculum Guide for Radiography Programs as published by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT).

Junior Year

Summer Session (Semester I)

The summer session begins the second week in July and concludes the end of August. Classes are Monday through Thursday from 8:30 am until 3:30 pm Courses provided during this time are as follows:

Introduction to Radiologic Science and Healthcare 

Credit 2 (pre-requisite to Clinical Education I) 
This academic unit is intended to serve as a general orientation to the field of Radiologic Technology, the Radiology department, the School of Radiology, and other allied healthcare professions. Students will be orientated to the academic and administrative structure, key department and hospital personnel, and to the profession and professional societies associated with the field of radiologic technology. Additionally, the student will be introduced to the medicolegal aspects of the profession. Understanding the legal, moral, and professional ethics when providing healthcare ensures that the radiology student has the ability to recognize the needs of the patient, demonstrate empathy, and adhere to medicolegal principles. The Code of Ethics, as proposed by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) and American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) will also be presented. 

Imaging Procedures I 

Credit 5 (pre-requisite to Clinical Education I) 
This lecture and lab comprises several components: equipment manipulation, medical terminology, patient care, and a positioning unit that includes the abdomen and chest. The student radiographer will be introduced to the radiographic imaging equipment used throughout an imaging department and uses a “hands on” approach as a method of instruction. This course also provides the student with basic concepts of patient care using a holistic framework that considers the biophysical, emotional and spiritual needs of the pediatric, adolescent, adult, and geriatric patient population. The patient care component integrates lecture material with classroom activities that will develop patient care skills in both emergent and non-emergent situations. A medical terminology element is incorporated and designed to provide basic principles of medical word building. It focuses on words that are specific to the imaging modalities and includes methods used for interpreting medical abbreviations and symbols, deciphering physician orders and writing a comprehensive patient history. And lastly, this course will provide the student radiographer with the fundamental knowledge, purpose, and functions of the respiratory system. Radiographic examinations specific to the chest and abdomen will be discussed, and the student radiographer will be provided with laboratory experiences. 

Fall Session (Semester II)

The fall session begins in September and runs through mid-December. The student radiographers are in class on Monday and Wednesday from 8:30 am until 3:30 pm and attend clinical rotations Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 7 am until 3 pm. Courses provided during this session are as follows:

Radiation Protection 

Credit 2 (pre-requisite to Clinical Education II) 
This course is designed to provide an overview of the principles of radiation protection which includes the responsibilities of the radiographer to the patient, personnel and public. The student will be acquainted with the different sources of radiation, and the hazards involved with the use of ionizing radiation for both technologist and patient. This course provides the student radiographer with information that insures proper radiation protective measures. 

Principles of Imaging I 

Credit 2 (pre-requisite to Principles of Imaging II) 
This course will introduce the student to the x-ray tube, the x-ray beam, the production and properties of x-ray and image production. Photographic and geometric properties that affect image quality will also be introduced. This course will further acquaint the student with proper darkroom procedures and the fundamentals for radiographic processing. Areas such as darkroom construction, processor maintenance, radiographic film, intensifying screens and cassettes will be explored in depth. An introduction to digital radiography will be provided. 

Radiography Clinical Education I

Credit 3 (pre-requisite to Clinical Education II) 
Radiography Clinical Education I includes approximately 360 hours of clinical experience. The student will rotate through general radiography, fluoroscopy, emergency department radiography, the file room, front office, and patient transport. The student radiographer will be required to complete a minimum of five (5) clinical competencies during this timeframe. 

Imaging Procedures II

Credit 5 
This course will provide the student radiographer with the fundamental knowledge, purpose, and functions of several systems and how they are inter-related. This unit correlates radiographic examinations which best demonstrate the upper and lower extremities, the bony thorax, and vertebral column. Laboratory experience is correlated with the study of each section. 

Spring Session (Semester III)

The spring session begins in January and runs through the end of April. Student radiographers are in class Monday and Wednesday from 8:30 am until 3:30 pm and attend clinical rotations Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 7 am until 3 pm Courses provided during this session are as follows:

Digital Imaging 

Credit 3 
This course is designed to familiarize the student radiographer with digital image acquisition which includes the components, principles and operation of digital imaging systems, and picture archiving methods found in diagnostic radiology. Guidelines for selecting exposure factors, evaluating images, digital quality assurance and maintenance for the digital imaging system will also be covered. 

Principles of Imaging II 

Credit 3 (pre-requisite to Radiographic Physics I) 
The primary factors that affect radiographic quality will be presented in this course. Photographic properties of density and contrast will be explored in depth along with the geometric properties of recorded detail and distortion. The principles of producing diagnostic radiographs by selecting proper radiographic exposure factors will be taught. This course also includes a weekly lab that is used to integrate the principles learned in the classroom with “hands on” application. 

Imaging Procedures III 

Credit 3 
This course will provide the student radiographer with knowledge and instruction to perform procedures that require the use of contrast media such as the urinary and digestive systems, arthrography, myelography, sialography, hysterosalpingography, venography, and endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography. A comprehensive look at sterile technique, informed consent and different types of contrast media will be covered. Additionally this course will provide knowledge and instruction to effectively perform trauma procedures and mobile radiography, surgical procedures, and skull radiography. 

Radiography Clinical Education II 

Credit 3 (pre-requisite to Radiographic Clinical Internship I) 
Clinical Education II occurs during January through April of the student’s third semester and will include approximately 380 hours of clinical experience. In addition to general radiography, fluoroscopy, and emergency radiography, the student will rotate through the on-site orthopedic department, outpatient clinic, and endoscopy. At the conclusion of this clinical session, the radiology student must have completed a minimum of 25 clinical competencies.

Senior Year

Summer Session (Semester IV)

The summer semester is a 16-week session that begins the first week of May and runs through August. Student radiographers are in the clinical setting Monday through Friday from 7 am until 3 pm Students will be required to do at least one evening rotation from 2 pm until 10 pm during this session.

Radiography Clinical Internship I 

Credit 6 (pre-requisite to Clinical Internship II) 
Radiography Clinical Internship I occurs during May, June, July and August of the student’s fourth semester and includes over 700 hours of clinical experience. The student will begin surgical and evening rotations and continue to receive clinical experience in the emergency department, the on-site orthopedic department, outpatient clinic, general radiography and fluoroscopy. At the conclusion of this clinical session, the radiology student must have completed a minimum of 60 clinical competencies.

Fall Session (Semester V)

The fall session begins in September and concludes in December. Student radiographers are in class on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 am until 3:30 pm and attend clinical rotations Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 7 am until 3 pm Students will be required to complete at least two 2 pm until 10 pm evening rotations. Courses that are provided during the fall session are: 

Radiographic Physics I 

Credit 2 (pre-requisite to Radiographic Physics II) 
Knowledge of basic radiation physics and fundamentals of x-ray generating equipment are discussed. The student will receive instruction in electro-magnetism, electricity, production and properties of x-rays, x-ray tubes, and interaction of radiation with matter. 

Imaging Procedures IV 

Credit 2 
This course is designed to introduce the second year student radiographer to imaging modalities such as MRI, CT, Mammography, Interventional Radiology, Cardiac Imaging, Radiation Therapy, Ultrasonography, and Nuclear Medicine. This course also provides instruction and radiographic lab sessions for practice and demonstrations of a variety of orthopedic views and pediatric imaging. 

Radiographic Pathology 

Credit 3 
This course is an introduction to the concepts of pathology and disease of the various systems within the human body as it relates to radiographic procedures. This course also includes an independent study component that involves research, composition, and presentation of a specific disease process identified through radiographic diagnostic procedures. Additionally, a reading room rotation with a radiologist is included for clinical correlation. 

Radiography Clinical Internship II 

Credit 3 
Radiography Clinical Internship II includes approximately 360 clinical hours. The student will continue to rotate through the Emergency Department, the main diagnostic area which includes general radiography and fluoroscopy, the on-site outpatient and orthopedic clinics and have exposure to CT and MRI, Interventional Radiology, Cardiac Vascular Interventional, Radiation Therapy, Ultrasound and Nuclear Medicine. At the conclusion of this clinical semester, the student radiographer must have completed a minimum of 75 clinical competencies. 

Cross-Sectional Anatomy 

Credit 3 
This course is designed to provide basic principles that are related to Computed Tomography (CT) imaging. The student will receive an overview of the basic CT terminology, imaging system components and acquisition, and radiation protection methods that are used with CT imaging. As it relates to CT and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), the unit will incorporate cross sectional anatomy and physiology, positioning, image analysis and computers.

Spring Session (Semester VI)

This session begins the second week of January and runs through mid-May. Student radiographers are in class on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 am until 3:30 pm and attend clinical rotations Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 7 am until 3 pm Students will be required to complete at least two 2 pm until 10 pm evening rotations. Courses that are provided during the spring session are: 

Radiation Biology 

Credit 2 
This course is intended to give the student a general understanding of ionizing radiation and its interaction with living systems. Principles of cell radiation and factors affecting biological response are presented, including acute and chronic effects of radiation. 

Radiographic Physics II 

Credit 2 
This course is designed to provide the student with information that is available for effective quality management of the darkroom, processing, fluoroscopic and general radiographic equipment and accessories. Knowledge will be gained in the areas of fluoroscopic, digital and mobile equipment requirements and design.

Image Analysis

Credit 3 
This unit will provide the student with the knowledge to evaluate radiographic images for proper positioning, density, contrast, recorded detail and distortion. At the conclusion of this course, the student radiographer will have the ability to identify and recognize acceptable diagnostic quality, and the ability to correct images that are non-diagnostic. Image analysis is also incorporated throughout the radiography curriculum, specifically the radiographic procedure courses which require a thorough understanding of patient positioning.

Pharmacology and Venipuncture 

Credit 2 
Content is designed to provide the basic concepts of pharmacology. The theory and practice of basic venipuncture techniques and the administration of diagnostic contrast agents and/or medications is included. At the conclusion of the course, the student will be required to perform a successful venipuncture.

Radiography Clinical Internship III 

Credit 4 
Radiography Clinical Internship III takes place from January through April. The student will continue to rotate through the surgical suites, orthopedic and outpatient clinics, complete the modality rotations, and fulfill the P.M. shift requirements. At the conclusion of this clinical internship, the student will be required to have completed a total of 90 clinical competencies.

Professional Development in Radiography 

Credit 2 
This course is designed to promote professional development and habits that will inspire lifelong learning for the student radiographer. The course encourages independence and requires motivational qualities in a student radiographer in order to meet the objectives of the course. 

This course also provides a general review of the curriculum presented over the prior 24-month period. It is presented as a preparation and study course for the national registry examination administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technology (ARRT). St. Catherine examinations are provided on a monthly basis as a guideline for areas of review. This course also provides a resume writing component and lecture offered through the Human Resource Department.

Radiography Clinical Internship IV

Credit 1 
This concludes the student’s clinical rotations and offers 120 hours of additional clinical practice during the month of May through mid-June. The student radiographer is offered an opportunity to rotate through any area of interest in an attempt to familiarize him/her with either another imaging modality, or to complete the 100 clinical competencies required for graduation. 

The School of Radiologic Technology operates Monday through Friday and does not exceed 40 hours/week. Depending on the clinical assignment, the hours begin no earlier than 6 am and end no later than 3:30 pm. During the second year of education, the clinical assignments include six (6) weeks on an evening shift beginning at 2 pm and concluding at 10 pm. 

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