University Of Johannesburg Radiography, the Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences (formerly Radiography) offers a Professional Bachelor’s Degree in the following disciplines: Diagnostic Radiography, Diagnostic Ultrasound, Radiation Therapy and Nuclear Medicine Technology. Below is a summary of each discipline.
Radiation therapy is a common form of cancer treatment which uses high energy radiation such as x-rays, gamma rays, electrons, protons or neutrons to destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be used alone or in combination with other modalities such as surgery or chemotherapy. The purpose of radiation therapy is to kill cancer cells while causing minimal damage to normal healthy tissue. Radiation therapy takes advantage of advances in computer technology combined with diagnostic medical imaging to deliver a curative radiation dose to a tumour without harming critical structures and limiting treatment related side effects. New developments in radiation therapy such as intensity modulated radiation therapy, volumetric arc therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, brachytherapy and other specialised techniques are assisting in this aim. Radiation therapy also plays a valuable role in the palliative care of patients by reducing pain and generally improving the quality of life of terminally ill cancer patients.
Effective patient care and treatment of cancer patients is determined by the close cooperation of a multidisciplinary oncology team. The radiation therapist sees the patient every day for a period of 6-8 weeks and is responsible for the education of the patient, the localization of the tumour, planning the radiotherapy treatment, delivering the treatment and monitoring the side effects of treatment. The radiation therapist works closely with the oncologist, a medical physicist and oncology nurses to ensure that the best care is given to the patient. The radiation therapist needs to be a person who is caring, empathetic, motivated, enjoys taking responsibility and can work well as a member of a team.
Nuclear medicine is a medical imaging specialty involving the use of small amounts of radioactive substances (radionuclides) in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. For most nuclear medicine imaging studies the radionuclide is injected into the patient where it temporarily collects in the organ under investigation. The patient lies on a table while a gamma camera is positioned above the patient. The gamma camera detects the gamma rays emitted from the radionuclide and uses this information to produce images that show the distribution of the radionuclide within the organ under investigation. Images are stored in the computer and later recorded on film. The examination is called a scintigram or scan.
Positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) are specialized examinations. For the latter, the gamma camera rotates around the patient while in the former, the patient lies on the imaging table which moves across the PET scanner taking images of the organ of interest. A computer then aids in the analysis of images to obtain two and three -dimensional images representing thin slices of internal organs such as the heart, brain, and liver or any other organ of interest.
Nuclear medicine imaging is unique, in that it provides information about both structure and function, based on the cellular function and physiology of the organ, rather than relying on physical changes in the anatomy. In some diseases it can even identify abnormalities at an earlier stage than other diagnostic tests for example stress fractures.
Nuclear medicine technologists schedule examinations, prepare and inject dosages of radionuclides according to set safety procedures, position patients on the imaging table and operate the gamma camera, which creates pictures of the drug as it passes through the patient’s body. Nuclear medicine technologists function under strict radiation control measures and practice good patient management and care.
Diagnostic Ultrasound or sonography, is a procedure which employs high frequency sound waves to produce images of body structures. During an ultrasound examination a small electronic device, called a transducer, is placed on the patient’s skin over the area of interest. The transducer produces sound waves that penetrate the body. When the sound wave strikes a tissue boundary, echoes are produced. The returning echoes are detected by the transducer and then electronically converted into an anatomic image which is displayed on a screen.
Ultrasound imaging is commonly used to monitor the development of the fetus and to detect fetal abnormalities. Ultrasound is also used to demonstrate pathology in internal structures such as the liver, gallbladder, kidneys and heart or superficial structures such as the breast or thyroid gland. Doppler ultrasound is a technique which has been developed to investigate blood flow while musculo-skeletal ultrasound is used in the investigation of sport injuries.
The sonographer is a highly skilled professional who integrates patient history and supporting clinical data with the sonographic examination to obtain diagnostic results. Ultrasound is a quick, non-invasive and inexpensive investigation which is generally believed to be safe since it does not make use of ionizing radiation. It does, however, have a long learning curve to acquire the technical ability to produce good quality images and the expertise to interpretation the images. The quality of the sonographic examination and the final diagnostic report strongly relies on the technical and intellectual skills of the sonographer.
There are four different field of study in radiography, these including the following:
Bachelor of Diagnostic Ultrasound
Bachelor of Nuclear Medicine Technology
Bachelor of Radiation Therapy
Courses and Programmes
For all undergraduate programmes click here
Applicants wanting to apply for programmes in MIRS must also apply for a student position at one of the training centres listed below. A practice hospital visit letter should also be completed and submitted to the department.
Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences Clinic
Based in the Faculty of Health Sciences, the University’s Health Training Centre comprises a number of clinics that are housed in modern facilities, and offer services to the community, as well as staff and students on campus. The clinics offer treatments from registered professionals, whilst providing students with first hand, supervised experience.
The Radiography Clinic offers the following services:
- Non-contrast skeletal, chest and abdominal X-rays
- Abdominal and baseline obstetric ultrasound investigations
X-rays Monday and Thursday 11:00–15:00
Ultrasound In liaison with ultrasonographers, see contact details below.
A HPCSA registered radiographer and radiologist will supervise the investigations.
The X-ray department does not operate under a private practice number and fees can therefore not be claimed back from a medical aid. Our fees however are considerably more favourable than those charged by other service providers. Fees can be paid in cash or by cheque.
Contact Details Doornfontein Campus Health Training Centre
(Ground Floor) Sherwell Street Gate 7 (between Saratoga and Beit Street
Tel: +27 (0) 11 559 6493/ Fax: +27 (0) 11 559 6496
Tel: +27 (0) 11 559 6231 / 6242 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Mr||Sibusiso Mdletshe||HoD: Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences (Radiography)||+27 11 559 6066||6304B, John Orr Building DFC|
|Ms||Mmakoena Mpshane||Departmental Secretary||+27 11 559 6351||6304A, John Orr Building DFC|
John Orr Building
Corner of Siemert and Beit Streets