The Revision Guide for Student Nurses (Part I)


Radiography = The production of diagnostic films by exposure to x-rays.

Radiology = The science of radiation.

Radiography is an extremely useful aid in the diagnosis of many diseases and conditions commonly seen in small animal practice. It is a procedure in which veterinary nurses are required to perform an active role, from positioning the patient to developing the exposed films. Radiation is a significant risk, and emphasis is placed upon the health and safety aspects of this subject.

As with all procedures, a veterinary nurse should receive adequate training prior to undertaking any radiographic task. The practice must clearly display the local rules and written systems of work relevant to the controlled area and the dark room. In addition, a copy of the Guidance Notes for the Protection of Persons against Ionising Radiations arising from Veterinary Use should be available for all personnel to read.

Learning Objectives
The learning objectives of this chapter are:

  1. To understand how a radiographic image is produced.
  2. To gain a thorough working knowledge of the equipment used in radiography.
  3. To be able to correctly position a patient for radiography and to select the correct settings, collimation and centring points for various parts of the anatomy.
  4. To understand the techniques of both manual and automatic developing and identify film faults.
  5. To gain a good understanding of the principles of contrast radiography.
  6. To fully understand the health and safety issues affecting personnel involved in veterinary radiography