Thursday, 18 June 2015

Managing Placement Assessments, and CT in (Dino)Nutshell!

How I feel handling all my different placements and assessments...

Stardate: 93066.03

I apologise, as this post is a few (ahem... five) days late. This is once again because of part-time work, and placement in a different hospital due to the department I'm in this week (more on that in my next post!)

As I'm now in my "Summer stretch" of placement blocks, second year clinical assessments are now creeping up on me, rather ominously too, as they're not easy to pick appropriate patients for! And as you have so little time in each department, due to rotations, every moment there is precious. No-one ever said second year was easy... Including me!

So far, I've passed my CT head and Extradepartmental Chest X-ray (Mobile/Portabe) assessments; so only three more to go! To celebrate passing my CT assessment, I decided to dedicate this post (briefly) on CT, and also went to see 'Jurassic World'... my inner child was incredibly happy (so was the grown-up, because Chris Pratt; 'nuff said.) It's amazing, I highly advise everyone to see it.

So, about CT, or Computed Tomography! Most people have heard of, or at least have had, a CT (or CAT) scan. For Leeds university students, CT is a department we visit, to further our understanding of extradepartmental modalities, that involve medical imaging. CT scans, use a 360-degree x-ray beam to create a 3D image, using a number of imaged slices taken from a large series of two-dimensional images, to visualise the internal structures of the body, without having to cut open the patient! CT has plenty of applications, including the detection of abnormalities, as well as diseases, such as cancer, inflammation and trauma etc.

There are a multitude of advantages to CT over the usual 2D medical radiography. It doesn't have the issue of superimposition (organs/tissues lying over each other), allowing structures to be assessed, and allowing the area of interest to be studied in detail. CT also has a high-contrast resolution, meaning that tissues with even the slighest difference in density can be distinguished from one another. Finally, CT images can be viewed in various ways, or "planes", allowing any exisiting pathology's position to be pin-pointed.

Non-medical uses of CT include discovering flaws in industrial parts before they are used, and to identify the existence of any oil, water or gas etc. in structures.

I find CT an interesting department to look into once I've qualified, as they're used quite often in forensic radiography for virtual autopsies, which I'm thinking of writing about for my final-year dissertation. Being able to see all the internal anatomy without it being superimposed onto itself is great, as it makes spotting abnormalities that little bit easier... but not by much for the inexperienced!

And that is basically CT in its barest form! This week I've been in the Mammography department, so I'll have a more in-depth post coming up regarding the Breast Screening process, and a little on the modified equipment.

Final Note: GO AND SEE 'JURASSIC WORLD'. Think I made that clear enough...

LLAP Guys!

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