My last rotation during my fourth-year clinicals was radiology where I spent two weeks helping with taking radiographs, doing CT scans and MRIs, and performing nuclear scintigraphy. This was hardly my first exposure to radiographs as I have shadowed at many veterinary practices over the years taking radiographs on both large and small animal species. The goal was always the same: make a picture that was useful and go from there.
The experience I had at OSU during my rotation was very different. I learned how to make a great image and what the landmarks were. I learned what structures should be included in any given shot and how posititioning should be done. Sometimes it seemed tedious and frustrating taking shot after shot to get the positioning just perfect, but I learned it makes high-quality images. I didn’t realize how much I’d learned until I was at an off-site veterinary clinic taking an image of a mass on a dog, and we took a shot of the thorax and cut off the bottom part of the lungs. The mass, which was along the top of the back, was clearly in the picture and it was what the technicians were focused on, but I saw that we were missing part of what should be in a chest radiograph. In my rotation, I’d learned to be particular about taking radiographs and what the standards should be. It bugged me that the shots weren’t perfect, which confirmed that some of what my teachers spent time teaching me had stuck!