Radiology bought to life for SGHS learners

Springs Girls' High School learner Mikayla Francis (16) with an X-ray which was used as an example on World Radiology Day which was celebrated at Far East Rand Hospital on Wednesday.

Twelve learners from Springs Girls’ High School (SGHS) celebrated World Radiology Day at the Far East Rand Hospital (FERH) on Wednesday.

“It was the first event of its kind held at the hospital, and we plan on making it an annual event and will invite more schools next year,” says FERH spokesperson Hendrik Buda.

The day marks the anniversary of the discovery of X-radiation by German Wilhelm Konrad Röntgen in 1895.

Röntgen was a mechanical engineer and physicist who, on this day, produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range known as X-rays.

Radiographers use the day to promote radiography as a vital contribution to modern healthcare and a worthwhile career, while increasing public awareness of diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy.

“This day highlights the essential role radiologists play, increasing the quality of care and treatment of patients,” says Khulekani Manqele, assistant director for radiology at FERH.

Manqele underlined the significance of radiology for the Grade 11 learners from SGHS, using radiological cases to teach them about making correct diagnoses and decisions.

He explained to the 12 learners that radiology can be divided into two different career options, namely clinical and industrial radiology.

The clinical option involves the use of images by doctors to diagnose, treat and manage medical conditions and diseases.

The industrial career option is a method of non-destructive testing and research in which various types of manufactured components are examined to verify their internal structure.

FERH medical officer Dr Tsholofelo Bendile and her colleagues explained to the group of learners how X-rays are produced and what their relevance is for human development.

“We also explained the difference between a radiologist and a radiographer,” says Kea Lesese, a radiographer.

A radiographer takes images of the insides of patients’ bodies in order to diagnose injury or disease.

They also care for and treat people with cancer, whereas a radiologist is a medical doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating disease and injury through the use of medical imaging techniques such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, nuclear medicine, fusion imaging and ultrasound.

“A few of the learners were interested in radiology as a career choice after the lectures, which is good,” says Lesese.

According to SGHS life science teacher, Janine Breedt, the students enjoyed themselves.

“It was hands-on information given by all the radiographers and radiologists,” she says.

Mekayla Francis (16) agrees with Breedt and says the information was spot on and that they “have learned a lot”.

“I always thought radiology was just about taking X-rays, but the friendly radiographers proved me wrong,” says Shayleze Kisten (17).

She believes radiology is a good career choice as she is not a person who likes blood.

Each learner received an attendance certificate which is a university requirement when the learners choose to study radiology.

Anna Robertson

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