Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


CODE MPH1002

 
TITLE Fundamentals of Medical Physics and Radiation Protection and Safety Culture

 
LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course

 
ECTS CREDITS 4

 
DEPARTMENT Medical Physics

 
DESCRIPTION The study-unit lays the foundations for professional Medical Physics and Radiation Protection practice and safety culture. It includes the fundamentals of the scientific, legal and professional knowledge necessary to ensure that students know where they are heading. It also includes medical physics skills such as basic medical image handling and processing, DICOM data extraction, basic use of patient/occupational/public/environmental dosimetric instrumentation and image quality related tools. The unit follows the recommendations regarding core expertise to be found in the EC documents 'European Guidelines on the Medical Physics Expert' and 'Requirements and methodology for recognition of Radiation Protection Experts'.

The discussions during the unit will help students to integrate the different subject areas which make up the multi-disciplinary professions of Medical Physics and Radiation Protection. Emphasis will be made on the importance of creating a safety culture.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit aims to:
- Help students gain a good grasp of the fundamental principles underpinning professional Medical Physics and Radiation Protection practice and safety culture;
- Introduce students to the concepts of quality healthcare, risk and cost-effectiveness as used in Medical Physics and Radiation Protection together with associated ethical and legal issues;
- Present the basic physical properties of ionizing and non-ionising radiations and other physical agents;
- Provide an overview of medical devices and medical terminology relevant to the various specialties of Medical Physics;
- Help students appreciate the importance of European and national legal frameworks, regulations, guidelines and codes-of-practice impacting the roles of Medical Physics and Radiation Protection professionals and the roles of other professions with whom they interact;
- Provide opportunities for the acquisition of basic medical physics skills such as medical image handling and processing, DICOM data extraction, basic use of patient/occupational/public/environmental dosimetric instrumentation and medical device performance related tools.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Explain the functions of healthcare organizations, the way healthcare is organized and principles of clinical governance;
- Explain the role of Medical Physics Services in healthcare and Radiation Protection Services in healthcare, industry and environmental protection;
- Explain and discuss the concepts of quality, risk, safety culture and cost-effectiveness as applied to healthcare;
- Explain and discuss the ethical and legal issues in healthcare relevant to the scope of the medical physics and radiation protection (e.g., patient autonomy and dignity, justice, beneficence, non-maleficence, justification, optimization, risk limitation, data protection, privacy, dignity, worker/public safety);
- Explain at a basic level the sources, properties, detection, interaction with matter and control of the different man-made and naturally occurring ionising and non-ionising radiations;
- Describe the properties of the ionizing and non-ionising radiations and other physical agents found in the healthcare environment;
- Survey the common medical devices used in the various specialties of medical physics practice and use physics concepts, principles and theories to explain, their basic structure, functioning, characteristics, strengths and limitations;
- Explain at a basic level the principles, common applications, basic quality control, optimization, target image quality outcomes, performance indicators, contra-indications and radiation protection of the common medical imaging modalities;
- Explain the possible adverse biological effects to patients, workers / public from ionizing and non-ionizing radiations including the basic factors impacting the magnitude of the biological effect;
- Explain deterministic/stochastic, early/late and teratogenic/genetic effects and their control using optimization and limitation (ALARA, DRLs, dose limits, dose constraints, OARs etc);
- Define and explain the basic dosimetric quantities used to assess beneficial or adverse biological effects or monitor ionizing and non-ionizing radiations and explain the method used for their measurement /calculation;
- Explain in quantitative terms the various means of occupational / public safety dose reduction from external radiation (source strengths, exposure times, distance, shielding) and internal radionuclides and apply to medical imaging;
- Explain the scope, objectives, structure and content of formal systems of work (‘local rules’);
- Define and explain the principles of quality, quality assurance, quality control, performance indicators, constancy testing, quality control tests, test frequency, tolerances, and action criteria with respect to medical devices;
- Explain at a basic level trauma, development of diseases, diagnosis, and treatment relevant to the various specialties of medical physics practice, including primary healthcare and screening programmes; and
- Explain at a basic level the European and national legal frameworks, regulations, guidelines and codes-of-practice impacting the roles of medical physics and radiation protection services and the roles of other professions with whom medical physics and radiation protection professionals interact.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Employ ImageJ and other DICOM compatible software to the manipulation of medical imaging;
- Examine DICOM data from medical image files;
- Recognize for each imaging modality, normal anatomy as well as pathology in images to a level necessary for basic medical physics purposes;
- Assess qualitatively patient risks for a given imaging procedure;
- Assess qualitatively occupational risk from ionizing and non-ionising radiations and other physical agents and protect oneself accordingly;
- Employ medical terminology to communicate with other healthcare professionals.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main

- Brown, B. H., Smallwood, R. H. et al. (1998). Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering. IoP Publishing.
- Jacobson, B., & Murray, A. (2007). Medical Devices: Use an Safety. Churchill Livingston.
- Martin, A., Harbison, S., Beach, K. & Cole, P. (2018). An Introduction to Radiation Protection. CRC.
- Emerald-Emit Project. (2003). Project website: http://emerald2.eu/cd/Emerald2/

Supplementary

- Knoll, G. F. (2010). Radiation Detection and Measurement. Wiley.
- Del Guerra, A. (2004). Ionizing Radiation Detectors for Medical Imaging. World Scientific.
- Herman, I. P. (2016). Physics of the Human Body. Springer.
- Glaser, R. (2012). Biophysics: An introduction. Springer.
- Marieb, E. N. & Keller, S. M. (2018). Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology. Pearson.
- Tortora, G. J. & Derrickson, B. H. (2015). Introduction to the Human Body. Wiley.
- Armstrong, P., Wastie, M. L. & Rockall, A. G. (2009). Diagnostic Imaging. Wiley- Blackwell.

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study & Practicum

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

 
LECTURER/S Carmel J. Caruana

 
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

https://www.um.edu.mt/course/studyunit