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Estimated Completion Time

18 Weeks


Our bodies are complex, and when we start feeling ill, a doctor or specialist must analyze and diagnose what could be wrong. Learn about different diagnostic technology, procedures, essential body systems, and fluids that need to be understood to make an accurate diagnosis of a disease, condition, or illness. This career field is flourishing, and now is the time to be part of it!

During this course, you will learn career-related skills and earn a badge for this accomplishment. A badge is a digital certification of your career-related learning that you can share on social media or with higher education platforms, colleges, potential employers, peers, and colleagues. Select this link to learn more about badges.

Major Topics and Concepts

Unit 1:

  • Describe the parts of the X-ray tube
  • Explain how X-rays are produced, their properties, and how they interact with the body
  • Identify factors that influence image quality
  • Investigate the role of digital radiography in PACS and telemedicine
  • Differentiate between screen film, computed, and direct radiography systems

Unit 2:

  • Describe the parts of the respiratory and cardiopulmonary systems and their functions
  • Use the medical terminology of the cardiopulmonary system to define words related to this system
  • Identify methods of assessing respiratory patients, including normal and abnormal results
  • Describe the tools and tests used to evaluate and diagnose lung conditions and diseases
  • Explain the difference between restrictive and obstructive lung disease, and give examples of each type

Unit 3:

  • Describe the structure and function of the parts of the cardiovascular system
  • Discuss circulatory pathways and the electrical conduction pathway of the heart
  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of cardiopulmonary compromise and identify the appropriate response
  • Name tests and procedures used to diagnose and treat cardiovascular conditions
  • Explain careers, including educational requirements, certification, and licensure, involving the cardiovascular system

Unit 4:

  • Explain how the heart’s electrical conduction pathway corresponds to the waveform produced on an electrocardiogram
  • Identify how to set up for an electrocardiogram, including electrode placement, infection control measures, maintenance of equipment, and troubleshooting
  • Describe the types of tests that use electrocardiograms
  • Analyze ways to adapt to changes in patient conditions in relation to the performance and interpretation of an electrocardiogram
  • Differentiate between normal rhythms and arrhythmias as well as respond appropriately to life-threatening arrhythmias

Unit 5:

  • Identify the structures and functions of tissues, membranes, and glands
  • Describe the tools and tests used to diagnose conditions related to tissues, membranes, and glands
  • Discuss the structures and functions of the reproductive system and tests used to diagnose related conditions
  • Explain other special tests used to diagnose patient conditions such as sleep disorders, allergies, and psychological concerns

Unit 6:

  • Identify and explain the functions of muscular system structures
  • Discuss conditions related to the muscular system and some tests used to diagnose them
  • Name and provide details on the functions of endocrine system structures
  • Describe conditions related to the endocrine system and some tests used to diagnose them

Unit 7:

  • Identify and describe the structures and functions of the parts of the gastrointestinal system
  • Describe conditions of the gastrointestinal system
  • Describe types of contrast media and the potential complications of using each type
  • Explain multiple procedures that use contrast media to aid in diagnosis
  • Recognize additional steps needed in the patient care process when using contrast media

Unit 8:

  • Provide brief histories of radiology, medical laboratory, EKG, and pulmonary function testing
  • Discuss how electronic health records and patient portals impact healthcare systems
  • Explain how telemedicine is changing the care process as it relates to medical diagnostic technology
  • Consider the use of robotics in healthcare, including barriers to implementation and potential benefits
  • Describe the effect technology has on epidemiology and managed care

Credits .5


  • X-Ray Diagnostics
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of x-ray diagnostics by describing the equipment and its operation, explaining how the x-ray interacts with the body and creates an image, identifying ways to improve image quality, and explaining the options available for the viewing and storage of digital images.
  • Structure, Function and Monitoring of the Heart and Lungs
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of diagnostic procedures associated with the heart and lungs by describing the structure and function of the respiratory, cardiopulmonary, and cardiovascular systems, identifying tests and diagnostic tools used to evaluate and treat heart or lung conditions, and explaining the function, procedures and differentiating factors of an electrocardiogram.
  • Specialized Tests and Tissue Imaging
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of specialized testing procedures and imaging techniques associated with tissues, membranes and glands by describing the structure and function of the glands associated with endocrine system, differentiating between the various types of tissues and their associated structure and function, and identifying tests and diagnostic tools used to treat associated conditions.
  • Contrast Studies
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of contrast studies by describing the structure and function of the gastrointestinal system and associated digestive conditions associated, explaining the types of contrasts and the tests in which they might be used, and evaluating patient care both during the testing and pre- and post-procedure.
  • Future Diagnostic Technology
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the future of diagnostic technology by summarizing the history of diagnostic evaluations, describing the progression of the transmission of patient information, patient interaction and managed care facilitated by healthcare organizations, and evaluating the impact of robotics in diagnostic evaluations.



Attend a virtual open house

We offer regular online open house webinars where VLACS staff members provide parents and students with an overview of our programs and answer questions about online learning.