Year 13 BTEC trip to Northwick Park Hospital

Year 13 BTEC Applied Science students went to Northwick Park hospital to see the equipment used for all the different types of scans.

This was really interesting and helpful for our assignment because we got an insight into how the equipment works and a real life point of view of how well they work and how much they cost.

This trip helped us with our assignment because we had a thorough understanding of what the different types of machine do and what they are used for.

I really enjoyed this trip and I am very grateful that I got the opportunity to go to Northwick Park hospital and get a private tour of the different wards.

Nafisa khan 13 Green


The BTEC students from left to right: Nazar Feshchyn, Kayan Lad, Mohammad Ali, Nafisa Khan, Darshana Yogarajah, Caisha Hussein

Northwick Park Hospital (NPH) (part of the London North West Healthcare NHS Trust) is a hospital in Greater London, England. It is located in the northwest corner of the London Borough of Brent, near the boundary with the London Borough of Harrow.

At this hospital, the following sub speciality imaging services are offered:

Gastrointestinal imaging (including new techniques such as CT Colonography (CTC), CT/MRI of small bowel and also imaging of complex inflammatory bowel disease/cancer)

Breast imaging (including MRI and vacuum assisted excision biopsy techniques)

Chest imaging (including high resolution scans of the lungs and cancer staging and biopsy)

Gynaecology and obstetrics (nuchal scanning)

Musculoskeletal (including image guided therapeutic injections)

ENT (specialist maxillo-facial imaging)

Vascular and interventional procedures (includes diagnostic angiograms, EVAR, angioplasty and stenting)

Urology (includes Urology intervention & prostate biopsies)


All the students are involved in the Applied Science BTEC National level 3 course

The aim of this unit is to enable learners to develop, through a practical vocational skills approach, an understanding of the important fundamental physics concepts behind medical physics techniques such as x-rays, ultrasound, diagnostic imaging and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and radiotherapy. Learners also understand the importance of radiation safety.

Diagnostic medicine has come a long way since the time when the best diagnosis occurred during the post-mortem examination. Surgery today is faster, less invasive and more effective than ever – thanks in part to improvements in medical imaging technology. Imaging gives the doctor a clearer understanding of the patient’s condition so treatment can be planned more effectively and therapy delivered more precisely.

Nuclear medicine is providing hope for the cure of the most serious diseases, especially cancer. Radioactive materials are used in this rapidly developing branch of medicine. At the cutting edge of developments in nuclear medicine is the precise targeting needed to get the radiation to the exact site of the cancer.

Future prospects are even more exciting. Medical imaging is extending human vision into the very nature of disease; at the cellular level it will permit diagnosis before symptoms even appear. Surgery in the future will be bloodless, painless and non-invasive. It will be powered by medical imaging systems that focus on the disease and use energy to destroy the target but preserve healthy tissue. Researchers are testing the use of high intensity ultrasound to destroy tumours identified and targeted while the patient lies in an MRI scanner.

This unit introduces learners to some of the established practices in medical physics imaging. It aims to deliver the underpinning knowledge of several of the fundamental techniques and provide a basic introduction to the more complicated theory of magnetic resonance imaging.

Learning outcomes

1 Know atomic structure and the physical principles of ionising radiation and ultrasound

2 Understand how radiopharmaceuticals are used in diagnostic imaging

3 Know the basic principles of magnetic resonance imaging

4 Understand the importance of radiation safety to the treatment of malignant disease with radiotherapy.

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