Excursion KABEG Klinikum Klagenfurt: Medical Imaging in Clinical Practice

Last week, we visited with our 4th-semester bachelor students the KABEG Klinikum Klagenfurt am Wörthersee. They were able to take a look at different medical imaging devices they had learned about this semester. After a briefing on the tasks of KABEG’s Medical Technology Department, our guide DI Carmen Hafner led us through the Department of Nuclear Medicine, the Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and the Department of Radiotherapy.

Christina Lobnig, Radiologic Technologist at the Department of Nuclear Medicine, showed their latest SPECT scanner and PET/CT scanners for nuclear imaging. We learned about their applications, different types of radionuclides, and why the combination of PET and CT imaging is so important.

Furthermore, we were able to visit the “Heißen Raum” (“hot lab”) room, where the radioactive tracers are prepared, and tried to lift the heavy lead container that is used to shield the radioactivity of the substances. Lastly, we visited the decay system which collects radioactive wastewater from the toilets and showers of patients undergoing examination or treatment with radionuclides until the radioactivity has decayed sufficiently.

Afterwards, we headed to the Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and saw how MRI and CT images are acquired. The radiologic technologists answered all of our questions and gave us insights into their daily routines.

At the end of our tour, Christian Kuster, the technician at the Department of Radiotherapy, gave us a spectacular tour around the linear accelerator with an integrated CT scanner. We got to know that the linear accelerator, also called LINAC, requires millimetre-precise positioning of the patient and this 7-ton machine, as well as regular and detailed maintenance and quality assurance assessments. We were fortunate that just as we were visiting, maintenance of the machine was taking place and we could see this impressive device being dismantled. 

And what do our students say about this excursion?
I found the excursion very exciting and well structured. It was very interesting to see the [medical imaging] devices, that we talked about in class, in action and in daily operation and to get a picture of it for ourselves. The RTAs and technicians at KABEG were very keen to explain everything to us in detail so that we could understand what was happening at the moment and how the devices were being used.
The linear accelerator in the radiotherapy department was particularly interesting because it was explained to us in great detail and we were also able to see how it looks and is constructed from the inside. In general, I would see the excursion as a highly interesting and exciting part of the course. Seeing the equipment that is taught about in theory in practice gives the whole thing more reality and practical relevance. Thank you for that!

We want to thank our guide DI Carmen Hafner from the medical technology division and the people on-site that made this excursion unforgettable.

MedTech @ FH Kärnten Team