Course Title: Apply the principles of radiation biology and protection in dental practice

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2017

Course Code: DENT5858C

Course Title: Apply the principles of radiation biology and protection in dental practice

School: 174T School of VE Engineering, Health & Science

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4385 - Certificate IV in Dental Assisting

Course Contact: Ms. Sandra Torbica

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9341 1408

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 120

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Not applicable

Course Description

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to minimise the risk of radiation to the patient, the operator and others during the exposure of a prescribed dental radiographic image. It also describes the quality assurance measures necessary to ensure all radiographs are of consistent diagnostic standard.

This unit applies to dental assisting work.

The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand Standards and industry codes of practice.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

HLTDEN007 Apply the principles of radiation biology and protection in dental practice


1. Apply the principles of radiation biology to protect patient, operator and others from ionising radiation

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Implement safe work practices to minimise risks to operator, patient and
others of immediate and long-term effects of radiation
1.2 Identify correctly the main components of the X-ray unit to assist the
operator taking a dental radiograph
1.3 Identify correctly and select the exposure variables of dental X-ray
generating equipment according to manufacturers’ instructions and patient requirements
1.4 Apply the correct units of radiation dose


2. Determine image characteristics of a dental radiographic image to minimise the necessity for re-takes

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Ensure visual qualities of the radiograph are of a diagnostic standard
2.2 Ensure geometric qualities of the radiograph are of a diagnostic standard


3. Minimise radiation by maintaining quality in processing

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Identify the contents of the film package and determine the use of each
3.2 Maintain quality assurance for processing dental radiographic images
3.3 Follow quality assurance processes for the use of radiographic chemicals
in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions
3.4 Maintain appropriate conditions for manual and automatic processing in
accordance with manufacturers’ specifications
3.5 Identify a range of processing errors and implement corrective measures
to produce a diagnostic radiograph

Learning Outcomes

Refer to elements

Details of Learning Activities

A combination of learning activities have been designed to help students to achieve learning outcomes of this unit:

  • Facilitator led classroom based lecture and or workshop using PowerPoint Presentations
  • Written classroom tasks
  • Demonstration and classroom discussion
  • Facilitator led practical clinical demonstration
  • Group discussions
  • Participation in group activities based on simulated workplace exercises
  • Clinical practice/completion of practical critique sheets
  • Online learning resources accessed via myRMIT Studies (BlackBoard) including online tests or quizzes
  • Self managed research to support completion of assessments 

Teaching Schedule

The classes will be delivered on level 3 or 2 of Building 154, RMIT (within the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne). Notification will be provided via student email if the date or location change.

The following schedule is as per the timetable issued to students via email prior to their commencement, as well as on Day 1 during student induction into the program. The timetable is also provided on BlackBoard for student reference. (Please Note: timetable is subject to change at the discretion of RMIT. In this event notification will be provided to your student email).

The following schedule is as per the Certificate IV in Dental Assisting timetable:

Session 1 (Monday 27 February 2017)

  • Introduction into Radiography (Lecture/Workshop)
  • Digital Radiation (Lecture/Wprkshop/Group Activity)

Session 2 (Monday 20 March 2017)

  • Safety and Radiation Hygiene (Lecture/Workshop)
  • Legal and Ethical (Lecture/Workshop)

Session 3 (Tuesday 21 March 2017)

  • Intraoral and Extraoral Dental Anatomy (Lecture/Workshop)

Session 4 (Monday 10 April 2017)

  • Supporting the Dental Operator (Lecture/Workshop)
  • Patient Management (Lecture/Workshop)

Session 5 (Tuesday 11 April)

  • Dental Anatomy assessment (formative compulsory assessment)
  • Oral Pathology (Lecture/Workshop)

Session 6 (Monday to Thursday - week commencing Group A: 1 May 2017, Group B: 8 May 2017, Group C: 15 May 2017, Group D:  22 May 2017)

  • Inra-oral Radiographs Simulated Clinic (Bisecting, Paralleling and Bitewing Techniques)
  • Simulated Intra-oral practical Assessment

Session 7 (Monday 19 June 2017)

  • Extra oral Radiography (Lecture/Workshop)

Session 8 (Single day attendance, Group A: Tuesday 20 June, Group B: Wednesday 21 June, Group C: Thursday 22 June, Group D: Friday 23 June)

  • Extra oral practical sessions

Session 9 (Monday 24 July)

  • Case presentation (formative compulsory assessment)
  • Pitfalls Assessment (formative compulsory assessment)

Session 10 (Monday 25 September)

  • Written Exam

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Students will be expected to utilise a range of recent and appropriate library, electronic, text and other resources. Students will be provided with resources and tools for learning in this course through myRMIT Studies (BlackBoard).

  • Evolve Website:   This website has been set up by the publisher of the textbook, Modern Dental Assisting and offers free student learning resources and is and highly recommended.
  • Dental Radiography, Principles and Techniques, M Iannucci & LJ Howerton
  • RMIT Studies (Blackboard) for RMIT Online resources.
  • RMIT Library for textbooks and other resources.
  • RMIT Library (Dental Guides):  
  • Workplace Procedure Manuals and Workplace checklists.

Overview of Assessment

Before the critical aspects of evidence are considered all prerequisites must be met.

  • applied safe work practices during preparation of 3 patients for dental radiographic imaging procedures.
  • demonstrated quality assurance to the production of 3 radiographs to consistent diagnostic standard, and applied techniques to minimise technical inaccuracies and errors.



Assessment: Task 1

Simulated Intra-Oral Practical Assessment

Assessment: Task 2

Written Exam

Assessment: Task 3

Workplace Assessment


Assessment Mapping Matrix


Elements/Performance Criteria Covered


Ass 2

Ass 3














































To be deemed competent you must demonstrate an understanding of all aspects required of the competency. Assessment methods have been designed to measure your achievement of each competency in a flexible manner over multiple tasks.

Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course, students will need to complete all the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. 


1. Simulated practical assessment (Intra Oral)

This assessment will be conducted on Thursday of the same week when students are attending their Inta oral clinical practice sessions (as per the group allocation). 

This is a simulated assessment in the Level 3 Sim Lab involving all 3 techniques- Bisecting, Paralleling and Bitewing technique. Only after successful completion of this assessment students will be permitted to take radiographs on real patients under direct supervision of their workplace mentors.

Assessment criteria and further information will be discussed with students during their attendance to lectures, as well as practical session. 

To undertake a practical clinical assessment (simulation), students MUST present for the assessment process as follows:

  • Appropriate clinical attire (no shorts, jeans or tracksuit pants, no bare midriff, no singlet tops).
  • Footwear fully covered in leather/vinyl (not suede) clinical footwear.
  • Hair is to be contained by tying back or in appropriate hair cover.
  • Fingernails must be short and clean and no nail varnish to be worn. No artificial fingernails are to be worn.
  • The wearing of henna is acceptable.
  • No jewellery to be worn on the hands or wrists. Wedding rings or jewellery that cannot be removed for cultural reasons must be taped with an appropriate waterproof tape .
  • All cuts/ skin abrasions on the hands or wrists must be covered with a waterproof dressing

A student that is non-compliant with any of the above requirements will not be permitted to undertake practical exercise or assessment at the scheduled time which will result in assessment being rescheduled. Workplace supervisor will be informed of this via email or phone call. 

Student will attempt the practical assessments under supervision of the assessor and they will be graded with either a S (Satisfactory) or NYS (Not Yet Satisfactory) according to the assessment guidelines and criteria outlined in assessment document. In order to achieve a Satisfactory result, student must successfully complete all listed requirements of assessment criteria 

Students will receive verbal feedback on this assessment.


2. Written Exam

This is conducted on 25 September 2017. The written test will be conducted under supervision at RMIT under exam conditions. 

In order to achieve a Satisfactory result, student must score 60% of the overall mark.

Feedback to students will be provided via Grade Centre on Blackboard. 


3. Workplace Assessment

This is conducted after student last day of attendance and prior to their enrolment end date. Detailed information on assessment criteria will be explained to students during their class attendance. Allocated assessor will contact the student for discussion and scheduling of the suitable time for this assessment. Student knowledge and skills will be observed in the workplace according to assessment criteria provided in assessment document.

Students will attempt the workplace assessments under supervision of the assessor and they will be graded with either a S (Satisfactory) or NYS (Not Yet Satisfactory) according to the assessment guidelines and criteria outlined in assessment task.

In order to achieve a Satisfactory result, student must successfully complete all listed requirements of assessment criteria. 

Students will receive verbal feedback on this assessment.



Formative compulsory assessment for this unit:

Dental Anatomy Exam - this is an open book assessment scheduled on 11 April 2017. This assessment will assist students in understanding and interpreting geometric qualities of the radiographs. 

In order to achieve a Satisfactory result, student must score 60% of the overall mark.

Feedback to students will be provided via Grade Centre on Blackboard and will also be discussed verbally if required.

Please note: an outcome of this assessment will not affect student final result for this unit.




Assessment Matrix


Other Information

Please refer to the RMIT Student Page for extensive information about study support, assessments, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:


RMIT provides all students with an extension range of online and campus based study support services ranging from:



RMIT University requires that you present only YOUR work for assessment.

Plagiarism is a form of cheating. It is the presentation of the work or idea of another person. Plagiarism is NOT acceptable. Penalties can include charges of academic misconduct, cancellation of results and exclusion from your course. Please note: It is also a disciplinary offence to allow your work to be plagiarised by another student. When signing the coversheet (electronic or paper based), you are declaring that the work is not plagiarised.


Special Consideration

Please note: Students may apply for Special Consideration as per the information via the RMIT website  if they believe that to complete assessment for this unit by the submission date has been affected by factors beyond their control. Special consideration must be lodged prior to or within 48 hours of the scheduled assessment time or assessment submission date. The application for Special Consideration is NOT granted automatically on application.


RMIT Assessment Appeal Process

Students may appeal against their assessment result as per the information via the RMIT website. The Appeals Against Assessment policy and procedure applies to all coursework programs in all careers. The appeal process is staged and students are required to follow each stage in order to ensure their full entitlement to appeal, this is available on;ID=nwjxaifdrgle (unresolved) 


Attendance   It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensure the maximum opportunity to gain competency.      Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer   If you think you have some or all of the knowledge and competencies described, please discuss the Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer options that may be available to you with the Program Coordinator. For more information go to:

Course Overview: Access Course Overview