Course Title: Assist with dental radiography

Part A: Course Overview

Program: C3202 Certificate III in Dental Assisting

Course Title: Assist with dental radiography

Portfolio: SEH Portfolio Office

Nominal Hours: 40

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.

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Face-to-Face or Workplace

Term1 2012,
Term2 2012,
Term1 2013,
Term2 2013

Course Contact: Ms Eleanor Schroeder

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9341 1412

Course Contact Email:

Course Description

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required for a dental assistant to assist the operator by preparing clients, equipment and materials for dental radiography, to protect themselves, the client, other members of the dental team and the public from the hazards associated with ionising radiation and to process and mount dental radiographs to diagnostic and quality assurance standards
All procedures are carried out in accordance with occupational health and safety policies and procedures, current infection control guidelines, Australian and New Zealand Standards, state/territory legislative requirements and organisation policy

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Pre-requisites for this unit include:
• HLTIN301A Comply with infection control policies and procedures in health work
• HLTIN302A Process reusable instruments and equipment in health work
• HLTOHS200A Participate in OHS processes in the health industry
This unit should be assessed in conjunction with the following related competency unit:
• HLTDA303B Prepare for and assist with oral health care procedures

National Competency Codes and Titles

National Element Code & Title:

HLTDA304C Assist with dental radiography


1. Prepare clients for dental radiography
2. Prepare equipment and materials for dental radiography
3. Process and mount dental radiographs
5. Assure the quality of dental radiographic processing
4. Maintain stock of unexposed radiographic film and chemicals

Learning Outcomes

1.1 Position the client comfortably
1.2 Reassure the client and explain the procedure in language that is easily understood
1.3 Ask the client to remove items which may interfere with the radiographic examination and offer appropriate explanation
1.4 Ensure client, other members of the dental team and the public are protected from ionising radiations
1.5 Assist the operator in the implementation of safe work practices to minimise radiation risks to workers and to clients
1.6 Select and prepare the correct radiographic film and film packet holders for the radiographic examination and make it available to the operator
1.7 Label exposed films accurately and legibly before the client leaves the surgery

2.1 Maintain clean and dry working surfaces
2.2 Clean and maintain processing equipment in good working order
2.3 Maintain processing solutions at the correct strength and temperature
2.4 Record the date of preparation of solutions accurately
2.5 Arrange for servicing of equipment at the intervals specified by the manufacturer and Radiation Health
2.6 File equipment service records in a location within the surgery that can be readily accessed

3.1 Protect processing facility/equipment against accidental intrusion of light
3.2 Wear personal protective equipment
3.3 Handle radiographic film packages carefully so that their quality is maintained
3.4 Carry out processing stages in the correct sequence and for appropriate duration in accordance with manufacturer specifications
3.5 Identify common faults caused by incorrect processing and notify the operator
3.6 Rectify processing faults in accordance with operator’s instructions
3.7 Notify the operator of any processing faults which cannot be rectified prior to further radiographs being processed
3.8 Label and date the radiograph mounting accurately and legibly
3.9 Mount and secure radiographs in correct anatomical position for viewing
3.10 File radiographs correctly

4.1 Store films and chemicals separately and in accordance with manufacturer specifications
4.2 Maintain sufficient stock
4.3 Rotate film stock so that film is used before its expiry date

5.1 Participate effectively in radiographic quality assurance programs
5.2 Monitor processing solutions for deterioration
5.3 Notify the operator when radiographs do not meet the quality criteria of the reference radiograph produced under optimum conditions
5.4 Collect and record all unacceptable radiographs that do not meet diagnostic standards due to processing error and identify how processing can be improved
5.5 Dispose of waste chemicals safely in accordance with manufacturer specifications and legislative requirements

Overview of Assessment

  • Completion of learning guide 
  • Evidence of clinical experience and workplace training
  • Written exam in block 4 with a 70% pass rate