ASC280 Diagnostics for Veterinary Technologists (8)

In this subject sstudents will progress their understanding of veterinary diagnostics, which was first introduced in ASC182 Foundations in Clinical Procedures and Veterinary Nursing. In this subject students learn how to prepare patients for procedures as well as the selection and application of particular diagnostic procedures including the operation and maintenance of diagnostic equipment.  This subject includes online modules, 5 days of workplace learning in a veterinary clinic, diagnostic laboratory or medical imaging facility and a 3 day residential school which all students (internal and distance education) must attend.  The residential school is held at CSU's Regional Study Centre, Wangaratta, Victoria.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Online *

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ASC280. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Restricted to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology.



Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to prepare and appropriately restrain patients for collection of samples from various body systems;
  • be able to properly collect, prepare, handle and submit samples for diagnostic analysis in order to ensure maximum accuracy of results;
  • be able to describe and undertake appropriate procedures associated with assessing the health status of animals, including but not restricted to CBC and examination of blood films, routine urinalysis, blood chemistry tests and serologic tests;
  • be able to perform diagnostic procedures for blood, external and gastrointestinal parasites;
  • be able to perform cytologic evaluation including assisting in collecting, preparing and evaluating transudate, exudate and cytologic specimens;
  • be able to operate a range of veterinary diagnostic equipment;
  • be able to determine proper maintenance and quality control procedures of laboratory instruments and equipment necessary to ensure accurate results;
  • be able to recognise accurate versus erroneous results of diagnostic tests;
  • be able to compare and contrast imaging modalities such as CT, MRI, nuclear scintigraphy and ultrasound with respect to indications and applications of these techniques;
  • be able to (1) prepare radiographic equipment, (2) measure and position animals using topographic landmarks, (3) choose an appropriate radiographic technique to minimise the need for repeat exposures, (4) produce the latent image, (5) process the exposed image, and (6) analyse the final image for quality in order to provide maximum diagnostic benefit;
  • be able to determine if the image is of diagnostic quality, and if not, be able to offer options to correct deficiencies in order to provide maximum diagnostic benefit and minimise personnel radiation exposure from unnecessary repeat exposures;
  • be able to exercise professional judgement to minimise risks to personnel and patients during radiographic procedures to ensure safety;
  • be able to, with respect to non-radiographic imaging, properly prepare the imaging site and equipment, and position patients appropriately for the study being conducted; and
  • be able to work with the veterinarian to determine if a need exists for additional procedures that will provide useful diagnostic information.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Module 1: Laboratory Procedures
  • - The Veterinary Laboratory
  • - Haematology
  • - Immunology
  • - Urinalysis
  • - Introductory Parasitology
  • - Clinical Chemistry
  • - Cytology
  • Module 2: Imaging Modalities
  • - Radiation safety during imaging procedures, including legislation requirements
  • - Radiography: radiographic series, technique charts
  • - Troubleshooting quality of radiographic images
  • - Contrast studies
  • - Ultrasound: application in diagnostics and therapy
  • - CT, MRI, and nuclear scintigraphy

Workplace Learning

This subject contains a 5 days Compulsory Workplace Learning component.

The workplace learning is to be undertaken in a veterinary clinic, diagnostics laboratory or medical imaging facility and involves the student gaining practical skills associated with the operation and maintenance of diagnostic equipment and the application of diagnostics in a veterinary setting.

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.

All students (internal and distance education) are required to attend the residential school, which is conducted at CSU's Regional Study Centre, Wangaratta, Victoria.  The purpose of the residential school is to ensure students have the diagnostics competencies that veterinary technologists are expected to have (based on industry needs). The program will include tutorials and practical classes.  

Special Resources

Students will be required to undertake workplace learning (in a veterinary clinic, diagnostics laboratory or medical imaging facility) for which they will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation.  Additional accommodation (and potentially travel) costs will be incurred to attend a compulsory residential school (for both internal and distance education students) conducted at CSU's Regional Study Centre, Wangaratta, Victoria.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.