This initiative was created with the goal of reducing occupational exposure of veterinary workers while promoting ALARA by using a combination of restraint devices, radiation safety awareness resources and hand-free training workshops.

Julia Bitan decided to pursue this initiative after working as a small animal RVT for over 7 years where manual restraint of animals was the main method. Julia consistently sought alternatives to manual restraint and aside sedation, found very few realistic approaches.

After conducting a survey in April 2016, with over 250 responses from Registered Veterinary Technicians around Ontario, almost 90% of participants were also seeking alternatives to manual restraint during x-rays. 

After doing enough research, Julia discovered a very small movement of veterinary hospitals that practice 100% hands-free radiography. She then partnered with Ashley Jenner, the head imaging RVT at the Toronto Veterinary Emergency Hospital. Ashley has been practicing 100% non-manual radiography for over 8 years. She has achieved this using a combination of positioning devices and technique. Her skill and ability to produce diagnostic x-rays hands-free became well known in the veterinary community around the GTA. In the past 5 years, she has been hosting numerous training workshops for staff at TVEH and RVTs from other clinics. 

We hope to help advance veterinary radiology by refining radiography techniques to allow RVTs and DVMs produce diagnostic radiographs hands-free.                                                                                                                                                                                                           


Julia Bitan RVT

Founder/ Project Director

Julia started the HANDSFREE XRAYS initiative in 2016 to bring awareness to radiation safety in the veterinary workplace and help reduce occupational exposure to veterinary workers. She recently (March 2019) finished her 2 year term on the Board of Directors at the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians (OAVT). Julia grew up in Jerusalem, Israel and has worked as a small animal RVT for over 10 years. Julia's work received awards and recognition from several organizations along with invitations to present at industry conferences and events.

Ashley Jenner RVT, BSc

Training Program Coordinator and Trainer for East Coast (Canada & United States)

After spending the last 8 years working as the head RVT at the radiology department in a strictly non-manual radiography veterinary hospital, Ashley has mastered non-manual radiography and developed number of tools and techniques to allow hands-free radiography which are safe for the patient and the worker. She now hopes to share her knowledge and skills and help reduce occupational exposure to veterinary workers.  


Toni Laoutaris RVT, VTS (anesthesia/analgesia) 

Hands-Free Techniques Trainer - West Coast (Canada & United States)


Toni graduated from the Veterinary Technician program at Georgian College in 2006 and began working at the Toronto Veterinary Emergency Hospital and Referral Centre where she learned and mastered hand-free techniques for radiography for 7 years. Toni’s passion for anesthesia also resulted in her obtaining specialty with the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia and Analgesia (AVTAA) in 2014!
Toni is currently residing at the beautiful British Columbia and works as the lead RVT and anesthesia technologist at the Vancouver Animal Emergency and Referral Center.


Anna Kovacs RVT

Hands-Free Techniques Trainer - Central and East Coast (Canada & United States)

Anna has been practicing non-manual radiography since 2012 in both an emergency clinic setting and in her current referral technician role in a strictly hands-free veterinary hospital. She is excited to share the techniques and tips & tricks with your staff that will help reduce radiation exposure and create a safer work environment.