08 May Fundamental Concepts of Radiation Safety
If x-ray equipment is used often in your place of business, it is possible that some safety precautions are being overlooked, especially if technicians are not being properly trained with a clear understanding of radiation and a respect for the safety precaution protocols.
Since radiation is an invisible and odorless energy it may not be intuitive to your technicians on how to protect themselves and clients from radiation scatter. It is important that safety garments and protocols are taught as absolute required precautions. (Also, it is essential for keeping up your state’s mandated x-ray regulations.)
Make it clear to your technicians that these fundamentals should be taken seriously. It is vital that your technicians understand that proper radiation safety can virtually eliminate the risks associated with radiation exposure. Since, there is no such thing as being too safe around radiation, make sure that your technicians review the following fundamentals of safety regularly.
The more time you spend near radiation, the higher the health risks are. Minimizing the time exposed to radiation is essential, which means rotating personnel (if possible), to minimize their amount of exposure. This is especially important for veterinary technicians who are often holding animals to acquire their x-rays. You and your team should also be using technique charts to decrease the need for re-taking x-rays.
Remember with radiation from strong sources, the dose you absorb is proportional to the duration of the exposure, so the less time you spend near a radiation source, the less likely your dose will be.
Shielding is one of the most important protective measures you can take when working around radiation. It is essential to always be wearing protective gloves, aprons and thyroid shields and to check your protective equipment regularly to make sure it is in top working order. Never allow any part of your body to come in contact with the primary beam while working near x-rays.
Make sure you are maximizing the distance between the technician and the x-ray beam. Radiation can scatter up to six feet away, meaning even if you aren’t right next to your x-ray equipment, you can still be exposed. Nonessential workers should never be in the radiology room during exposure.
- Wear A Dosimetry Badge
Not only make it a requirement for your technicians to wear a dosimetry badge, ensure they understand the proper protocols concerning dosimetry badges. This includes, making sure they are always wearing their assigned dosimetry badge whenever working near the x-ray equipment and ensuring there is an assigned place at work (that is not near the radiation source) for them to store their badge when they are not at work. Dosimeters should be worn at the collar level outside of the apron. For pregnant staff, ensure they have a fetal dosimeter assigned to them.
Did you know that the experts at iRad offer safety training as part of their x-ray review? Get in touch with iRad to schedule your review today 469-573-2323! If you have other questions about radiation safety, or need to order radiation safety equipment, we can help with that too.