Understanding the Healthcare Worker Radiation Protection

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(Newswire.net — December 8, 2019) — The International Atomic Energy Agency accurately defines radiation protection as the protection of the body from harmful effects of exposure to ionizing radiation. In medicine and some other industry, ionizing radiation is widely used and therefore leaves the people involved at risk of exposure to the radiation which is harmful. Circumstances that determine the danger level of radiation to human health include; the level and length of exposure, the dosage, the type, the strength and how often the exposure happens.

Radiation exposure can’t be avoided in its entirety; however, the exposure levels are too low to do damage. The international commission for radiation recognizes three radiation exposure situations, and they are; Planned, emergency and existing exposure situations.

Planned exposure: 

has to do with radiation situations where the level and magnitude of exposure can be predicted and protection arrangements have been made in advance. These apply a lot to radiation exposure at workplaces, also called occupational radiation. A 2008 report by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation states that some 23 million workers worldwide are exposed occupationally to g radiation. It’s a common thing in the use of radiological therapy, especially for critically ill patients under doctors in intensive care units (ICU), and diagnostic radiology, which involves the use of medical imaging such as x-ray machines or other radiation devices.

Radiation protection comes as the solution to preventing radiation exposure and its harmful effects as much as possible, and having seen the effects of radiation exposure, with a focus specifically on the healthcare worker, here are the steps needed to be taken by the healthcare worker for personal radiation protection.

1. Protective pieces of equipment and facilities

This includes lead or lead equivalent aprons, leaded eyewear, temporary or portable shields, protective drapes, automatic interlock devices, in-place radiation monitoring instrument, etc. Some of these shields are built into the facility. Its health for the health worker to follow the safest standard procedure by utilizing any of the protective facilities and pieces of equipment mentioned above that is made available maximally.

2. Keeping a safe distance from the radiation source

It’s good to maintain as much a distance as possible from the radiation source, as the exposure rate from a radiation source drops of by the inverse of the distance squared, and this limits the exposure effect as a result. A good sample of this is stepping away from the patient when not assisting during a fluoroscopy procedure.

3. Limiting exposure time

A person’s risk of health problems due to radiation exposure increases as often as the exposure occurs. One small dose of radiation is ignoble but many doses could heighten the danger. It can cause irreparable cell damages. Therefore, it’s important to reduce the exposure time as much and as feasible as possible even as you do your best in the line of duty.

4. Consistent health surveillance

This is important. You get to know if you are still safe or already crossing the line. The information gathered from this health surveillance helps to consistently plan how to keep things in check.

With all these well-followed, effective radiation protection is guaranteed.