Radiation Safety of Patient and Imaging Personnel – Radiology Example

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The paper "Radiation Safety of Patient and Imaging Personnel" is a great example of medical research. The Starlight Memorial Hospital has always been known to provide the highest quality health care and service to all our patients.     This is the reason why even the slightest complaint from our patients, doctors, nurses, and other health care providers is given utmost attention by the hospital management. As you are aware, we have been receiving numerous complaints about the service which you have been giving to our patients at the Diagnostic Imaging Department.   There has been a high repeat ratio during your duty.   A high incidence of errors on positioning and technique errors has been reported.   These errors are not acceptable and are contrary to the policy of the hospital. In view of the above situation, I have requested Olivia _____, one of the students assigned to the Diagnostic Imaging Department to make a report on the consequences of radiation exposure and the importance of the radiation safety program.   I have summarized the findings of her report below to emphasize the need for more accurate examinations in your department. According to Olivia’ s report, the ALARA principle is the basic radiation protection philosophy.   The acronym ALARA stands for “ As Low As Reasonably Achievable”   (Integrated Environmental Management, Inc. , 1998).     The ALARA concept is “ an application of the "Linear No Threshold Hypothesis, " which assumes that there is no "safe" dose of radiation.

Under this assumption, the probability for harmful biological effects increases with increased radiation dose, no matter how small”   (Integrated Environmental Management, Inc. , 1998).   High doses of radiation are linked to cancer risk  (Health Physics Society, n.d. ).  If our hospital will subject our patients and radiation technologists to repetitive exposure, we are unduly increasing their risk of cancer.   Although a minimum dose of radiation is used in the imaging procedures, an examination done repetitively will increase the ionizing radiation exposure. Ionizing radiation has biological effects.   It damages the cell by damaging the DNA molecules (Holmes et al, 2011).     Holmes et al go on further to say that the damage caused by radiation may not be seen in the short term; its effects may manifest later in life (2011).   For pregnant women, the threshold dose of radiation is lower because of its possible malformation effects on the fetus (Holmes et al, 2011). The report by Olivia shows only some of the possible effects of a high dose of ionizing radiation.   These adverse health effects should not be taken for granted.   Our hospital believes in the value of medical imaging procedures in the area of diagnosis and treatment.   To ensure that such procedures are done with minimum associated radiation exposure for both the patient and the radiologists, extensive training will be given to the employees who will be responsible for doing the procedure.   All imaging personnel should be credentialed and have passed the necessary examinations and training given by the hospital.   Pre-planning images will be done so that correct patient positioning is ensured; thereby, eliminating unnecessary panning  (E-radiography. net, n.d. ).  Furthermore, redundant views should be avoided. Since our hospital is committed to safe, accurate, and effective medical imaging and radiation therapy, we will at all times be guided by the ALARA principle.   This is done not only to address patient safety but also to show concern for our health care providers in the Diagnostic Imaging Department.     We cannot put the lives of our patients and workers at a risk that can be prevented.   Any unreasonable error will be dealt with accordingly.  

References

E-radiography.net. (n.d.). Reducing radiation exposure. Retrieved February 28, 2012, from e-radiography.net: http://www.e-radiography.net/radsafety/reducing_exposure.htm

Health Physics Society. (n.d.). Radiation exposure from medical diagnostic imaging procedures. Retrieved February 28, 2012, from hps.org Web site: http://hps.org/documents/meddiagimaging.pdf

Holmes, E. B., Taylor, C. R., & al, e. (2011, March 17). Ionizing radiation exposure with medical imaging. Retrieved February 28, 2012, from emedicine.medscape.com: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1464228-overview#aw2aab6b3

Integrated Environmental Management, Inc. (1998). The ALARA concept. Retrieved February 28, 2012, from iem-inc.com: http://www.iem-inc.com/pralar.html

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