The paper "Radiation Safety of the Patient and Imaging Personnel" is a wonderful example of medical research. I am Olivia _______, a student trainee at the Diagnostic Imaging Department of Starlight Memorial Hospital. I am writing this memo to bring to your attention a problem which I have observed at our Department. I have been working with Mark Adams, a technologist in the Diagnostic Imaging Department. I would like to inform you that for the past few months, we have received numerous complaints from patients about wrong examinations performed on them. Moreover, our Department currently has a high repeat ratio analysis due to errors in positioning and techniques. It is unfortunate that Mr.
Adams has blamed us, students, for the errors committed by the Department and he refuses to take responsibility for his actions. I realize the impact of these errors in diagnostic imaging on both the patient and the imaging personnel. In view of this, I took it upon myself to research the consequences of radiation exposure and the importance of radiation safety. The ALARA principle is a fundamental principle of patient radiation protection. It is an acronym for “ As Low As Reasonably Achievable” (IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. , n. d.). It is a “ safety principle designed to minimize radiation doses and releases of radioactive materials” (IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. , n. d.). Research has shown that any level of exposure to radiation may result in an increased risk of genetic damage and cancer. This is something that the hospital should be concerned about not only with its patients but also with the diagnostic imaging personnel. In view of the known adverse effects of radiation exposure on patients and the diagnostic imaging personnel, I would like to recommend several measures which the RSO may implement among its hospital staff to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure: The RSO should provide the appropriate training and technical support to all diagnostic imaging personnel to make sure that the ALARA principle is implemented at all times (UW Environmental Health and Safety, 1999).
All personnel at the Department should be qualified and must have undergone the necessary training and examinations required by the hospital. The time of exposure must be minimized(IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. , n. d.). The distance between the body of the personnel and the radiation source should be doubled to reduce the radiation exposure by 4(IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. , n. d.). Absorber materials should be used to shield the imaging personnel from beta particles and gamma rays(IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. , n. d.). With regards to the patients, the imaging personnel must try to reduce the exposure time of the patient by doing pre-planning images which will ensure that correct positioning is achieved before imaging (E-radiography. net, n.d. ). Redundant views should also be avoided (E-radiography. net, n.d. ). I cannot overemphasize the importance of minimizing radiation exposure for patients and imaging personnel. I am aware that Starlight Memorial Hospital values the safety of its patients and hospital staff. In this regard, I hope that the hospital will appreciate this memo and make the necessary improvements within the Diagnostic Imaging Department. Thank you. Signed by: Olivia ________ Student trainee
E-radiography.net. (n.d.). Reducing radiation exposure. Retrieved March 5, 2012, from e-radiography.net: http://www.e-radiography.net/radsafety/reducing_exposure.htm
IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (n.d.). ALARA principle for minimizing radiation exposure. Retrieved March 4, 2012, from idexx.com: http://www.idexx.com/pubwebresources/pdf/en_us/smallanimal/education/digital-download/dd-minimize-radiation-exposure.pdf
UW Environmental Health and Safety. (1999, August). Radiation safety manual - ALARA program. Retrieved March 5, 2012, from ehs.washington.edu: http://www.ehs.washington.edu/manuals/rsmanual/7alara.pdf