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Education for other professionals working in the nuclear medicine environment (NM specific)


Radiation safety education is provided to healthcare professionals and other support staff working in the nuclear medicine department or with nuclear medicine patients


+ Radiation safety in nuclear medicine

  • Radiation safety education for other healthcare providers helps to minimize the risk of contamination and exposure.1
  • The goals of radiation safety education include:
    • Ensuring the safety of personnel
    • Ensuring the safety of others they come into contact with
    • Minimizing apprehension and misconceptions related to nuclear medicine procedures


  • Training provided to other healthcare providers concerning radiation hazards and principles of radiation safety should include information on:2
    • Types of ionizing radiation
    • Biological effects of ionizing radiation
    • Dose and exposure limits
    • Concepts of low-level radiation and health
    • Concept of risk versus benefit
    • Basic protection measures


  • In addition to providing periodic training sessions for attending staff, written material is helpful.3
  • MRTs provide instruction to other healthcare providers on appropriate radiation safety measures.2
  • MRTs provide instruction to other healthcare providers on proper emergency procedures to be followed until radiation safety personnel arrive at the site of an accident or spill.2

+ Considerations for therapeutic procedures

  • Healthcare professionals that are likely to come in contact with patients having undergone therapeutic procedures using radiopharmaceuticals receive additional instruction, including:2
    • Basic radiation safety related to the therapy procedure
    • Instructions to minimize the spread of contamination (e.g., information on personnel and equipment entering and exiting the environment)
    • Emergency procedures relating to therapy patients
    • Radioactive waste control

+ Education for support staff

  • Staff that work in facilities when nuclear medicine staff are not present (e.g., housekeeping staff, porters, etc.) must undergo radiation awareness training.4
    • Ideally, these workers and their supervisors should take a course in radiation awareness at least once and refresh their awareness annually


  • Documentation is maintained to provide a record of training and track the need for retraining.

+ References

  1. Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Radiation Safety Training Programs for Workers Involved in Licensed Activities with Nuclear Substance and Radiation Devices, and with Class II Nuclear Facilities and Prescribed Equipment (G-313). Available at: Accessed March 20, 2013.
  2. Society of Nuclear Medicine. Performance and responsibility guidelines for the nuclear medicine technologist (Rev 2003). Available at: Accessed March 20, 2013.
  3. Thompson MA. Radiation Safety Precautions in the Management of the Hospitalized 131I Therapy Patient. J Nucl Med Technol 2001;29(2): 61-66.
  4. University of Manitoba. Environmental Health and Safety Office. Radiation Safety Training. Available at: Accessed March 20, 2013.


October 16, 2013


Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists
85 Albert St, Suite 1000, Ottawa, ON, K1P 6A4
phone: 613 234-0012 / 800 463-9729
fax: 613 234-1097