+ 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.
- 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: http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/pubs_catalogue/uploads/G-313_e.pdf. Accessed March 20, 2013.
- Society of Nuclear Medicine. Performance and responsibility guidelines for the nuclear medicine technologist (Rev 2003). Available at: http://interactive.snm.org/docs/pg_ch16_0803.pdf. Accessed March 20, 2013.
- Thompson MA. Radiation Safety Precautions in the Management of the Hospitalized 131I Therapy Patient. J Nucl Med Technol 2001;29(2): 61-66.
- University of Manitoba. Environmental Health and Safety Office. Radiation Safety Training. Available at: http://www.umanitoba.ca/admin/human_resources/ehso/rad_safety/rad_training.html. Accessed March 20, 2013.