Radiography Protection Policies
Ionizing Radiation and Protection Policy
Due to participation in the administration of ionizing radiation, the student must be aware of policies and procedures utilized in assuring safety and minimizing radiation exposure to patients, students and others. Radiation exposure should always be kept to the lowest possible level. Students are provided with NCRP Report No. 105 concerning biological effects of radiation exposure and are advised of the separate policy regarding pregnancy. In addition, the following practices are enforced.
- Time, Distance, and Shielding are the basic components to minimize radiation exposure: The least time, the greatest distance from the source and protective shielding with devices such as lead aprons.
- Appropriate radiation protective devices are available to students and utilization is enforced. Students must wear a minimum of a 0.25 lead equivalent personnel shield any time a permanent barrier will not protect them from exposure. If the potential for direct exposure exists, the shield must possess 0.5-mm lead equivalent. The use of a leaded thyroid shield is strongly recommended. Holding a patient during an exposure can result in direct beam exposure to unprotected areas of the body; therefore, holding of patients during exposure is strongly discouraged.
- A personnel monitoring film badge is issued to each student. It must be worn at all times during clinical assignments and fastened at the collar level, outside of the lead apron. This badge is changed monthly. Students are advised of their dosimetry reports, which are maintained by the program and available to students.
- All students are directly supervised pre-competency and indirectly supervised post-competency by a qualified radiographer.
- Any unsatisfactory radiograph that is repeated must be directly supervised regardless of the level of student education.
- All equipment is in compliance with federal and state safety policies and regulations.
- A separate policy is available for pregnant students.
It is the option of the pregnant student to inform the Program Coordinator/Clinical Coordinator of her pregnancy. If the student chooses to voluntarily inform officials of her pregnancy, it must be in writing and indicate the expected date of confinement (delivery). In the absence of this voluntary, written disclosure, a student cannot be considered pregnant. If the student chooses to disclose her pregnancy, she will receive counseling on the options available to make an informed decision based on individual needs and preferences. The options are:
- Continue both the didactic and clinical education phases
- All clinical as well as didactic objectives must be fulfilled prior to graduation
- The attending physician must provide written approval
- Continue only the didactic educational phase
- All clinical as well as didactic objectives must be fulfilled prior to graduation.
- Allowance will be made for reinstatement in the clinical phase post pregnancy
- Leave of absence from the Radiography Program
- Discontinue didactic and clinical education phases
- Re-enter program based on readmission criteria as stated previously
The ultimate decision regarding the previous options will be the student’s, tempered by the gestation period and the student’s level of progress in the educational program. The student will be required to sign a statement acknowledging explanation of options and stating option choice.
- Pregnant students choosing to remain in all educational phases:
- Must review the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission “Regulatory Guide 8.13” Instruction Concerning Prenatal Radiation Exposure
- Must wear an additional film badge near the lower abdominal area and under the lead apron
- Must closely monitor personal monthly radiation dosimetry reports
- Will be assigned to the same clinical rotations as non-pregnant students
- It is recommended that pregnant students observe the following precautions:
- Stay out of the field of radiation and, other than during fluoroscopy, remain in the control booth during the exposure period
- Wear additional lead apron or aprons in fluoroscopy, during portable exams or when otherwise necessary
- A pregnant student has the right to rescind her declaration of pregnancy at any time during gestation. If rescinded the student is no longer considered pregnant and no allowances for her condition will be made