Top 7 Safety Tips You should Know about Radiology

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There many things to know about radiology, but everyone should know the top 7 safety tips about Radiology. Safety in radiology boils down to 7 basic things:

  1. Limiting exposure time to the x ray beams

  2. Ensuring that a lead protection vest is worn

  3. Staying at least 6 feet from the source of radiation if you are a radiology technician

  4. Only having the appropriate x rays taken when needed

  5. Being educated in the use of radiation

  6. Knowing who is approved to be taking x rays

  7. Ensuring accuracy and limited exposure through proper technique

Most things that need to be known about radiology and safety mainly pertain to the radiology technicians themselves since they are the ones taking the x rays and they will be therefore ultimately choosing the exposure time and quality. X rays should be avoided if you are a radiology technician. Too much exposure on a daily basis as is customary with the job of radiology technicians and may cause health problems. Most x ray technicians are required to wear radiology exposure badges that detect the amount of radiation the person is exposed to while working.

The technician should stand at least 6 feet from the beam source or should stand behind a protective wall.  If a wall is not present for the technician to stand behind they can stand a minimum of 6 feet from the beams source and at an angle of 135 degrees from the source. This will limit the effect of radiation as well as keep the technician away from any scattered radiation that may occur from the beam not meeting the intended target.

The technician should also know when the patient will need the x rays, how many should be taken and at what level the radiation should be given to the patient.  To keep the radiation to a minimum for a patient it is important to line up the shot for the x ray beam to collect the needed information in one shot rather than multiple misaligned shots that expose the patient to more radiation when this did not need to occur.

The patients should always be given some sort of protective covering. This should be done especially with the patient is young and still growing then they should wear a lead vest with a thyroid protective collar in place. A pregnant patient should also have some sort of protective lead apron to shield the fetus from radiation exposure.  The covering should cover from the neck, covering the lungs, the stomach and down to cover the reproductive organs of both males and females.

The best way to protect yourself from unnecessary radiation exposure is to be educated in the area.  It is important to be educated on the topic of how to prevent exposure, the proper technique, and the proper protective measures that need to be taken to make the exposure to radiation as low as it has to be for both the technician and the patient.  This can limit the amount x ray exposure, limit the length of exposure, and to predict which angulations of the x ray beam will give inaccurate images.  Especially in dental x rays, it is important to capture many different structures deemed important for dental diagnosis.

If you have ever considered taking up a career in Radiology you should consider learning how to become a radiology technician.

There are many things to consider when it comes to radiology, and safety is of course the most important.  The patient should not have series of x rays taken if they are not truly needed, the technician should be educated to know when the x rays need to be taken and what can be done to protect both the patient and the technician. Limiting ones exposure to radiation can have great long-term health benefits.

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