Intrinsic to working in radiology is working with radioactive materials. Although we will always be exposed to some level of radiation, we use the ALARA principal (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) to keep exposure to a minimum.
This principle assumes that there is no threshold for inducing “biological effects” and therefore any dose of radiation carries with it some risk. In other words, there is no level of “safe” radiation.
Using the strategies of Time, Distance, and Shielding, we can keep radioactive exposure as low as reasonably achievable. This maximizes efficacy for your treatment and keeps everyone safe, especially our patients. Below is a list of techniques we use to minimize radiation exposure:
- Safe delivery of radiopharmaceuticals – When the syringe is being held with the plunger or needle, we make sure that it is managed with the utmost precaution, and, we take advantage of remote injectors whenever possible.
- Transportation of Patients – How close to the back of the wheelchair are we standing when transporting a patient? Do we maintain appropriate distance when we are walking them out of the department or when we enter the scan room?
- Cleaning up spills (including patient blood or body fluids) – This relates to how quickly we isolate and remove fluids that could contaminate the scan room, or mitigate the effect of the treatment.
- Holding / Lifting Patients – We pay particular attention to where we stand in relation to our patients, especially if we have our radiation badge on.
- Radioactive Tracers – When using these in treatment, we make sure that the all the precautions are made, so that we can have a safe and efficient treatment.
- During PET/CT/MRI Scans – We drape our patient’s bodies with a radioactive shield, isolating the exposure to only the areas that need treatment.
These techniques are just a tiny sample of the ways we consider your wellbeing during our examinations. For diagnostic imaging services, including PET/CT Scans, MRIs, and Mammograms contact the Center for Diagnostic Imaging in Miami.