Radiation protection for staff working with medical x‐ray equipment has long been a concern. Overall, dose to radiation workers has decreased in the past 50 years. However, dose to operators of fluoroscopy equipment is an exception to this trend. In particular, physicians performing fluoroscopically‐guided interventional (FGI) procedures may receive high radiation doses. The nature of FGI procedures causes several conditions that result in unavoidable occupational exposure. The operator generally stands close to the patient to manipulate interventional devices. Close proximity and maintenance of a sterile field make use of lead shielding devices challenging. The clinical condition of the patient and use of anesthesia require that multiple healthcare workers be present in the procedure room. Procedure complexity results in lengthy fluoroscopy times. In addition, the volume of FGI procedures continues to rise resulting in ever‐increasing concern about occupational radiation exposure levels. Medical physicists have several roles in the management of staff radiation exposure during FGI procedures. They may assist with the design of procedure rooms, including fluoroscopy equipment and control area placement, structural shielding specification and movable shielding device selection. They commonly are involved with fluoroscopic equipment purchase selection and system optimization, which includes evaluation of radiation exposure parameters. They may be asked to investigate instances of higher than expected personnel exposure levels, make specific recommendations for dose reduction and consult with staff about special circumstances such as performing fluoroscopy while pregnant. Most directly, they may be called on to provide radiation safety training to fluoroscopic equipment operators or other staff exposed to stray radiation. This presentation will review information medical physicists need to know in order to competently perform these tasks. Learning objectives: 1. Summarize studies of occupational radiation exposure reported in the literature for different types of procedures and personnel. 2. Review personnel monitoring processes and procedures. 3. Become familiar with recommendations and resources for radiation safety training of fluoroscopy operators and other staff working with fluoroscopy. 4. Learn about new shielding devices and techniques for personnel protection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging