Short Research Report
A survey of radiation safety training among South African interventionalists
Background. Ionising radiation is increasingly being used in modern medicine for diagnostic, interventional and therapeutic purposes. There has been an improvement in technology, resulting in lower doses being emitted. However, an increase in the number of procedures has led to a greater cumulative dose for patients and operators, which places them at increased risk of the effects of ionising radiation. Radiation safety training is key to optimising medical practice.
Objective. To present the perceptions of South African interventionalists on the radiation safety training they received and to offer insights into the importance of developing and promoting such training programmes for all interventionalists.
Methods. In this cross-sectional study, we collected data from interventionalists (N=108) using a structured questionnaire.
Results. All groups indicated that radiation exposure in the workplace is important (97.2%). Of the participants, the radiologists received the most training (65.7%). Some participants (44.1%) thought that their radiation safety training was adequate. Most participants (95.4%) indicated that radiation safety should be part of their training curriculum. Few (34.3%) had received instruction on radiation safety when they commenced work. Only 62% had been trained on how to protect patients from ionising radiation exposure.
Conclusion. Radiation safety training should be formalised in the curriculum of interventionalists’ training programmes, as this will assist in stimulating a culture of radiation protection, which in turn will improve patient safety and improve quality of care.
A Rose, Department of Community Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
W I D Rae, Department of Medical Physics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
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Date published: 2018-04-09
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