5 Ways To Minimize Your Occupational Radiation Exposure

Minimizing Occupational Exposure

“The ideal dose is the least amount of radiation possible to produce an acceptable image.”

1. Time

Time is one of the three basic safety measures to reduce external radiation exposure. It is important for healthcare personnel to limit the amount of time spent in close proximity to the radiation source when exposure to the radiation source is possible. Reducing the time of an exposure reduces the effective dose (radiation) proportionally. Consequently, the less time you are around the equipment, the smaller your exposure will be.

2. Notification by Radiation Equipment Operator

Before any treatment or procedure, it is the responsibility of the trained and certified radiation equipment operator to notify healthcare personnel in the x-ray or treatment room prior to the activation of radiation producing equipment (RPE).

Any piece of equipment in which x-rays are produced electrically are classified as radiation producing equipment or RPE. These tools are used in a variety of medical applications including radiography, mammography, computed tomography, and fluoroscopy.

3. Fluoroscopic Procedures

Healthcare personnel performing fluoroscopic procedures must ensure that the patient is kept as close as possible to the image intensifier side of the fluoroscopic unit and away from the tube side of the unit. All healthcare personnel involved in the fluoroscopic procedure must stand on the image intensifier side of the fluoroscopic unit, whenever possible, to reduce the radiation exposure. Standing on the the same side as the image intensifier radiation intensity is decreased.

4. Avoid Direct Beam Exposure

Healthcare personnel assisting with radiological procedures must avoid holding the patient manually during a radiographic study due to the risk of direct beam exposure.  Any individual holding or supporting a person during radiation exposure should wear protective gloves and apron with a minimum of 0.25 millimeters lead equivalent. Under no circumstances should individuals holding or supporting a person’s part of their body be directly in the primary beam. Healthcare personnel must avoid exposing any body parts to direct x-ray beam exposure.

5. Utilize Shielding

Whenever possible, appropriate shielding should be used to provide attenuation of the radiation being delivered to the healthcare personnel who are potentially exposed. Healthcare personnel must keep all body parts out of the direct x-ray beam. There are a variety of shielding options available and may include, but are not limited to:

Specific Shielding Applications

Healthcare personnel who may have to stand with their backs exposed to the radiation beam must wear wrap-around aprons to decrease the risk of radiation exposure.

Bone and Bone Marrow Protection

When healthcare personnel are in close proximity to the radiation beam they should wear an appropriate lead or lead equivalent apron of sufficient length to shield the upper legs and protect the long bones and bone marrow from increased doses of radiation.

Thyroid Protection 

Healthcare personnel must wear a thyroid collar to protect the thyroid whenever the likelihood of the procedure places them at a higher risk of increased exposure.

Female Healthcare Personnel 

Female healthcare personnel must protect their breasts from radiation exposure by utilizing an apron that completely covers the area.

Eye protection

Healthcare personnel must shield the lens of the eye by using leaded eyeglasses with wrap-around side shields or leaded face shields to reduce scatter radiation when it is anticipated that increased fluoroscopic time may be necessary.

Limiting Radiation Exposure 

Reducing radiological exposure in healthcare settings is important for both occupational workers as well as patients. The following guidelines are based on the radiation safety principles of time, distance, and shielding. By following these guidelines, you can reduce your occupational exposure to radiation.

 

 

 

Note: This information included in this post is intended for general reference information only. The information provided is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be relied upon in the absence of such professional advice.

Lead Markers: Helping Technicians With X-Ray Imaging

A Necessary Tool

Lead markers are also referred to as Pb markers, X-ray markers, max markers and radiographic film identification markers. We offer an assortment of unique, personalized lead markers for diagnostic imaging purposes. Lead markers serve as a necessary tool for X-ray technicians to produce accurate and clear X-ray images.

Quickly And Easily Mark X-Rays

The purpose of a lead marker is to mark an X-ray. You will commonly find markers in “left” and “right” letter options, to clearly identify each side of the patient’s body. By labeling the left and right side during an X-ray, it can prevent future mistakes and confusion.

How Many Times Have You Lost Your X-Ray Markers?

You Can Answer Here (Google Doc)

This form is just for fun, but it should be interesting to see the responses. Once you answer the question you’ll be able to see how your results compare with everyone else. Feel free to share this post/form with your friends and co-workers.

Most X-ray technicians can agree that it’s easy to misplace X-ray markers. Personalizing your X-ray markers will help you locate your markers quickly and may even help prevent you from losing your markers. Most medical facilities require X-ray technicians to get markers with their initials to so that they can properly identify their X-ray images.

Personalize Your Markers

Choose Your Initials

You can personalize your lead markers by selecting three letters or numbers. Most of our customers use their initials to make it easy for them to identify the images that they took and to keep track of their markers when they’re not using them.

Easily Find “L” and “R”

Most of our markers are available in blue for the left marker and red for the right marker.

Lead markers come in different shapes and sizes, so, let your personality shine by choosing one of our fish or skull lead markers.

Are you or your X-ray technicians using personalized markers?

Have you ever lost your X-ray markers before? Have a funny story or some words of wisdom? We want to hear from you. If you have any additional comments or questions regarding our lead markers, please leave a comment in the comment box below.

Why Medical Training Models Are Essential For Medical Students

Medical training models are common for teaching medical students certain medical applications and procedures. Anatomical models and simulators will help guide students in learning the process of a procedure, while increasing their comfort level with the application. Medical training models not only provide the student with hands-on practice, it gives the student a visual to apply real life situations instead of reading about it via books and slides.

We have a variety of models and simulators to choose from, such as CPR simulators, medical patient simulators, IV training models, real baby care dolls, and more! Our I.V. Injection Arm Model is unique in that it allows a realistic training to teach competence to medical staff. This model is also great for group instructors because of its high quality, stain resistance and easy to clean material. Many instructors use this model for the following training:

  • Intravenous injections
  • Correct puncture of peripheral veins for blood sampling. The following veins can be punctured: basilic vein, cephalic vein, median cubital vein, dorsal venous rete of hand
  • Positioning of a venous catheter

Another popular medical training model is our Basic Billy Basic Life Support Simulator. This simulator is used to teach students CPR techniques focusing on the depth and force of compression during cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Cardiac failure is one of the leading causes of death and with this medical training model, it shows how easy it is to provide help and save lives through correct CPR techniques.

Are you currently using any medical training models in your facility?

Featured Product: BrandTech BRAND UV-Transparent Spectrophotometry Ultra-Micro Cuvettes

Today, BrandTech’s BRAND UV-Transparent Spectrophotometry Ultra-Micro Cuvettes will be our featured product! These cuvettes are a popular choice for many working in research and testing laboratories.

Features:

  • BRAND UV-Cuvette UV-transparent ultra-micro cuvettes are a popular disposable alternative to quartz cuvettes in DNA, RNA, and protein analyses as well as many other applications between 220nm and 900nm.
  • UV-Cuvettes eliminate the tedious and time-wasting cuvette washing, and the risk of sample carry-over associated with reusable quartz cuvettes. Process QC applications avoid the need for qualified SOP’s for cuvette cleaning.
  • The proprietary plastic material offers chemical compatibility superior to that of conventional plastic cuvettes of acrylic or polystyrene, and may be used with most polar organic solvents.
  • Cuvettes have recessed windows to help protect against scratching and fit most commercial spectrophotometers and photometers. They are grouped by mold cavity number to maximize consistency between cuvettes and reduce variation in extinction coefficient.
  • Use the semi-micro size UV-Cuvettes for sample volumes between 1.5mL and 3.0mL, and the macro UV-Cuvettes for samples larger than 2.5mL, or for applications where chemical resistance is primary. Ultra-micro sized UV-Cuvettes may be used with sample volumes as small as 70µL.
  • Individually wrapped UV-Cuvettes micro are free of DNase, DNA and RNase!

Specifications:

  • Filling Volume Minimum: 70uL
  • Filling Volume Maximum: 550uL (15mm window) / 850uL (8.5mm window)
  • Sample Window Dimensions: 2mm x 3.5mm (minimum)
  • Light Path: 10mm
  • Range of Application: 220-900nm

Have any questions regarding our featured product? Let us know in the comment box below!

Why Are Head & Neck Positioners Important In The OR?

Why are neck and head positioners important for patients to use while in the operating room? The number one reason for positioning a patients head with a positioner in this situation is safety purposes. Many patients need support of their head and neck  to relieve pressure while going in to surgery.

Below are a few examples of a few different kinds of head and neck positioners we offer.

  1. Head & Neck Support is an ideal positioner for general skull work. Dimensions are 6.5″ high x 10″ wide x 12″ long
  2. 5.5″ D Ring is a reusable foam positioner that provides a safe area for minimizing pressure points and nerve damage during surgery. Dimensions are 5.5″ diameter x 1.5″ thick with a 2″ hole in the center.
  3. Slotted Adult Head Positioner has a soft flexible coating to provide comfort to patients, with 1″ deep slots for tubing. Dimensions are 8.5″ x 8″ x 4″ thick at the highest point, 3″thick at center.
  4. Waters Positioner was especially designed for laminographs of the orbits and facial bones. Dimensions are 7.4″ high x 12.4″ wide x 8″ long.
  5. Concave Disc are ideal for general skull work in general positioning, CT scan, MRI, nuclear medicine, and ultrasounds. Dimensions are 7″ in diameter and available in  1.5″ high, 2.5″ high and 3″ high discs.

Making sure patients are comfortable, safe and don’t develop pressure sores or pain. With our large selection of head and neck patient positioners, you’ll be able to find the support needed for your medical setting. Have any questions on this post? Let us know in the comment box below!

Thyroid Shield Fabric Options

Interested to know what material some of our thyroid shields are made of? Here’s a list of the material options to choose from:

Ripstop is a soft, flexible, lightweight nylon. Ripstop is 70 denier, 100% nylon and has box pattern weave to prevent rips and tears.

Diamond Ripstop is a thicker, heavier version of the standard ripstop. The diamond ripstop is 150 denier, 100% Polyester Diamond Taffeta pattern to prevent rips/tears and PU Coated.

Vinyl is a material which has a smooth surface and is easy to wipe clean. Embroidery & Pocket Options are not available when selecting this material. This material is 10 mil PVC vinyl.

Solid Color Nylon is 200 denier, 100% Oxford Nylon and PU Coated.

Designer Print Nylon is 200 denier, 100% Polyester with Transfer Print and  PU Coated.

Weblon: This fabric is fluid, moisture and tear resistant. It is also easy to wipe clean. Herculex II, Sure-Check Healthcare Fabric with PVC laminated Anti-Microbial Fabric Protection, 8.5 oz.

Have any questions on any of these materials? Let us know in the comment box below!

Featured Product: Scrub Station Bulk Organizer

Today’s featured product is our Scrub Station Bulk Organizer! This organizer is a perfect solution for keeping your PPE supplies organized and appropriately stored.

Features:

  • Constructed of durable, high impact plastic
  • Acrylic mirror on front
  • Hinged lid for easy fill
  • Front lip keeps supplies from falling out
  • Supplies are easily accessible
  • Width 10.5″ x Height 20″ x Depth 12″ x Weight 8.8 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity: 20 lbs.

March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month

March 2014 is Workplace Eye Wellness Month! We’re really big on eye protection in the workplace, especially in medical and research fields. With over 700,000 work-related eye injuries each year, it’s crucial that workplace eye wellness awareness is discussed. This awareness month is a great time to focus on eye protection and wellness standards within your facility.

The National Safety Council states, “all it takes is a tiny silver of metal, particle of dust, or splash of chemical to cause significant and permanent eye damage.”

A few preventative tips from Prevent Blindness include:

  • Visit an eye doctor to make sure you are seeing clearly, this will detect any potential vision problems.
  • When at a computer screen, sit 20-26 inches away from your eyes and a little below eye level.
  • Adjust text size on your screen to an appropriate level for you.
  • Change your office lighting so that it lowers glares and reflections.
  • Sit in a chair that can be adjusted.
  • Select screens that can tilt and move, and a keyboard that can adjust as well.
  • The Vision Council recommends the 20-20-20 break: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.

To find more about protecting vision in the workplace, be sure to visit Prevent Blindness organization.

Whiteboard Wednesday: Lens Enhancements For Your Lead Glasses

Some radiation glasses offer lens enhancement options. For example, we offer fog-free lens or an anti-reflective coating that can be added to your lead glasses. Watch today’s Whiteboard Wednesday as we discuss the benefits of each lens enhancement option!

)

Whiteboard Wednesday: The Parts Of A Lead Eyeglass Frame

When selecting a pair of lead eyeglasses it is important to understand the various parts of lead glasses. Find out the common terms used to describe the many parts of lead eyeglasses on today’s Whiteboard Wednesday!