For any healthcare facility or practice, employee turnover is costly and time-consuming. Healthcare workers — including those who administer imaging tests — are highly trained professionals and challenging to replace, which is why it makes sense to strive for satisfied employees — all the time. Three top ways to ensure satisfied employees includes properly compensating them for their work, providing good working conditions and enabling them to feel safe in their work environment.
Healthcare professionals who work around ionizing radiation may have more cause for concern than those who spend their days in a traditional medical office. Every possible measure should be taken to protect employees from radiation exposure, including the following:
- Make sure x-ray equipment is functioning properly. Faulty equipment may result in harmful scatter radiation. Periodic equipment inspections are often provided by the manufacturer of the equipment and should be performed as long as the equipment is in operation in the office.
- Require each employee to be fully trained in radiation safety before administering imaging tests. Improper training can put a healthcare worker, colleague or patient at significant risk for radiation exposure. Proper training will ensure employees and patients are safe.
- Provide Instadose+ badge dosimeters for each employee who is at risk of being exposed to ionizing radiation. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission stipulates that employees should not be exposed to more than 1,250 mrem of ionizing radiation dose per quarter, or 5,000 mrem per year. In addition, pregnant women should only receive a fraction of that dose — 500 mrem — during their entire gestation period. The best way to ensure employees are well below the established cumulative dose is to use the Instadose+ personal dosimetry badge to measure their daily exposure. Unlike film dosimeters which must be collected, processed and redistributed every few months, the Instadose+ dosimetry system is digital. It allows healthcare facilities and small offices to record dose information and immediately review the results by downloading the data on a computer or mobile device. It also sends an immediate email notification when the badge wearer has exceeded their specified dose.
Putting these three measures in place to protect employees from radiation exposure represents a smarter way to safeguard the health and well-being of both employees and patients, and minimize associated risks.