Knowledge And Awareness Of Radiation Exposure And Safety Practice Among Patients Undergoing Medical Imaging In 3 Selected Hospitals In The F.C.T
People become nervous and worried whenever they are exposed to X-rays or similar forms of radiation. Such reactions may be attributed to ignorance, hearsay or actual knowledge of the harmful effects associated with these forms of radiation. To ascertain the true position a Radiation Safety Awareness survey was conducted among patients who receive X-ray irradiation at three Hospitals in F.C.T, Abuja. The study employed the use of a carefully thought-out questionnaire administered to one hundred and thirty three (133) patients and radiographers at the selected hospitals.
1.1 Background of the Study
The use X-rays in imaging modalities such as Computed Tomography (CT scans) and mammography to diagnose injury and illness is on the increase in modern medicine. The biological effects of ionizing radiations are of concern here as evidence shows that medical uses of radiations have harmful effects (Hendee and Edwards, 1996). According to the neuroradiologist Mark Pfleger (http://healthyoutlook.dephealth.com, 2011) patients and the community need to understand the safe use of radiation, and to become more active participants in their own healthcare. Quinn et al. (1997), Bushberg et al. (2003) and Kiguli-Malwandde et al. (2006) report that radiographers and clientele are not very awareness of radiation doses, and that there is a lack of communication between radiographers and patients relating to radiation and its possible effects. X-ray utilization in human medicine leads to exposure of the patient and the radiographer.
Although the radiation dose is low in diagnostic examinations, attention is usually given in order to minimize unnecessary exposure for members of the public and occupational workers. Exposure to ionizing radiation cannot be avoided in medical imaging facilities. Radiation exposure over a long period of time (years) produces stochastic effects (NCRPM, 1980). There is no threshold level of radiation exposure below which it could be said with certainty that cancer or genetic effects will not occur. Doubling the radiation dose doubles the probability that a cancer or genetic effect would occur (Kondo, 1993).
The steps needed to prevent accidental exposures to any part of the body include adequate training of personnel, enlightenment of non-radiation workers in the vicinity of radiation sources (Belyakov et al., 2001), monitoring and control of radiation exposures, putting up warning signs, and proper disposal of radioactive. Radiation protection is the science and art of protecting people and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation. It is also described as all activities directed towards minimizing radiation exposure of patients and personnel during x-ray exposure. In developing nations , more recent studies show that about 3.6 billion imaging studies per year are carried out world-wide, leading to an increase of 70% in worldwide collective effective dose for medical diagnostic procedures. More concern has recently been appeared in recent studies that the knowledge of referring doctors about radiation doses incurred during diagnostic radiological procedures is deficient. Such information may be of particular relevance when the expansion of imaging technology is considered.
All radiology field workers require appropriate monitoring, as well as protection tools and equipment. They must also receive education and training appropriate to their jobs. The level of training should be based on the level of risk. The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) assumes the responsibility of providing guidance in matters of radiation safety. The ICRP has given the recommendations for the system of radiological protection in its ICRP Publication No, 60 (1990) which is based on the following general principles: No practice involving exposures to radiation should be adopted unless it produces a sufficient benefit to the exposed individual or to society and in relation to any particular source within a practice, the magnitude of individual doses, the number of people exposed and the likelihood of incurring exposures where these are not certain to be received should be kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). The European Commission has addressed the importance of training in radiological protection (RP), publishing a guideline with specific recommendations for accreditation of training programs for interventional procedures. Medical use of radiation may exceed natural background as a source of population exposure. In countries with advanced health care systems, the annual number of radiological diagnostic procedures approaches or exceeds one for every member of the population
1.2 Statement of the Problem
This meta-analysis aims to analyze worldwide factors significantly affecting radiographers’ compliance with the Radiation Protection (RP) to reduce radiation effects on hospitals in worldwide setting. RP requires compliance of radiographers because the radiographer plays a central role, as she/he cares for the patient before, during and after the radiographic examination and/or radiological intervention Andersson, et al. Radiographer is the key person involved in radiation exposure. Radiographers need to be more aware of their roles in ensuring total compliance to standard radiation safety in their institution. Compliance levels should be higher to protect the technologist and patient. It is in view of this that the researcher intends to investigate the knowledge and awareness of radiation exposure and safety practice among patients undergoing medical imaging in selected hospitals in F.C.T, Abuja.
1.3 Justification of the Study
The knowledge and awareness of Radiation exposure and safety practice among patients undergoing medical imaging in selected hospitals. Radiation exposure over a long period of time (years) produces stochastic effects. There is no threshold level of radiation exposure below which it could be said with certainty that cancer or genetic effects will not occur. Doubling the radiation dose doubles the probability that a cancer or genetic effect would occur.
As part of my requirement for the award of bachelor degree in science (B.SC), this study is carried out to investigate the knowledge and awareness of radiation exposure and safety practice among patients undergoing medical imaging in selected hospitals.
1.4 Objective of the Study
The main objective of this study is to investigate the knowledge and awareness level of radiation and exposure and safety practice among patients undergoing medical imaging in selected hospital in Abuja. The researcher intend to investigate the effect of radiation exposure on the health of the patients
The specific objectives of this study are;
- To ascertain the impact of radiation exposure on the well-being of the patients
- To investigate the awareness level of the radiographer in treating the side effect of radiation exposure in the patient.
- To investigate the knowledge of radiographer in treating unpleasant side effects of radiation, such as overall fatigue, skin irritation
1.5 Research Hypotheses
To aid the completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated;
H0; radiation exposure does not have any impact on the well-being of the patients
H1; radiation exposure does have a significant impact on the well-being of the patients
H02; there is no side effect of radiation exposure on the health of the patients
H2; there is no side effect of radiation exposure on the health of the patients
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study covers knowledge and awareness level of radiation exposure and safety practice among patients undergoing medical imaging in three selected hospital in Abuja metropolis.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain the knowledge and awareness of radiation exposure and safety practice among patients undergoing medical imaging in 3 selected hospitals in F.C.T.
In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of radiation exposure and safety practice among patient undergoing medical imaging.
The observations made in this study suggested that majority of patients have limited knowledge about exposure and safety radiation exposure, associated risks and modes of radiation protection. The study also posits that misconceptions or wrong perceptions about exposure risks that could potentially affect health care decisions were present among patients. The absence of curricula in basic radiation protection was conspicuously absent in the nurses training program, resulting in poor knowledge on the subject among nurses prior to assuming professional duties in radiology departments.
Apparently, There are legal and ethical implications of exposure to ionizing radiation that need to be addressed, such as the right of a patient to be informed of the risks involved in the procedures to which he or she has been referred. Denying radiation safety may put both staff and patients at risk of undergoing increasing radiological investigations and thus increasing exposure to radiation hazards. Improvement in radiation safety awareness can promote the level of safety and health in the studied hospitals.
Based on the findings from the study, it is recommended that provision of specific objectives regarding radiation and radiation protection in the curriculum as well as during ward rotation for radiographers is essential for enhancing the quality of healthcare and imaging service delivery from radiographers. This can change behaviors regarding health beliefs and attitudes prevalent within the health sector. Accordingly, specific training sessions in radiation hazards and radiation protection in the form of seminars should be organized on a regular basis by the hospital’s radiation protection board. Additionally, recertification of healthcare practitioners should be linked to successful completion of such seminars. The development of instructional intervention-based programs for nurses to improve knowledge of the hazards of radiation and the levels of radiation exposure from examinations and procedures is highly recommended
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