Often we see that large health care systems have some flexibility with their budgets while small offices must be more cost conscious. Small practices must carefully weigh whether expenditures have a significant amount of return on investment to warrant a budget line item. So, what are the essential elements every office must have to maintain an essential radiation safety program?
- Dosimeters– Every employee who administers X-rays should wear a dosimetry badge to measure the amount of radiation to which he or she is exposed.
- Shielding– It is recommended to use proper protection for all technologist who perform examinations that involve ionizing radiation. Lead aprons and thyroid shields are essential basics for every x-ray room. Half aprons, gloves, and gonad shields are also common shielding items kept in every procedure room.
- Signage – It is very important to have proper signage throughout your office to keep employees and patients safe. There are Pregnancy signs to spur conversation about being pregnant before having an examination, to Caution X-ray signs that let people know that x-ray is in use. Sometimes we need custom signs to provide information or guide patients and staff. It’s essential that you have adequate signage throughout your office.
- Equipment maintenance – Proper functioning x-ray machines are worth the investment. It is recommended that machines are regularly inspected to ensure proper performance for the accuracy of images and the safety of employees.
With these three elements in place, facilities will have the basic precautions in place to ensure their protection. Efforts such as these go a long way toward establishing a good reputation in the community and building a solid ethical business.