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Radiation Safety: Protection for Clinicians and Patients

presented by Martin B. Brodsky, PhD, ScM, CCC-SLP

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Martin Brodsky receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Martin Brodsky has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Why should patients and clinicians care about radiation exposure? Safety techniques during radiographic procedures, specifically the videofluoroscopic swallow study (VFSS), are often overlooked and misunderstood. This course will review x-rays, from invention and discovered dangers to current technology, and present a comprehensive and clinically practical guide to radiation safety for clinicians and their patients, whether pediatrics or adults. Suggestions for a more efficient VFSS and recommendations for safe practice to reduce radiation exposures will be emphasized. It's time to enhance your safety knowledge and skills when using ionizing radiation imaging techniques.

Meet Your Instructor

Martin B. Brodsky, PhD, ScM, CCC-SLP

Martin B. Brodsky is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and a member of the Outcomes After Critical Illness and Surgery (OACIS) Group, a multidisciplinary clinical and research group dedicated to understanding and improving patient outcomes after critical illness and surgery, at Johns Hopkins University. He earned his PhD at…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. A Brief History

Ionizing radiation in the form of x-rays was discovered by scientists over 120 years ago, but little did they know the dangers of this radiant energy. This chapter presents a brief but fascinating timeline of major events in radiation history, including perceptions and philosophies, and the potential negative outcomes when safety is ignored.

2. What are X-rays and How are They Measured?

This chapter briefly addresses the physical properties of x-rays and how they are measured. Dosimetry, a passive technique of measuring radiation exposure for clinicians, is explained and how these measurements can be useful for protection is discussed.

3. Policies and Guidelines for Safety

Almost everyone has an opinion, but who are the major players in radiation safety? This chapter reviews federal and state agencies, national guidelines from professional organizations, and other local and independent organizations’ responsibilities for ensuring the safety of clinicians and patients.

4. Principles of Personal Protection

What is it that I need to protect…and how? This very clinically applicable chapter will discuss contemporary misperceptions of radiation safety, the pillars of clinician and patient protections, and the commandments of dosimeter use (and misuse).

5. Radiologist and Radiologic Technologist Considerations

Cliché as it sounds, safety is everyone’s concern. What needs to be considered (and remembered) is that safety is often balanced against value. Although the techniques addressed in this chapter may improve safety, diagnostic and therapeutic potential may be reduced in the process, necessitating a balanced approach.

6. Videofluoroscopy and Summary

Radiation is all around us, and in some places more than others. This chapter compares radiation exposure across many different radiologic examinations and in commonplace areas such as the airport and flying, using VFSSs as a reference point.

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