Medical Workers

Understanding the fundamentals of radiological health protection is essential for all radiation workers, including employees, students and contractors engaged in patient care in hospitals, radiology clinics and medical practices. Radiation workers must take precautions to protect their patients, co-workers and themselves from unnecessary exposure to radiation. Radiation protection in health care facilities is primarily achieved by engineering controls such as computerized automatic exposure controls, or interlocks and hazard lights that provide warnings or delayed access to the operatory while x-ray units are energized, as well as procedural controls such as credentialing, continuing education and training of workers engaged in administering radiation procedures to patients. For medical devices that operate at relatively higher peak energy levels (kVP), for example, computed tomography (CT), linear accelerator (radiation therapy), or fluoroscopic radiography(continuous beam) - consistent use of protective clothing such as lead lined aprons, and radiation badges to record occupational dose which accumulates over a lifetime, are important.

Resources for health care workers:

  • Answers to a range of questions about radiation, with answers vetted by multiple professional organizations. Of special interest to radiation workers in their reproductive years are the “Radiation and Me” and “Radiation and Reproduction” sections of this web site, which is hosted by the Health Physics Society:

  • The Importance of Radiation Safety for Healthcare Workers, as well as Patients:

photo medical workers