Awareness of Basics of Radiation, Dose Levels of Imaging Procedures and Radiation Safety among the Nurses in an Academic Hospital in Himachal Pradesh, India: Results of a Cross Sectional Study
Nitin Gupta, Munider Negi, Sumit Kumar, Vandana Khushawa, Vishal Kaundal, Shilpa Sood and Shalini Verma
Journal Title:Acta Scientific Cancer Biology
Objective: To illustrate our institutional experience about the awareness of basics of radiation, dose levels of imaging procedures and radiation safety among the nurses in Himachal Pradesh.Methods: Data was obtained from a multiple question based survey conducted in a group of nurses from the various departments between May 20, 2020 and June 01, 2020. The survey was designed to assess the knowledge and awareness of basic radiation types and effects, dose exposure levels and radiation protection among the participants. Questionnaires were distributed both physically where ever feasible and online using google form. Participation to the survey was voluntary and completely anonymous.Results: Regarding the question of type of radiation that is harmful for living beings, 93.4% of the participants correctly responded that ionizing radiation is harmful, 3.6% said non ionizing radiation is harmful while 3% were not sure about it. Overall, 41.6% of the respondents were aware that of radiation is helpful in diagnosing diseases, treating cancer and can cause cancer. Only 30% of the respondents felt the need to confirm LMP or pregnancy status of a woman of child bearing age before subjecting her to an abdominal/pelvic CT or a nuclear medicine procedure, where as a small but significant 6.8% responded that the radiation dose received from these modalities is very low and of no concern where as 3.6% respondents reported that they were not sure of what should be done. Only 34.6% of the participants were able to tell that children are mostly affected with radiation. Overall 88.97% of the respondents found that it is very important to have knowledge of the radiation dose of common radiological investigations and procedures. Only 48.5% of the participants were aware of nuclear medicie department, others were not aware of it.Overall 66.9% of the participants thought that their knowledge needed improvement and that they would prefer a workshop to update themselves where as 22% par-ticipants though class room lectures would be appropriate to enhance their radiation dose levels and safety related awareness. Only 32 % of the participants were aware that radiation is used to diagnosing, treating and can cause cancer. Only 18 % of the participants were able to tell DEXA Scan, Kidney Scan tests, Thyroid Scan and Bone Scan come under Nuclear Medicine department. Only 10% of the participants were able to say that the modalities which uses ionising radiation are X-Rays, CT scan, PET Scan, Throid scan. The radiation exposure from background radiation was correctly estimated by 45.9%.Conclusion: The results of our study show that the knowledge of nurses in our institute is significantly worse due to lack of their formal training. And there is need to create awareness among the nurses starting from their clinical training period. Future studies should investigate knowledge of radiation protection and performance of radiation protection behavior in nurses, such as those working in the general ward or specialized departments, and educational needs should also be studied to develop customized radia-tion protection education programs.