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Program Information

RSO Refresher Training


C Martel

F Fahey

C Martel1*, F Fahey2*, (1) Brigham and Womans Hospital, Boston, MA, (2) Children's Hospital, Boston, MA

WE-E-137-1 Wednesday 2:00PM - 3:50PM Room: 137

The Role of the Radiation Safety Officer in the Medical Institution
Medical institutions generally have a variety of sources of ionizing radiation including radioactive materials, x-ray devices, and linear accelerators. The role of the RSO can vary widely from one facility to the next. The authority for the regulatory oversight of radioactive materials is delegated to the RSO via a radioactive materials license, and the responsibilities are clearly established. However, authority over other sources of ionizing radiation is less clear which can result in significant gaps in radiation safety management programs. The responsibility of the RSO is least clear in the area of Radiation Therapy. The RSO may be involved in oversight where radioactive materials are used, but rarely are involved in oversight of external beam therapy. The lack of clarity regarding oversight authority, roles and responsibilities has led to medical events and serious gaps in radiation safety that leave patients, workers and the public at risk. Each institution must perform a thorough review to ensure that a consistent framework for managing radiation safety for all sources of ionizing radiation is applied.

The Role of the Radiation Safety Officer in Nuclear Medicine
Nuclear medicine needs be practiced in a manner that is effective, safe for both employees and patients and compliant with all local, state and federal regulations. It is also imperative to meet the standards set by accrediting bodies such as the Joint Commission. Therefore, it is essential that the radiation safety officer work closely with the professional and technical staff working in nuclear medicine to accomplish this. In this presentation, the role of the radiation safety officer in nuclear medicine and the partnership between radiation safety and nuclear medicine will be discussed. This discussion will be in the context of both smaller programs with a specific radioactive materials license as well as larger programs with a broad license where institutional radiation safety committee may also be established. The items that will be review will be establishment of a hot laboratory for handling radiopharmaceuticals, the planning of an imaging room, particularly in the context of hybrid imaging, the acceptance of radiopharmaceutical shipments, personnel monitoring and the implementation of a set of good practices for radiation safety. Lastly, the communication of radiation dose and its potential, associated risk with patients and their families will be discussed.

Learning Objectives
1. To understand the role and responsibilities of the Radiation Safety Officer within a medical institution.
2. To understand the role and responsibilities of the Radiation Safety Officer in a Nuclear Medicine Department.
3. To be aware of health physics responsibilities that often are part of the responsibilities of the medical physicist.
4. To understand the responsibility for safety with all sources of radiation, machines and materials.


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