Ionising radiation awareness among resident doctors, interns, and radiographers in a university hospital emergency department
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In emergency medicine practice, radiological investigations relying on ionising radiation are increasingly used to diagnose a wide range of diseases and injuries. The aim of this study was to investigate the knowledge of radiation exposure doses and risks among interns, resident doctors, and radiographers.
Materials and methods
A questionnaire, consisting of 14 questions in multiple choice format, was distributed to 300 participants (100 interns, 100 radiographers, 100 resident doctors) working in the emergency department. The participants were asked to estimate the radiation dose that patients received during the different radiological procedures. The questionnaire was designed to determine the participants' knowledge about radiation-related hazards.
None of the radiation doses delivered by the imaging modalities was 100 % correctly estimated. A total of 41.4 % of all participants and 46.3 % of resident doctors underestimated the radiation doses. The frequency of answers underestimating doses was found to be significantly higher (p < 0.001). Resident doctors, with a 39.4 % correct answer rate, were found to be significantly less knowledgeable when compared with the interns and radiographers (p = 0.003). Emergency resident doctors had a statistically significantly higher rate of correct answers for the lowest and highest radiation sources for a foetus when compared with other groups (p = 0.001, p = 0.008).
Our study showed that the resident doctors’, interns’, and radiographers’ knowledge of radiation exposure from radiological investigations and the associated risks was poor. This result could imply that we are not aware of the radiation risks, and we are inattentive in informing our patients about the radiation exposure related to the different imaging modalities.
KeywordsRadiation awareness Radiological imaging Emergency department Ionising radiation doses
The authors wish to thank Atilla Elhan for his assistance with the statistical interpretation of the data and Nezaket Özgür for contributing to this research.
Conflict of interest
Müge Günalp, Behnan Gülünay, Onur Polat, Arda Demirkan, Serdar Gürler, Meltem Akkaş, and Nalan Metin Aksu declare no conflicts of interest.
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