A literature review into doctors' and nurses' knowledge of ionising radiation

Creasey, Megan (2009) A literature review into doctors' and nurses' knowledge of ionising radiation. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Aim: To critically evaluate and objectively review literature to identify situations where doctors and nurses need an appropriate level of knowledge regarding ionising radiation and to determine if the current level of knowledge is adequate. Rationale: Radiological procedures are traditionally performed by those with specialised training. As doctors and nurses extend their role, they are requesting more examinations and becoming more involved in procedures outside the medical imaging department. Good medical practice involves the assessment of the benefits and risks of radiological examinations and recent studies suggest these risks are significantly underestimated. Methodology: A systematic literature review was conducted using an explicit search strategy with defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Each article was critically analysed for relevance, bias, and methodological limitations. From this analysis the literature was spilt into three sections: radiation protection, the role of the doctor and the role of the nurse. The key themes and the results were collated into a discussion. Results: Doctors and nurses need to understand the risks as well as the benefits of ionising radiation, given their legal responsibilities and their duty of care to patients. The literature review revealed that doctors and nurses across a range of disciplines and centres are unaware of the risks, doses and implications of using ionising radiation. Awareness has not been shown to improve with intensive use, age, grade, or specialty. Conclusion: This dissertation found there is a need for more training and education to give doctors and nurses the knowledge and confidence to discuss the risks and benefits of radiological examinations with their patients and to work safely in a radiation environment. A standardised system for communicating dose and a consensus of the level of education is needed. Interprofessional and patient centred information for the referrer and patient at the point of referral would be beneficial.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Science > School of Health Sciences and Social Work
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/649

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