KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS OF RADIATION EXPOSURE AND SAFETY PRACTICE AMONG PATIENTS UNDERGOING MEDICAL IMAGING IN 3 SELECTED HOSPITALS IN THE F.C.T

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

The use X-rays in imaging modalities such as Computed Tomography (CT scans) and mammography to diagnose injury and illness is on the increase in modern medicine. The biological effects of ionizing radiations are of concern here as evidence shows that medical uses of radiations have harmful effects (Hendee and Edwards, 1996). According to the neuroradiologist Mark Pfleger (http://healthyoutlook.dephealth.com, 2011) patients and the community need to understand the safe use of radiation, and to become more active participants in their own healthcare. Quinn et al. (1997), Bushberg et al. (2003) and Kiguli-Malwandde et al. (2006) report that radiographers and clientele are not very awareness of radiation doses, and that there is a lack of communication between radiographers and patients relating to radiation and its possible effects. X-ray utilization in human medicine leads to exposure of the patient and the radiographer. Although the radiation dose is low in diagnostic examinations, attention is usually given in order to minimize unnecessary exposure for members of the public and occupational workers. Exposure to ionizing radiation cannot be avoided in medical imaging facilities. Radiation exposure over a long period of time (years) produces stochastic effects (NCRPM, 1980). There is no threshold level of radiation exposure below which it could be said with certainty that cancer or genetic effects will not occur. Doubling the radiation dose doubles the probability that a cancer or genetic effect would occur (Kondo, 1993). The steps needed to prevent accidental exposures to any part of the body include adequate training of personnel, enlightenment of non-radiation workers in the vicinity of radiation sources (Belyakov et al., 2001), monitoring and control of radiation exposures, putting up warning signs, and proper disposal of radioactive. Radiation protection is the science and art of protecting people and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation. It is also described as all activities directed towards minimizing radiation exposure of patients and personnel during x-ray exposure. In developing nations , more recent studies show that about 3.6 billion imaging studies per year are carried out world-wide, leading to an increase of 70% in worldwide collective effective dose for medical diagnostic procedures. More concern has recently been appeared in recent studies that the knowledge of referring doctors about radiation doses incurred during diagnostic radiological procedures is deficient. Such information may be of particular relevance when the expansion of imaging technology is considered. All radiology field workers require appropriate monitoring, as well as protection tools and equipment. They must also receive education and training appropriate to their jobs. The level of training should be based on the level of risk. The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) assumes the responsibility of providing guidance in matters of radiation safety. The ICRP has given the recommendations for the system of radiological protection in its ICRP Publication No, 60 (1990) which is based on the following general principles: No practice involving exposures to radiation should be adopted unless it produces a sufficient benefit to the exposed individual or to society and in relation to any particular source within a practice, the magnitude of individual doses, the number of people exposed and the likelihood of incurring exposures where these are not certain to be received should be kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). The European Commission has addressed the importance of training in radiological protection (RP), publishing a guideline with specific recommendations for accreditation of training programs for interventional procedures. Medical use of radiation may exceed natural background as a source of population exposure. In countries with advanced health care systems, the annual number of radiological diagnostic procedures approaches or exceeds one for every member of the population

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

This meta-analysis aims to analyze worldwide factors significantly affecting radiographers’ compliance with the Radiation Protection (RP) to reduce radiation effects on hospitals in worldwide setting. RP requires compliance of radiographers because the radiographer plays a central role, as she/he cares for the patient before, during and after the radiographic examination and/or radiological intervention Andersson, et al. Radiographer is the key person involved in radiation exposure. Radiographers need to be more aware of their roles in ensuring total compliance to standard radiation safety in their institution. Compliance levels should be higher to protect the technologist and patient. It is in view of this that the researcher intends to investigate the knowledge and awareness of radiation exposure and safety practice among patients undergoing medical imaging in selected hospitals in F.C.T, Abuja.

1.3 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY

The knowledge and awareness of Radiation exposure and safety practice among patients undergoing medical imaging in selected hospitals. Radiation exposure over a long period of time (years) produces stochastic effects. There is no threshold level of radiation exposure below which it could be said with certainty that cancer or genetic effects will not occur. Doubling the radiation dose doubles the probability that a cancer or genetic effect would occur.

As part of my requirement for the award of bachelor degree in science (B.SC), this study is carried out to investigate the knowledge and awareness of radiation exposure and safety practice among patients undergoing medical imaging in selected hospitals.

1.4 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The main objective of this study is to investigate the knowledge and awareness level of radiation and exposure and safety practice among patients undergoing medical imaging in selected hospital in Abuja. The researcher intend to investigate the effect of radiation exposure on the health of the patients

The specific objectives of this study are;

i) To ascertain the impact of radiation exposure on the well-being of the patients

ii) To investigate the awareness level of the radiographer in treating the side effect of radiation exposure in the patient.

iii) To investigate the knowledge of radiographer in treating unpleasant side effects of radiation, such as overall fatigue, skin irritation

1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

To aid the completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated;

H0:radiation exposure does not have any impact on the well-being of the patients

H1:radiation exposure does have a significant impact on the well-being of the patients

H02: there is no side effect of radiation exposure on the health of the patients

H2: there is no side effect of radiation exposure on the health of the patients

1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope of this study covers knowledge and awareness level of radiation exposure and safety practice among patients undergoing medical imaging in three selected hospital in Abuja metropolis.