Radiation Safety

Chapter 2 details radiation safety aspects of radionuclide therapy. The nuclear medicine physician is the so-called "captain of the ship" for these procedures, with significant support from local radiation safety officers and radiation health physicists as well as the clinic nuclear medicine technologists. Essential elements begin with procedure planning and knowledge of local radiation safety regulations. This involves ongoing interactions with the hospital or clinic administration and the community, and probably state and national authorities as well. Counseling the patient and his family and the referring physician on radiation safety precautions is as important as safe treatment procedures for the patient. In today's world, patients bring all kinds of preconceived notions and distractions to the interaction with the nuclear medicine physician. These are in addition to having an illness that requires this somewhat unusual treatment (to the mind of the patient). Counseling the patient to a level of understanding about radiation safety procedures for treatment can be a rewarding experience for the nuclear medicine physician because it can fully engage the patient as an active participant in his/her own healthcare.

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