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Resident Orientation Manual

Produced by Galveston Shriners Burn Hospital and
The University of Texas Medical Branch Blocker Burn Unit.
Contributors:  Sally Abston MD, Patricia Blakeney PhD, Manubhai Desai MD,
Patricia Edgar RN, CIC, John P Heggers PhD, David N Herndon MD,
Marsha Hildreth RD, Ray J Nichols Jr. MD



   Everyone is exposed daily to various kinds of radiation:  heat, light, ultraviolet, microwave, ionizing and so on.  For the purpose of this guide, only ionizing radiation (such as x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons and other high-speed atomic particles) is considered.

   Actually, everything is radioactive and all human activities involve exposure to radiation.  People are exposed to different amounts of natural 'background' ionizing radiation depending on where they live.  The average person is exposed to a total dose of about 125 millirems per year from natural background radiation.

Biologic effects of ionizing radiation:

Genetic - radiation induced gene mutations, chromosome breakage and anomalies
Somatic - incidence of leukemia, thyroid tumors, skin lesions and cataracts
Growth - adverse effects of fetus and young children
Life Span - shortened life-span or premature aging

To prevent injury:

Keep your radiation exposure as low as reasonably achievable by:

- Reducing the time and potential for exposure.
- Maintaining distance from radiation sources.
- Using shielding.

Observe radiation safety practices:

1.  Identify radiation warning signs.

2.  Observe rules of time, distance and shielding.
   In Labs:
  Do not smoke, eat, drink, or apply cosmetics around radioactive materials in labs.
  Do not pipette solutions by mouth in labs where radioactive materials are used.
  Use disposable gloves while handling radioactive material when feasible.
  Wash hands after working around radioactive material.
   In Clinical Areas:
  Wear protective shielding material when indicated.
  Wear a monitoring device based on use of radiation equipment or radioactive materials if your job requires it.
  Do not hold patients for radiological procedures.

3.  When in doubt, ask the hospital's Safety Officer by calling #6675.


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