Research

Radiation safety requirements for training of users of diagnostic X-ray equipment in South Africa

B van der Merwe, S B Kruger, M M Nel

Abstract


Background. Globally, the aim of requirements regarding the use and ownership of diagnostic medical X-ray equipment is to limit radiation by abiding by the ‘as low as reasonably achievable’ (ALARA) principle. The ignorance of radiographers with regard to radiation safety requirements, however, is currently a cause of concern. The enhancement of the 4-year radiography curriculum leading to a Bachelor’s qualification provides an opportunity to explore the training and assessment to meet, among others, the ALARA principle, which addresses national and international concerns and criteria. Healthcare workers outside the scope of radiography, who are also considered radiation workers, may be even more ignorant and are therefore also implicated. The process of investigation included a contextualisation of the available regulation documents, the Delphi technique to determine the content of the training, and a questionnaire to test students’ knowledge before and after training.

Objectives. To determine the content of the radiation safety requirements training and assessment to implement standardised teaching, learning activities and assessment to prepare radiographers as radiation workers well trained for practice.

Methods. The content of the radiation safety requirements training was determined with the Delphi technique.

Results. Consensus regarding the content of the radiography students’ training was reached and implemented. Furthermore, it guided the development of teaching and learning activities complemented by aligned assessment.

Conclusion. Standardised education and assessment for radiation safety requirements have the potential to ensure that radiation safety regulations are implemented optimally in diagnostic imaging.


Authors' affiliations

B van der Merwe, Department of Clinical Sciences, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa

S B Kruger, Division of Health Sciences Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

M M Nel, Division of Health Sciences Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

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Keywords

Radiation worker; Radiation safety regulations; Training and assessment; ALARA

Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2017;9(3):123-127. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.2017.v9i3.691

Article History

Date submitted: 2017-09-27
Date published: 2017-09-27

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