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Radiation Safety and Protection

Semester 1

This course discusses the principles of radiation safety and explores the application of these principles for the protection of patients, staff and the general public. The content includes national and international regulatory frameworks, shielding calculations and occupational monitoring for workers exposed to radiation. The risks of excess radiation exposure are significant, potentially leading to a variety of health issues, from cataracts and hair loss to birth defects and the development of cancers. Knowledge and application of the best radiation safety practices, therefore, is beneficial both for patients and healthcare workers. Knowledge of radiation Safety and Protection is a core requirement for medical physicists.

  • Introduction, historical perspective and sources of radiation
  • Radiation protection detection and measurement (Geiger-Mueller counters, proportional counters, scintillators, TLDs, ionization chambers, neutron detectors)
  • Exponential attenuation, half-value layer (HVL), inverse square law, tenth value layer (TVL)
  • Operational dosimetry, e.g., equivalent dose, effective dose, etc.
  • Legal framework for radiation protection
  • As low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) concept
  • Occupational, public exposure and annual limits
  • Shielding calculations
  • Radioactive transport and waste management
  • Risk assessment and communication of risk
  • Emergency procedures
  • Coursework: 50%
    • One in-course tests (2 hours) 20%
    • Two Practical Exercises 20%
    • One Technical Report 10%
  • Final Exam: 50%
    • One Three- hour written paper 50%
Learning Objectives: 

On successful completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Evaluate the application of current laws, regulations and recommendations as applied locally.
2. Describe the local organization of radiation protection: responsibilities, process of authorization, and protection standards.
3. Implement the principles for effective protection from radiation using time and shielding.
4. Perform shielding calculations for radiology and oncology facilities.
5. Discuss concepts of risk, including the evaluation of radiation risks, riskbenefit analysis, and index of harm.
6. Apply methods to minimize dose to sites of risk such as the fetus, lenses and gonads.

Course Code: 
3 Credits
Level 1
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