Radiation Safety Tips for Veterinary Clinics

Veterinary professionals are thoroughly aware of the importance of radiography in veterinary medicine. Radiography enables a deeper comprehension and diagnosis of a wide array of health issues currently plaguing animal patients within their care. The benefits of this practice are relatively large-scale, but the supplementary risk factors are as well.

Radiation exposure is a silent threat within veterinary practices. Exposure is easy to overlook because people are unable to feel, hear, or smell radiation. Let’s examine closer a few tips to keep in mind when working around radioactive equipment. To best reduce risk to your staff members, here are crucial radiation safety tips for veterinary clinics.

Minimize Time of X-Radiation Exposure

"Just-this-once” exposures may not appear harmful, but remember that the risks that accompany each exposure increase with dosage. Each exposure adds up over time. The cumulative effects of this radiation are harmful to the body in a multitude of ways.

There is no safe threshold for exposure, as cell response is not predictable. However, by minimizing the time or dosage, you can limit exposure and reduce potential threats of massive radiation dosage.

Maximize Distance from the Source

Keeping an adequate distance between oneself and radioactive-emitting equipment and patients is one of the major radiation safety tips for veterinary clinics. Many human organ systems are sensitive to ionizing radiation, and the further away from the source an individual is, the less vulnerable they are to the scattering of radiation exposure.

Veterinary technicians should never hold a patient in place for an x-ray but rather utilize hands-free methods such as sedation or nonmanual restraints. Utilize effective employee training to ensure a thorough understanding of this distance principle.

Wear the Proper PPE

Radiation exposure has proven to create long-term health consequences. Hence, exposure precautions remain to be the best available defense. Radiography requires lead shielding clothing and accessories. Lead gowns, gloves, safety goggles, and collars should be worn for protection during each equipment use. Any staff present in the suite or exam room must wear suitable PPE that fits properly.

Make a point of committing to a safety-first policy within your veterinary practice. At Gamma Compliance Solutions, we aim to help provide a safe and healthy work environment for your employees. Alongside our comprehensive OSHA veterinary manual, we provide self-guided online training that includes the Ionizing Radiation Standard. Whatever the size or needs of your veterinary office, we’ve got you covered. Get in touch with any questions you may have or browse through our available packages today.