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Assessment of Radiation Safety Knowledge Among Urology Residents in the United States.

  • Harris, Andrew M1
  • Loomis, John1
  • Hopkins, Marilyn1
  • Bylund, Jason1
  • 1 Department of Urology, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, Kentucky.
Published Article
Journal of Endourology
Mary Ann Liebert
Publication Date
May 17, 2019
DOI: 10.1089/end.2019.0133
PMID: 30997835


Introduction: Urologists are increasingly exposed to fluoroscopy, which can cause cellular damage. Appropriate awareness and safety precautions concerning fluoroscopy are necessary and likely should be a focus during training. We sought to assess radiation safety knowledge among Urology residents in the United States. Methods: A 19-question survey was constructed to assess radiation safety training, knowledge, behavior, and attitudes. The survey was sent through REDCap™ (Research Electronic Data Capture) to all Urology program directors and coordinators in the United States with a request to distribute to their residents. The survey was closed after 3 weeks. Results: One hundred thirty-six urology trainees responded during the study period. Thirteen percent learned fluoroscopic radiation safety formally, 46% informally, 35% both informally and formally, and 6% no education. Forty-six percent reported radiation safety being part of their curriculum. When asked about directional X-ray travel and exposure, only 54% answered correctly. Regarding conditions related to radiation exposure, 94% believe infertility is potentially related, 83% cataracts, 93% leukemia and lymphoma, 57% central nervous system tumors, 77% birth defects, and 4% diabetes. Regarding protection, 9% wear lead-lined glasses, 30% dosimeters, 99% thyroid shields, 0% lead gloves, 97% lead apron, 26% lead shield, and 0% nothing. Regarding fluoroscopy machine settings, 7% knew the machine used was set to continuous, 73% pulse, and 21% were unsure. Sixty-six percent had awareness of the directional travel of the machine routinely used. Regarding safety techniques, 99% knew decreasing time and 100% knew wearing protective materials decrease exposure. However, when asked about distance and exposure, 55% answered incorrectly. Most respondents believe radiation safety is important (89%) and desire more formal education (64%). Conclusions: Trainees lack sufficient knowledge in several key areas regarding radiation safety. Formal education may be considered during training and is desired by trainees. This education is likely needed to ensure trainees learn methods to keep them safe during their career.

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