Radiation protection monitoring among radiographers in selected hospitals around Kampala
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Introduction: The benefit of radiation in the diagnosis and therapeutic management of patients has been of enormous advantage in the treatment of diseases in the health sector. However, the production of scatter radiation by the equipment endangers the operating radiographers by exposing them to an undesired radiation dose. Thus the need for routine monitoring among the radiographers to ensure the dose limits is not exceeded. Aim: The aim of the study was to find out if the radiographers are monitored for their radiation doses in selected 5 hospitals around Kampala i.e. Mulago National Referral Hospital, Kawempe National Referral Hospital, Uganda Cancer Institute, Mengo Hospital, and Kiruddu National Referral Hospital. Methodology: The study used a quantitative descriptive study design to collect data from the radiographers about radiation monitoring. Different study tools such as observation and semi-structured self-completion questionnaires designed in line with the study were used. The data were analyzed using Microsoft excel 2010. Results: There was a 100% response rate with 56.7% of the radiographers having thermoluminescent dosimeters as personal monitoring devices though 40% of these did not actually wear their devices when at the department. 50% of the respondents had their devices taken off for reading quarterly and 70% of them had their data from the dosimeters returned back on time. Half of the hospitals had a resident radiation safety officer,60% lacked radiation safety protocols and safety committees and 53.3% of the radiographers expressed satisfaction with the radiation safety protocols in their departments. Conclusion: The study generally noted that the personal radiation monitoring among radiographers in the selected hospitals in Kampala did not meet the international and national set guidelines by the Atomic energy council as per the council act of 2008. Laxity among the radiographers to adhere to the safety protocols, inadequate of coverage of radiation safety officers in facilities, and infrequencies in the collection and returning of the data from the concerned authorities were the notable causes of the inherencies. The concerned authorities should therefore train and retrain radiographers, train and assign for radiation safety officers and improve efficiency in assessment of the radiation safety devices.