Dear Colleagues,

Good day.

I am a cardiac cath lab nurse here in Dubai, I was questioned many times for having abnormal reading from my radiation monitoring badge. I was told that I should not have any reading more than the interventionist and the technician, since we are not the main operator but the nurses are the one attending to all cases and sometimes work close to the source of the radiation when patient is critically ill and when it is necessary. According to the International standard/practices, if a single DIS badge/TLD is worn it is usually placed outside the apron at collar level because this is to monitor the exposure of the staff’s head, lens of the eye and neck. It is important to ensure that our lens and thyroid radiation exposure dose equivalents are within recommended limits but in our practice here in our hospital, we were told to keep our DIS/TLD badges inside our lead apron to keep the reading at the minimum, which we felt defeats the purpose. They were just after the safety and how effective our lead gowns & thyroid shields are, but not for the welfare of the staff. Although the radiation in the Cath lab does not impose any major concern or impact a significant risk to our health because we comply with the established safety practices. The cumulative risk with lifetime exposure could become a significant risk.

I hope they consider giving nurses who work under ionizing radiation a benefit such as radiation hazard pay or a radiation vacation which is paid, in lieu of their submission to the occupational hazard, otherwise nobody will volunteer to work in the Cath Lab and take the risk.

We would like to ask from you if you have any Radiation Safety issue in your area. We are going to do a FOCUS PDCA regarding the current practice in our hospital. Our hospital is a government owned Emergency & Trauma Center I believe that most of our cases uses radiation. I don’t know if all staff attended orientation regarding the effects and safety of radiation. We are conducting a survey from each department and from other institution as well for benchmarking.

Hope to hear from cath lab nurses as well as those who work under ionizing radiation in the hospital. Thank you in advance.

رايموند ألبيرتو جو

ممرض قانوني –التمريض – م/راشد

Raymond Alberto N. Go

Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse

Cardiac Interventional Unit (CIU)

Rashid Hospital