Nurses’ knowledge of radiation protection in medicine: a review of literature
Nurses are vital in the management of patients for diagnostic imaging examinations. Some nurses work in radiology departments and others assist radiographers during mobile and theatre radiography. In recent years, there has been a role extension in nursing. Some nurses working in the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland are referring patients for radiological examinations, a role which was traditionally that of medical doctors. This work involves ionising radiation which is harmful to the human body. Therefore, it is essential that nurses understand the measures needed to protect patients, members of the public and themselves from ionising radiation. The primary aim of this article is, therefore, to review nurses’ knowledge of radiation protection in medicine. The literature search was conducted in three databases: ScienceDirect, PubMed/MEDLINE and CINAH, as well as hand searching. Ten primary research studies were identified, selected and included in this review. In general, this review found that nurses are not adequately aware of radiation protection. There is a need to integrate this subject into the nursing curriculum and to provide continuing professional development (CPD) to nurses.