Veterinary technicians are at high risk for radiation exposure because they often need to hold animals during imaging procedures. When they are working with particularly uncooperative patients, veterinary technicians are in danger of exposing themselves directly to ionizing radiation, which can be harmful to their health both now and in the future.
In veterinary medicine, technicians may suffer from stochastic effects of radiation exposure — those that occur by chance, such as cancer and genetic mutations. These effects can show up years after the exposure, but they can be just as deadly as non-stochastic. Small amounts of radiation exposure, accumulated over a long period of time, can be very dangerous for humans.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission stipulates that employees should not be exposed to more than 1,250 mrem of ionizing radiation dose per quarter or 5,000 mrem per year. Veterinary technicians who are consistently exposed to unsafe amounts of radiation can easily exceed that limit. Occupational radiation exposure of any kind should be known right away. Yet most radiation monitoring dosimeters on the market today don’t have that option. Every few months, dosimeters must be collected, sent to be processed, results must be reviewed, and badges redistributed to staff. By the time a veterinary technician is alerted to a high dose occurrence, they may not remember what case they were working on at the time of the incident and therefore an opportunity could be lost to reevaluate and instruct for best practices in specific situations.
There’s a smarter way to know your dose now. The Instadose®+ dosimeter, created by Mirion Technologies, allows you to know your dose reading at any time via Bluetooth® technology that transmits the information to be accessed on-demand with a computer or mobile device. The system also automatically sends email alerts when dose levels exceed a specified level. Knowing your dose level now is a smarter way to safeguard your health while you work.