Copyright ©The Author(s) 2016. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Radiol. Feb 28, 2016; 8(2): 142-147
Published online Feb 28, 2016. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v8.i2.142
Importance of establishing radiation protection culture in Radiology Department
Agapi Ploussi, Efstathios P Efstathopoulos
Agapi Ploussi, Efstathios P Efstathopoulos, 2nd Department of Radiology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 12462 Athens, Greece
Author contributions: All authors equally contributed to the design of the manuscript and the literature review.
Conflict-of-interest statement: None declared.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Efstathios P Efstathopoulos, PhD, 2nd Department of Radiology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 1 Rimini St, 12462 Athens, Greece.
Telephone: +30-210-5831818 Fax: +30-210-5831831
Received: August 28, 2015
Peer-review started: August 31, 2015
First decision: September 8, 2015
Revised: October 16, 2015
Accepted: December 16, 2015
Article in press: December 18, 2015
Published online: February 28, 2016

The increased use of ionization radiation for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, the rapid advances in computed tomography as well as the high radiation doses delivered by interventional procedures have raised serious safety and health concerns for both patients and medical staff and have necessitated the establishment of a radiation protection culture (RPC) in every Radiology Department. RPC is a newly introduced concept. The term culture describes the combination of attitudes, beliefs, practices and rules among the professionals, staff and patients regarding to radiation protection. Most of the time, the challenge is to improve rather than to build a RPC. The establishment of a RPC requires continuing education of the staff and professional, effective communication among stakeholders of all levels and implementation of quality assurance programs. The RPC creation is being driven from the highest level. Leadership, professionals and associate societies are recognized to play a vital role in the embedding and promotion of RPC in a Medical Unit. The establishment of a RPC enables the reduction of the radiation dose, enhances radiation risk awareness, minimizes unsafe practices, and improves the quality of a radiation protection program. The purpose of this review paper is to describe the role and highlight the importance of establishing a strong RPC in Radiology Departments with an emphasis on promoting RPC in the Interventional Radiology environment.

Keywords: Radiation protection culture, Radiation safety, Radiology Department, Interventional radiology

Core tip: Radiation protection culture (RPC) is a combination of knowledge, beliefs and practices related to radiation safety. The establishment of a RPC in a Radiology Department demands substantial knowledge of radiation risks, safety rules and active participation of all stakeholders. Professionals have the key role in the creation of a RPC. A strong RPC provides more effective diagnosis and treatment, improves patient and staff safety and reduces radiation exposure. The objective of our study is to highlight the role of RPC in a Radiology Department with an emphasis on promoting RPC in the Interventional Radiology environment.