Radiation Exposure and Diagnostic Imaging
Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners 2010 Apr ; 22(4): 178-85
PURPOSE: The purpose of this article is to increase clinician awareness of current radiation exposures of diagnostic testing, discuss current practice patterns, and suggest strategies to address issues at the systems level, institution level, and the healthcare provider level. DATA SOURCES: Evidence-based literature including interdisciplinary peer-reviewed articles in the biological and health-related fields. CONCLUSIONS: Radiation exposure related to diagnostic testing is often higher than anticipated for both the clinician and the patient. Strategies to address radiation exposure need to be implemented at many different levels in the system. Best practice initiatives are surfacing and will require a team approach for success. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Nurse practitioners need to be aware of the benefits and risks of diagnostic testing involving radiation exposure. Patients should also be informed of potential risks and benefits. Alternative imaging should be considered and repetitive testing should be monitored closely.
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