radiation-part of the job

  1. HI:
    Was talking with a CRNA from a very reputable hospital the other day and he brought up the topic of radiation. It seems that many procedures can involve taking x-rays of the patient. This CRNA said he wears a lead apron, but still!

    He mentioned that is would not be uncommon for several x-rays to be taken within an eight hour day. I am concerned about this, as it is definitely a hazard of the job. (besides infectious disease). I have not heard anyone talk of this...can some real life CRNA's please offer an opinion?

    Thank you kindly,
    Espresso Girl

    PS. It was also mentioned that this particular hospital has had 2 CRNA positions open for months that they can't seem to fill. We pondered why, and he thought it might be money. The pay is 80k for a new grad, sliding up to a cap of 125k for experience. He has been a CRNA since l984 and is still not making the cap. Makes you wonder. It is certainly not a lack of benefits, this place has it all, and the environment is like a 4 star hotel, complete with a baby grand in the lobby. I am assuming this pay is low for what's out there, otherwise the spots would have been filled by now?
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    About Espresso girl!

    Joined: Oct '02; Posts: 36


  3. by   Qwiigley
    Pay out there is considerably higher. I can only say for California (south) new grads sign for $120-140,000 year. Depending whether you want benefits.
    As for the xrays: The max exporsure allowed by law is very low. Very few people even get to 1/2 that number at any time. All CRNAs (that I know) wear radiation badges. Checking every month for exposure. The fact that there is shields, aprons and you step away even 2 feet; decreases the exposure by 20x. For each 2 feet you step away the exposure declines by a lot.
    Now, if you are a ICU nurse: you do not wear a badge, you don't get an apron and sometimes if, like me you were a PICU nurse, you had to hold the kids in the CT scan.... I bet my exposure was much, much much more then. Follow precuations and your risk is minimal.
  4. by   Roland
    exposure wear badges? I'm not a big governmental regulation person BUT if I found myself in the situation you described I would first complain to management, and then to OSHA. Espcially, if it can be documented that routine exposure is part of the job descrition! How would the hospital even go about disagreeing with this position?
  5. by   Espresso girl!
    Well, the CRNA said that if he requested a radiation badge they would, by law (OSHA) have to give him one. I guess he wasn't too concerned about it. I agree, I think everyone should wear one. It's hard to believe a nurse in ICU would not have the right to wear one also, or any nurse that received any type of regular exposure to radiation.

    Espresso Girl
  6. by   Qwiigley
    When we complained, they said our exposure was, "insignificant" Now, after my first semester in CRNA school, I know the data behind xrays. I am much more comfortable being a CRNA!

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