How much radiation do you get??


  • Specializes in ICU/CCU/Oncology/CSU/Managed Care/ Case Management. Has 22 years experience.

Hi I am interested in possibly going into radiology nursing. I am just curious are you exposed to a very large amount of radiation??? I am of childbearing age and am concerned regarding this. Working in that department would be 40hrs a week and I just want to protect my eggs the best way I can! :D Thank you!:)


562 Posts

Specializes in Psych, LTC/SNF, Rehab, Corrections.

Not a Rad nurse but I'll take a shot:

If RN's are in the dept at all, I'm sure they wear TLD's to track the levels of radiation rec'vd.

If they're in fluoro, I'm sure they have lead shielding.

Or they hide behind lead barriers...or they use distance when no barrier or shield is available.

Many xray techs are female (myself included) and have been shooting for decades. They're exposed to WAYYY more radiation than the RN's on a daily.

If WE haven't been stricken with infertility and aren't dying from radiation poison -- RN's have nothing to worry about.

Rad techs must use low MAS/high KVP techniques in their exams. MAS being the culprit, that is.

Anyay, if you're with a doc in 'fluoro', they only 'fluoro' for seconds at a time...and the radiation emitted by the CT is no big deal. Actually it hardly matters because ppl aren't usually in the room when the scanner is on...and if they are, they get a lead dress to wear.

Xray depts usually have lead in their walls, anyway. Nothing seeps through.

dianah, ASN

9 Articles; 3,628 Posts

Specializes in Cath Lab/Radiology. Has 48 years experience.

Depends where one works within the dept.

As in any area of potential exposure, the goal is to keep exposure to a minimum, whether you work in the Nuclear med area (being exposed to "hot" pts is a risk), CT, etc.

Cath Lab/Angio area can be particularly high exposure area, especially if one is involved doing EP studies/ablations or biventricular ICDs/pacemakers.

Lead aprons are worn by all in the room (any fluoro or Xray exposure, not Nuc med).

Every person who will potentially be exposed to radiation is issued a radiation badge.

The badge is worn daily and its innards changed monthly.

The inner part collects any radiation exposure and when it is returned to the company they measure how much radiation exposure has occurred.

A report is generated to the department, showing monthly and cumulative radiation exposure.

That said, I have worked IR/Radiology for over 25 yr.

Went thru two pregnancies, two normal births (dept worked with me to help thoroughly reduce exposure while I was pregnant, especially in the first trimester).

Have never had high exposure readings.

One must be informed and aware, and protect oneself.

PM me if you have further questions. :)