Brachytherapy - Need info quickly please!

  1. A coworker called me this AM, very angry, because there is a patient in our ICU that has radiation implants in his neck and no one has instructed our staff on how to care for this patient.

    She wasn't his nurse, but was down the hall from his room. All she could tell me was that there was some kind of penlight thing that measured some sort of level, and his was 180?? She said there were no signs, no shields, no dosimeter for the nurse caring for the patient, and that no one was given any info on lengths of exposure time, etc.

    I have to work tonight, and because of how staffing is falling out, he will probably be mine. What do I need to do to ensure my own safety? I have absolutely NO chemo/radiation experience.

    Thanks for any help!
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    About SICU Queen

    Joined: Jan '02; Posts: 571; Likes: 505
    RN/Mother/Housekeeper/Vet/Should I go on?
    Specialty: 16 year(s) of experience in SICU


  3. by   prmenrs
    Can you call the floor he came from? Or the oncologist?
  4. by   RNOCN2311

    I've done prostate brachytherapy and after care instruction are just to not hold grandchildren, children on your lap but they can sit beside you. I'm going on a limb here and saying it's probably the same type of thing, your probably safe, but I'd call the Radiation oncology nurse or call your nursing supervisor and see what she can find in policy. Whoever put it in, surgery?, should have some documentation. You could even check with the radiologist if you have one on nights. Most likely you don't have rad onc on a Sunday night. In my experiece for it to be harmful to you on the outside of the skin it would be to harmful to the patient to have inside the skin. Good luck but check for a policy.
  5. by   NRSKarenRN