Degree Name

DrPH (Doctor of Public Health)

Program

Public Health

Date of Award

12-2017

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Katie Baker

Committee Members

Keshang Wang, Ester Verhovsek

Abstract

Medical radiation is estimated to contribute to over 200,000 deaths annually. Recent increases in the use of radiation-producing medical imaging examinations have led to increasing cumulative radiation dose to the general public. Multiple measures have been taken to address this alarming trend, including physician education, technologist education on dose reduction, and equipment-facilitated dose reduction techniques. Shield use can reduce the primary beam by up to 95%. Medical imaging technologists are the primary individuals responsible for applying shielding during an examination. Currently, literature shows that technologists are not shielding individuals as often as they should.

After pilot testing, medical imaging technologists were recruited via email to participate in a national cross-sectional survey in September 2017. The survey contained items related to technologists’ demographics, shielding behaviors, and attitudes and beliefs measured at four social-ecological levels – intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, and community.

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) provided a list of technologists’ email addresses from their directory. One thousand six-hundred and sixty-one email notifications were sent out in the summer of 2017. Of those, 218 technologists (13%) completed the survey.

Among technologists who considered their primary modality to be computed tomography (CT), organizational level factors were a positive significant predictor of shielding behavior. None of the four levels were significant in predicting shielding behavior among diagnostic radiological technologists (x-ray). Individual factors were significantly correlated to shielding behavior among radiologic technologists in the intrapersonal, organizational, and community levels. Study results indicated that interventions implemented at the organizational level may be most effective in increasing shield use among CT technologists. Additional research is needed to better understand factors affecting shield use among medical imaging technologists.

Document Type

Dissertation - Withheld

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Sunday, October 31, 2021

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