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Evaluating the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours toward radiation safety in the veterinary field and the potential impact of the veterinary curriculum on modifying current practices

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Title: Evaluating the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours toward radiation safety in the veterinary field and the potential impact of the veterinary curriculum on modifying current practices
Author: Jensen, Monica
Department: Department of Clinical Studies
Program: Clinical Studies
Advisor: Hewson, JoanneChalmers, Heather
Abstract: Radiographs are a commonly used diagnostic tool in veterinary medicine that require radiation in their acquisition. Veterinary patients require some form of restraint (i.e. manual and/or chemical) to ensure the patient remains in an appropriate position for a diagnostic study. If manual restraint is employed, veterinary staff may be exposed to radiation, which is known to have detrimental effects to human health at high doses. It is also recognized that most veterinary students obtain experience in veterinary practices and may also be involved in making radiographs prior to veterinary school. The objectives of this study were to 1) describe the current methods used, knowledge level, and attitudes toward radiation safety held by veterinary staff in Ontario, and 2) to describe the experiences obtained, knowledge level, and attitudes regarding radiation safety held by the veterinary students at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) at various timepoints. The study was performed in three sections. First, a questionnaire was offered to all veterinary staff working in veterinary clinics in Ontario. Second, a first-year veterinary class was surveyed before and after a one-hour radiation safety training lecture in their first year. Finally, a third-year veterinary class was surveyed in the final semester of their third year, after their 8-week externship rotation in their fourth year, and after their 2-week Diagnostic Imaging (DI) rotation in their fourth year. Questionnaire responses from all three groups indicated that manual restraint was the most commonly used restraint method, that lead gloves and lead glasses were infrequently worn items of personal protective equipment, radiation safety training was rarely administered, and dosimeter use was lacking in general practice. Lecture-based radiation safety training was shown to improve some cognitive skills and impact attitudes toward feelings of safety when working with radiation in the first-year student population. Clinical training received during the fourth-year DI rotation was shown to improve attitudes toward radiation safety and feeling protected when making radiographs. The content of radiation safety training at the OVC is lacking in some areas, such as where to stand when a radiograph is made.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/16020
Date: 2019-05-05
Rights: Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International