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A knowledge resource for patients and caregivers
Just as with manufacturers of imaging equipment, the guiding principle for doctors and radiographers in reducing radiation dose is “As Low As Reasonably Achievable”. As far as patient exposure is concerned, the procedure requested must be medically indicated and justified. On the other hand, the procedure should be optimized to keep the dose amount as low as possible.
Once you go for examination, the radiographer or equipment operator is required to take certain steps to protect you and him or herself from unnecessary exposure. You will be informed about the process you are about to undergo with important instructions that will help ensure the best possible image. During a CT scan, for example, you will be asked to lie as still as possible during the exposure as movement leads to a blurred image that might have to be retaken, thus doubling your exposure. The operator will then adjust the device to ensure that the dosage is as low as reasonably achievable, taking things such as your weight and size in account to produce the desired outcome.
For certain X-ray procedures they may also provide you with a lead apron that shields other parts of your body from being exposed to unnecessary radiation.