The Medical Technology Management Institute (MTMI), a provider of medical imaging continuing education, announces that it is partnering with the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Office of Radiation Control to provide education and training to their state inspectors, focused on shielding requirements for common radiology department equipment to help ensure patient and healthcare worker safety.

“Medical uses of radiation have grown very rapidly over the past two decades and remains the largest source of man-made ionizing radiation exposure that is hazardous to the U.S. population,” says Max Amurao, PhD, MTMI’s National Medical Physicist Council member. “Understanding the design and evaluation of shields for radioactive sources, x-ray producing equipment, and MRI systems are essential for maintaining a safe imaging environment.”

While non-ionizing radiation from MRI is known to present unique hazards for patients, engineering controls from properly designed and installed safety barriers known as shielding, are among the most effective strategies for protecting individuals from the hazards unique to radiology.

“The training and education provided by MTMI was invaluable to my team; it was thorough and comprehensive,” says John Swindall, director of x-ray compliance at ADPH. “I would not hesitate to use MTMI for future training and would highly recommend them to other state agencies.”

MTMI provided a three-part training course to state radiology inspectors intended to protect and promote the physical and environmental health of the public as well as healthcare staff. The program focuses on shielding common radiology modalities including radiography, mammography, fluoroscopy, CT, MRI, nuclear medicine, SPECT/CT, PET/CT, and radiopharmaceutical therapy. Inspector training strives to ensure that facilities are preventing unnecessary radiation exposure to the public through effective licensing, registration, policy enforcement, and emergency response.

The Alabama Office of Radiation Control staff is responsible for all inspection activities for radiology equipment in the healing arts and the service and safety of these machines. This same staff also evaluates radiation shielding plans with over 200 plans evaluated annually with periodic inspections to ensure the health and safety of patients and healthcare workers while utilizing radiology equipment.