Occupational radiation exposure to nursing staff during cardiovascular fluoroscopic procedures: A review of the literature

Kelly Wilson-Stewart, Madeleine Shanahan, Davide Fontanarosa, Rob Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
106 Downloads (Pure)


Fluoroscopy is a method used to provide real time x-ray imaging of the body during medical procedures to assist with medical diagnosis and treatment. Recent technological advances have seen an increase in the number of fluoroscopic examinations being performed. Nurses are an integral part of the team conducting fluoroscopic investigations and are often located close to the patient resulting in an occupational exposure to radiation. The purpose of this review was to examine recent literature which investigates occupational exposure received by nursing staff during cardiovascular fluoroscopic procedures. Articles published between 2011 and 2017 have been searched and comprehensively reviewed on the referenced medical search engines. Twenty-four relevant studies were identified among which seventeen investigated nursing dose comparative to operator dose. Seven researched the effectiveness of interventions in reducing occupational exposure to nursing staff. While doctors remain at the highest risk of exposure during procedures, evidence suggests that nursing staff may be at risk of exceeding recommended dose limits in some circumstances. There is also evidence of inconsistent use of personal protection such as lead glasses and skull caps by nursing staff to minimize radiation exposure. Conclusions: The review has highlighted a lack of published literature focussing on dose to nurses. There is a need for future research in this area to inform nursing staff of factors which may contribute to high occupational doses and of methods for minimizing the risk of exposure, particularly regarding the importance of utilizing radiation protective equipment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-297
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


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