As a health care setting, UConn Health still requires face masks and physically distancing inside our facilities. Get the latest on visitor guidelines, COVID-19 vaccines, and safety measures we have in place.

Services

The following is services most frequently performed or provided by the Office of Radiation Safety (ORS). Please contact ORS at 860-679-2250 if you have any questions about another service not mentioned in the list below.

Program Management

The Office of Radiation Safety (ORS) develops and oversees implementation of the UConn Health radiation safety program. This program ensures the safe use of radioactive materials, radioactive sources, and radiation generating equipment. It also ensures exposures are maintained as low as reasonably achievable in accordance with state and federal guidelines.

The program is further outlined in the Radiation Safety Manual. The manual outlines and explains many aspects of the program. It also contains references and links to procedures, forms, and applicable websites.

The radiation safety program has two primary objectives.

  1. To ensure compliance with UConn Health’s NRC license plus all federal and state regulatory requirements.
  2. To ensure exposures are maintained as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA).

Training

ORS develops, conducts, and provides input on an extensive amount of training in support of the radiation safety program goals and objectives. Examples include basic radiation awareness training, radioactive materials training, badge training, fluoroscopy worker training, fluoroscopy equipment operator training, and radiation safety training for nurses assisting with the administration of radionuclide therapies.

Training records are maintained in employee personnel files in Human Resources or in a database maintained by ORS. Refer to the training tab on this website or contact ORS at 860-679-2250 for more information on training.

Occupational Dose Management

ORS develops and manages the dosimetry program for UConn Health. This includes all processes and procedures for assignment of dosimetry, monitoring and reporting of dose, establishment of ALARA alert levels, and follow-up with employees to ensure exposures are maintained within state and federal limits and as low as reasonably achievable.

Dosimetry is typically assigned to radiation workers either working with radioactive materials or having the potential to receive 10% of the annual federal limit or 25% of the State of Connecticut quarterly limit (whichever is less), for exposure to the whole body, lens of eye, or extremities from external sources of radiation. This includes employees, researchers, residents and fellows.

Dosimetry may also be assigned to visitors or individuals who need to temporarily enter or work in an area where dosimetry is required.

Fetal dosimetry is assigned to all declared pregnant workers who have voluntarily declared their pregnancy in writing, with the Office of Radiation Safety.

ORS reviews dosimetry reports, reports metrics to the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) and Quality Assurance Performance Improvement Committee (QAPI), follows-up with unused or unreturned badges, sets ALARA alert levels, and investigates unusually high or low doses or anytime an ALARA alert level is exceeded to ensure exposures remain below state and federal exposure guidelines. For information on how to access your personal dosimetry records, refer to the Radiation Safety Manual or FAQs.

ORS conduct audits to ensure radiation workers are properly wearing dosimetry and reports these results to the RSC and QAPI.

ORS reports doses exceeding ALARA alert levels to the RSC and works with individuals and departments to ensure exposures are maintained within State and Federal limits.

ORS performs staff contamination and/or ingestion evaluations following emergency situations, spills, etc.

Radioactive Material and Source Management

ORS maintains the official inventory of radioactive materials and sources for UConn Health.

ORS manages/oversees the testing for all radioactive material sources and equipment, survey meter calibrations, and dose calibrator testing.

ORS oversees the receipt, delivery, and shipment of radioactive materials within and to/from UConn Health’s campuses. ORS also manages the decay and disposal of radioactive materials in accordance with state and federal guidelines.

ORS maintains the UConn Health NRC license.

ORS maintains all radioactive material (RAM) registrations with the NRC and/or Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Equipment Management

ORS works closely with Clinical Engineering to maintain the official inventory of radiation generating devices (RDGs) using the TMS computerized maintenance management system. This system is also used to plan, schedule, and document the completion of maintenance and repairs on radiation generating devices (RGDs).

ORS maintains the official inventory of radiation survey equipment for UConn Health, provides calibration/quality assurance services for survey meters and other instruments, as required, and maintains all RGD registrations with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

ORS also reviews all medical physicist testing documentation and reports this information to the Radiation Safety Committee.

ORS maintains x-ray tube registrations with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Facility Management

ORS conducts surveys in areas using radioactive material and RGDs to ensure work areas are free of contamination, to verify proper storage of radioactive material, to ensure exposure rates are within allowable levels, and to ensure areas are properly secured and labeled.

ORS confirms signs are correctly posted for radiation areas and that emergency contact signs are posted, updated, and visible.

ORS also provides shielding designs and/or conducts shielding (barrier) evaluations for areas where radiation generating devices or radioactive materials are used to ensure radiation exposure in controlled and uncontrolled areas are compliant with regulatory requirements.

Personal Protective Equipment

ORS maintains the official inventory of personal protective equipment (PPE) for UConn Health. This includes lead/lead equivalent aprons, thyroid shields, and eye ware worn by radiation workers, as well as all lead/lead equivalent aprons and gonad shields used on patients.

ORS conducts annual evaluations on all PPE in the inventory.

Patient Dose Management

ORS establishes fluoroscopy exposure threshold criteria and performs peak skin and fetal dose estimations as necessary. ORS will provide patient follow-up recommendations to the fluoroscopy x-ray unit operator based on the results of the peak skin dose estimation.

Support for Radionuclide Therapy

ORS supports radionuclide therapies by prepping patient rooms, monitoring dose infusions, recording patient exposures, providing discharge instructions to patients, verifying release conditions have been met, and surveying and decontaminating areas once patients have been released.

ORS works closely with the UConn Health clinical community to safely launch new radiopharmaceutical therapies, oncology procedures, and/or emerging technologies.

Prior to any radionuclide therapy, ORS consults with patients and/or families to explain the therapy, radiation safety precautions, and to answer any radiation safety questions they might have regarding the procedure or their exposure to radiation. Our aim is to teach them strategies for minimizing potential radiation exposures to their families.

ORS also provides advice to Authorized Users and medical teams on cases involving radionuclide therapies.

Non-Ionizing Radiation Management

ORS provides laser safety training and consultation for research/clinical (non-hospital) uses of Class 3 and 4 lasers.

For information on hospital laser safety, please contact Clinical Engineering.

Other

ORS performs radiation risk assessments on the use of RAM or RGD in human research and provides reports to the Investigational Review Board (IRB).