Awareness of ionizing radiationamong medical students.

  • CO Okafor
  • GU Eleje
Keywords: ionizing radiation, sources, benefits and hazards.

Abstract

Background: Ionizing radiations which occur naturally and artificially can be beneficial and hazardous. Its proper knowledge is needed to ensure that its risks far outweigh the hazards in our world that is heavily dependent on IR for medical, household and industrial purposes.
Objective: This is to assess the awareness of medical students who are the future medical practitioners of the sources, benefits and
hazards of ionizing radiation.
Method: This is a descriptive cross sectional study carried out among clinical medical students of Nnamdi Azikiwe university Nnewi campus. Data was collected from 150 respondents using a semi- structured questionnaire.
Results: A total of150 questionnaires were distributed with 138(92.0
%) returning appropriately completed questionnaire. The mean age of the respondents was 24.8+-3.3 years. One hundred and thirty six (98.6%) of the respondents have heard of ionizing radiation. Only 81(58.7%) thought that the source IR that affected normal population is industrial. Twelve (9.7%) knew that consumer products are sources of ionizing radiation. All
the respondents (100%) knew that x-ray imaging uses IR but their knowledge of other imaging modalities was poor. Out of the
138 respondents 127(92.0%) knew that IR can be beneficial or useful and (82.8%) knew that there is a level of IR that is safe. Cancer was the perceived adverse effect of IR in majority of cases (31.6%).
Conclusion: Almost all the respondents have heard of IR but their knowledge of possible risk of exposure by certain household
appliances/consumer products and medical procedures was very poor.
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