Hazardous waste refers to non-biological items, which are harmful to human beings, including hospital staff and patients. Examples include radioactive materials and nonfood chemicals. The United States occupational health and safety administration (USOHSA) demands that all information regarding harmful substances should be readily accessible to all individuals in the healthcare environment. The main information included in the safety data sheets is product names, risks, measures to undertake in case one contacts them, and handling, disposal, as well as storage procedures. In healthcare, biohazardous waste is of utmost concern, and it refers to detrimental biological materials to humans. The report is tied to assurance of safe and effective care environment, one of the four main categories of the NCLEX-RN examination blueprint (NCSBN, 2019). It discusses ionizing radiation handling, its importance, healthcare disparities, inequalities and interventions, legal and ethical considerations, and challenges faced in intervening, participant and interdisciplinary approach, and quality improvement in this field.
Importance of the Concept
Radiation therapy is the focus of this paper because radiations are harmful to human health, and a few individuals are well informed about the issue. Excessive radiation exposure is attributed to a lack of adequate training among the therapists and a lack of awareness among patients. The level of training in this field varies depending on the discipline in which a health worker specializes. For instance, interventional surgeons and nurses undergo shallow training, while radiotherapists learn in-depth. Therefore, minimal access to information makes other health workers unfamiliar with the root causes of radiation exposure, compromising risk-minimization and safety interventions. Moreover, the majority of doctors recommend more radiation than necessary when assessing diseases. For instance, the need for high-quality pictures requires intensive radiation therapies.
Radiation safety is crucial for both health professionals and patients. Poleszczuk & Enderling (2018) report that there is an increase in the use of computed tomography examinations in hospitals and they deliver high doses of harmful radiations. Both patients and health workers are at risk of developing radiation-induced problems. For the professionals, vulnerability is high because they perform CT tests regularly, increasing cancer incidences. Additionally, there are a few optimized protocols for radiation release procedures, making radiation safety a significant subject. Implementing the strategy also shows that physicians and caregivers are competent in practicing radiotherapy. As a result, they attract more patients seeking safe and caring healthcare professionals. It also reveals an aspiration to proper and professional standards among health workers.
Healthcare Disparities, Inequalities, and Interventions
Pediatric patients and hospital staff are highly influenced by clinical radiation. Rehani & Nacouzi (2020) report that fluoroscopic procedures release radiations that significantly affect medical staff. Moreover, diagnostic imaging, including mammography and nuclear imaging, contribute to long-term exposures among healthcare professionals. One of the evidence-based sources to support radiation safety intervention include the journal of radiation biology, which contains research on the biological effects of radiation. Some of the identified impacts include tissue responses and genetic abnormalities. Second, the medical imaging and oncology journal is instrumental in providing evidence-based information to support the radiation safety initiative of this project. American Cancer Society is also a crucial source providing research-based information and prioritized content on the latest medical research findings. It covers intensive studies on cancer, patient care, risk reduction, and treatment.
Healthcare disparities lead to adverse effects in mortality, morbidity, and prevalence. African Americans in the US have limited access to radiotherapy compared with Native Americans. Moreover, people with higher socioeconomic statuses are more likely to undergo radiological examinations than their counterparts (McClelland et al., 2017). Pediatric patients and women are also at a greater risk of radiation-initiated problems due to higher exposure than men are. It is, therefore, proposed that medics use approaches with less or no ionizing radiation to protect the wellbeing of patients and staff.
Various interventions have been established to mitigate the issue. Justification is the first measure, and it involves the appreciation of the benefits and risks of using x-rays for treatment and other courses. Medical staff plays significant roles because they inform patients of the potential extreme effects of being exposed to radiation. Often, they educate the community on the procedures that require relatively higher doses to weigh between the risks and benefits before receiving them. Dose limitation focuses on implementing all measures that reduce exposure to radiation despite being an integral part of treating and screening patients. The main argument is that any dose will affect the chances of developing malignant tissues; hence, radiologists teach communities to prioritize protection practices.
Radiation limitation is of the top priority because patients can be educated but still receive higher doses. Second, medics and patients should learn its risks to avoid unnecessary and redundant exposures as they diagnose and treat clients. It is crucial to focus on optimization because they cannot prevent radiations. In this case, it is advisable to use as low as possible doses stated in federal regulations to optimize treatment.
The most important patient education considerations in radiation safety include X-ray risks and the need to keep record cards. Communicating the risks and benefits of radio imaging is crucial to protect patients undergoing radiological exams. They will also be proactive in seeking updated sources concerning the same issue. Similarly, emphasizing the use of patient record cards is necessary to track previous doses of radiation they received. This strategy will help medics to reduce repeated examinations because some patients might lack awareness of their medical imaging history.
Legal & Ethical Considerations and Intervention Challenges
The ethical implication of focusing on radiation safety is better healthcare for populations more patient-focused care for sustainable wellbeing. The moral consideration is non-maleficence, which in this context reduces medical costs and ensures that every individual live a lifestyle that does not expose them to difficult treatment courses (Hui et al., 2018). Legally, radiation elimination or minimization means not implementing the basic standards of optimization and justification to treat patients.
One strategy to prevent the use of radio imaging is to eliminate the regulation that it is performed upon a patient’s consent. This method will protect both the literate and the uninformed patients from exposure—there are legal consequences of radiation safety, especially limitation proposed in this research. Banning non-medical diagnoses such as age determination and seeking evidence for drug smugglers through radio imaging will limit radiologists and society from such exposures.
The main challenge in radiation safety interventions in the professional sector includes the inherence of this treatment and diagnosis strategy in healthcare. Today’s deadly diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular problems, require radio imaging to inform medics on the appropriate treatment courses (Rehani & Nacouzi, 2020). While there are attempts to resolve the effects of radiation, many people lack awareness of its impacts. As a result, they do not understand the strategies that healthcare professionals put to protect them.
Participants and Interdisciplinary Approach
The study will include people from ethnic minorities and a few Native Americans, radiologists, community health nurses, physicians, and a member of the World Health Organization (WHO). Nurses, physicians, and radiologists will compare their knowledge of radiations, while members of the two ethnic groups will share their previous experience in this therapy; information concerning their family members will also be considered. The agent from WHO will provide relevant information regarding this issue to educate healthcare professionals and the ordinary people on the need to minimize exposure to X-rays.
It was mentioned earlier that exposure to radiation varies between ethnic minorities and majority groups. Thus, including them in the study will provide evidence-based information to guide safety interventions. The WHO officer will update the researchers, medics, and the community on the global concerns of radiotherapies and examinations (World Health Organization, 2016). Radiologists undergo intensive training on radiation as compared with other health workers. Including them in this research is essential to justify the fact that their level of information might be limited to warrant some medical radiation.
Both the nursing profession and the patient benefit from limited ionizing radiations. The patients will not develop radiation-induced problems that would be costly in the future. Similarly, professionals will not be exposed to the agents that would harm their health in the long run. The leading resource utilized to improve patient care is the informed diagnosis (Hui et al., 2018). For example, misinformation and misinterpretation lead to frequent imaging, which exposes patients and medics to more ionizing radiation. The main resource used to improve patient outcomes is transparency, regardless of an organization’s financial needs. Having low payment rates and facing market threats can prompt medics to provide untrue results, compromising their clients’ wellness outcomes. For example, cancer-free women can be saved from the risks of repeated mammography, aiming to earn money to the hospital if caregivers provide truthful results.
This paper discussed hazardous waste handling, focusing on unnecessary ionizing radiation. It also highlighted the topic’s significance, legal and ethical considerations, as well as challenges faced in intervening, participant and interdisciplinary approach, and quality improvement in this field. The main resources supporting EBP practice include the journal of radiation biology, the journal of medical imaging and oncology, and the American Cancer Society. Addressing ionizing radiations is significant because they are associated with life-threatening impacts for patients and healthcare professionals.
Hui, D., Hannon, B. L., Zimmermann, C., & Bruera, E. (2018). Improving patient and caregiver outcomes in oncology: Team‐based, timely, and targeted palliative care. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 68(5), 356-376.
McClelland III, S., Page, B. R., Jaboin, J. J., Chapman, C. H., Deville Jr, C., & Thomas Jr, C. R. (2017). The pervasive crisis of diminishing radiation therapy access for vulnerable populations in the United States, part 1: African-American patients. Advances in Radiation Oncology, 2(4), 523-531.
National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). (2019). National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
Poleszczuk, J., & Enderling, H. (2018). The optimal radiation dose to induce robust systemic anti-tumor immunity. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19(11), 3377.
Rehani, M. M., & Nacouzi, D. (2020). Higher patient doses through X-ray imaging procedures. Physica Medica, 79, 80-86. Web.
World Health Organization. (2016). Ionizing radiations: Health effects and protective measures.