Radiation Protection for the Pregnant Student
In keeping with National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements recommendations, the School of Radiologic Technology has adopted a student pregnancy policy. Its purpose is to provide for the well being of the unborn, while ensuring the quality of education afforded the pregnant student.
It is the responsibility of the student to obtain medical verification of a suspected pregnancy as soon as possible. For radiation protection purposes, the pregnant student is encouraged, but not required, to declare her pregnancy in writing to the program director as soon as possible after the pregnancy is confirmed. The declared pregnant student will be counseled regarding the known risks associated with fetal irradiation and will be given one week to choose a course of action.
The declared pregnant student may elect to take up to one year leave of absence, or she may elect to remain in school. If she chooses to remain in school her clinical rotation assignments will remain unaltered. She will be counseled concerning the appropriate radiation safety practices and must comply with the following guidelines:
The declared pregnant student will:
- Provide a bi-monthly statement from her physician indicating she may continue her normal activities as a radiography student without limitation.
- Wear a wrap-around apron at all times when a protective apron is required.
- Be provided and wear an additional radiation-monitoring dosimeter worn at waist level to enable calculation of the fetal radiation dose.
- Avoid all unnecessary exposure, and stand behind a protective barrier whenever possible.
- Never hold a patient or image receptor during an exposure.
- Agree to adjustments in her clinical schedule if her dose approaches dose equivalent limits (500 mrems/5 mSv) during the course of the pregnancy. She may be reassigned to low exposure clinical rotations, or may elect to take a leave of absence.
- Return to full-time status as soon as possible after delivery, but only on the expressed written permission of her physician.
Declaration of pregnancy is strictly voluntary. The pregnant student may choose not to declare her pregnancy, or the declared pregnant student may choose to undeclare her pregnancy in writing at any time. Limitations and adjustments to clinical schedules will only be required for the declared pregnant student. Any pregnant student who chooses to either not declare or undeclare her pregnancy agrees to assume total responsibility for any problems that arise.
To be eligible for graduation, all students must meet all the criteria listed in the Graduation Policy. Program extension due to pregnancy leave may not exceed one year beyond the originally scheduled graduation date.