The Evolving Role of the Medical Radiation Safety Officer

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The field of medicine has been rapidly changing recently for providers and patients. This article considers how such changes have impacted the roles and responsibilities of the medical facility radiation safety officer. To supplement the personal experiences of the authors, a questionnaire soliciting voluntary feedback was submitted to a group of medical radiation safety officers. Several common themes emerged in the responses received, confirming that the role of the medical radiation safety officer has indeed changed concurrent with the changes occurring in medicine, frequently due to changing regulations and accreditation requirements in response to new and novel imaging and treatment modalities. Today’s medical radiation safety officer faces some daunting challenges, including limited staffing, incorporation of numerous accreditation standards, and maintenance of effective communication with administrators and other personnel. Nonetheless, respondents indicate that they have tremendous job satisfaction and embrace the changing landscape. Shared challenges and changes are discussed herein to provide readers with a perspective on the life of a medical center radiation safety officer.

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