Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


CODE MPH3003

 
TITLE Core Medical Physics and Radiation Protection

 
LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course

 
ECTS CREDITS 5

 
DEPARTMENT Medical Physics

 
DESCRIPTION The study-unit will expand and consolidate the core expertise for professional Medical Physics and Radiation Protection practice and safety culture in preparation for the more specialist professional study-units in Year 4 of the programme. The discussions during the unit will help students to further integrate the different subject areas which make up the multi-disciplinary professions of Medical Physics and Radiation Protection. The unit follows the recommendations regarding core expertise to be found in the EC documents 'European Guidelines on the Medical Physics Expert' and 'Requirements and methodology for recognition of Radiation Protection Experts'.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit aims to:
- Expand and consolidate the core expertise for professional Medical Physics and Radiation Protection practice and safety culture;
- Expand further the application of the core principles of medical physics and radiation protection (ionising and non-ionising) as applied to medical, industrial and environmental situations;
- Prepare students for the specialist professional study-units in Year 4 of the programme.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Explain in detail the core principles of medical physics and radiation protection (ionising and non-ionising) as applied to medical, industrial and environmental situations;
- Apply the principles of medical device management including planning, evaluation of clinical needs, specification for tender purposes, evaluation of tendered devices, procurement, acceptance testing, commissioning, constancy testing, maintenance and decommissioning; the meaning of acceptability criteria as applied to medical devices and international, national and local protocols for assessing the performance of medical devices; medical device software standards and types of software licensing;
- Illustrate how the application of good protocol design, safety practices, human-factors and the use of appropriate devices and techniques are used to optimize clinical protocols with respect to clinical effectiveness and patient/worker/public safety;
- Explain the fundamental characteristics and limitations of the various models/algorithms used in the quantification of individual patient doses from external sources of ionising radiation;
- Explain compartmental/bio-kinetic models and the fundamental characteristics and limitations of the MIRD model and algorithms for internal radionuclide patient dosimetry;
- Explain the principles of patient/occupational/public risk assessment/audit/management, hazard prevention, contingency planning, and emergency preparedness as applied to ionizing radiations;
- Identify the key considerations for the design of a new facility (including waiting and resting rooms) with regards to patient/occupational/public safety (include safety systems e.g., interlocks);
- Explain the procedures for the prevention, investigation, handling and reporting of adverse incidents (including use of Root Cause Analysis/Failure Modes and Effects Analysis or alternative methodology, recommendations of appropriate remedial actions) with respect to patients/workers/public;
- Explain the principles of biological dosimetry;
- Explain the principles of medical device connectivity, connectivity standards and problems with interoperability and possible effects of physical agents on the workings of medical devices (e.g., electromagnetic interference / compatibility);
- Explain the function of ICT hardware and software associated with devices including digital communications networks (LAN, WAN, network typologies, protected subnets for ‘mission critical’ devices including firewalls) and systems (e.g., PACS) and data exchange standards used in medicine (e.g., DICOM, DICOM-RT);
- Discuss hardware configuration, operating systems, IP terminology, port assignment, ftp, telnet, ping testing, network gates/router procedures, virus infection risks (types, routes of propagation, and precautionary measures);
- Explain relevant data and ICT security standards for collection, storage and transmission of data and Data Protection Legislation;
- Explain the operational relationships between hospital information systems (HIS) and information systems specific to the various areas of medical physics practice (e.g., RIS for imaging); and
- Explain data warehousing for archiving and storage and relevant legislation regarding time such information must be kept.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Analyze the research literature concerning the functioning and optimised use of medical devices and safety/risk management with respect to ionizing and non-ionising radiations;
- Select and use dosimetric instruments for the various types of ionizing and non-ionising radiations for patients, workers and public;
- Interpret the results of dosimetry measurements using dose-effect relationships;
- Maintain at a basic level calibration of dosimetry instruments; implement cross-calibration procedures for dosimetry instruments;
- Convert dosimetry quantities measured in air or other medium to relevant dosimetric quantities in tissue;
- Apply the principles of justification (risk/benefit assessment), optimization (including ALARA) and the setting up of DRLs to protect the patient from unnecessary risk;
- Apply the various means of dose reduction (source characteristics, exposure time, distance, shielding, protective apparel, avoiding internal contamination) in protocol optimization;
- Calculate and minimize risks to the unborn child;
- Conduct at a basic level critical examinations (interlocks, warning systems, safety design features and barriers) related to patient safety in own area of medical physics practice;
- Carry out an occupational/public risk assessment with respect to occupational/public safety from ionizing radiations and other physical agents;
- Evaluate facilities/systems/procedures in terms of occupational/public safety;
- Use appropriate test objects/phantoms, data acquisition protocols, to measure the performance indicators of medical devices in the various specialties of medical physics, assess deviations from acceptable values (as indicated by manufacturer and international/European/national standard setting bodies), evaluate the relevance of deviations for clinical practice and suggest actions for restoring default performance;
- Evaluate at a basic level technical specifications of commercial devices;
- Carry out constancy testing procedures;
- Analyze medical devices used in medical physics practice and investigate their design, functioning, associated signal/image processing, safety features, typical specifications and performance indicators;
- Acquire and analyze in detail the literature and user / technical manuals for medical devices; and
- Apply the principles of Radiation Protection in medical, industrial and environmental situations.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main
- IAEA. (2005). Radiation Oncology Physics - A Handbook for Teachers and Students.
- IAEA. (2014). Diagnostic Radiology Physics - A Handbook for Teachers and Students.
- IAEA. (2014). Nuclear Medicine Physics - A Handbook for Teachers and Students.
- Brown, B. H., Smallwood, R. H. et al. (1998). Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering. IoP Publishing.
- Martin, A., Harbison, S., Beach, K., et al. (2018). An Introduction to Radiation Protection. CRC.
- IAEA. (2009). Clinical Training of Medical Physicists Specializing in Radiation Oncology. Training Course Series 37.
- IAEA. (2010). Clinical Training of Medical Physicists Specializing in Diagnostic Radiology. Training Course Series 47.
- IAEA. (2011). Clinical Training of Medical Physicists Specializing in Nuclear Medicine. Training Course Series 50.
- Emerald-Emit Project. (2003). Prpject website: http://emerald2.eu/cd/Emerald2/

Supplementary
- Knoll, G. F. (2010). Radiation Detection and Measurement. Wiley.
- Del Guerra, A. (2004). Ionizing Radiation Detectors for Medical Imaging. World Scientific.
- Wood, A. W., Karipidis K. (Eds). (2017). Non-ionizing Radiation Protection: Summary of Research and Policy Options. Wiley.

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study & Tutorial

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (3 Hours) 100%

 
LECTURER/S

 
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The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

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