Radiation Protection and Safety in Hospital Environment

Academic year
Subject Area
Física Médica
Language of Instruction
Other Languages of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
2nd Cycle Studies - Mestrado

Recommended Prerequisites

Not applicable.

Teaching Methods

• Theoretical lectures (64%);

• Presentation of an individual work delivered by each student (12%);

Relevant topics for this CU, with the corresponding scientific articles and other texts, will be assign to each student at the beginning of the semester for studying in depth. Tutorial guidance will be given by the teacher for this task. Each student will present the topic in classroom during 20 minutes plus 10 minutes of discussion with the remaining students. The presentations will be delivered at the end of the semester.

• Theoretical-practical classes with supervised exercises on shielding calculations for radiotherapy, nuclear medicine and radiology facilities (16%);

•2 Visits to medical facilities at IPO Coimbra for presenting to the students the radiation protection programme implemented in the institution and the quality assurance programme implemented in the radiology department (8%).

Learning Outcomes

Medical Physicist is a professional with responsibilities in the area of radiation protection and safety of the patient and there is many situations where the medical exposure of patients to ionizing radiation is interconnected with the occupational exposure of working staff and the public exposure of visitors to the hospitals. In this context, Decree-Law Nº 227/2008 defined that the “Medical Physics Expert” can assume the role and responsibilities of the “Radiation Protection Expert” in the hospital environment. This Curricular Unit will provide the students with basic knowledge in radiation protection and safety applied to medical sector in the different perspectives of radiation safety of the medical installations, radiation protection of working staff, members of the public and patients in the different areas of medical use of ionizing radiation of Radiotherapy, Nuclear Medicine and Radiology.

Work Placement(s)



1. Radiation detectors in dosimetry and radiation protection

2. Fundamentals of radiation protection

3. Radiation Safety of facilities

4. Occupational radiation protection

       4.1    Individual and workplace monitoring programme

       4.3    Management of potential exposures

       4.4    Radiation protection programme

5. Public radiation protection

         5.1  Radioactive wastes management

         5.2  Transport safety of radioactive sources

         5.3  Discharge of radioactive patients

6. Management of medical exposures

         6.1  Justification of medical exposure in clinical practice

         6.2  Quality assurance programme

         6.3  Diagnostic Reference Levels

         6.4  Optimization of exposure and protection in clinical practice

         6.5  Risk assessment and communication

         6.6  Management of accidental and unintended exposures.

Assessment Methods

Synthesis work: 40.0%
Exam: 60.0%


• Fundamentals of Ionizing Radiation Dosimetry, Pedro Andreo, David T. Burns, Alan E. Nahum, Jan Seuntjens, Frank Herbert Attix, Wiley, 2017

• Herman Cember, Introduction to Health Physics, 4th Ed., McGraw-Hill, Inc., 2009

• Phys Med Biol. 2014 Oct 21; 59(20):R303–47

• Radiation Shielding for Diagnostic Radiology, Second Edition. Editors: D. G. Sutton, C. J. Martin, J. R. Williams, and D. J. Peet. British Institute of Radiology, London, UK, 2012

• Communicating radiation risks in paediatric imaging. WHO publication, 2016

• Publicações da UNSCEAR (2000, 2013)

• Publicações ICRP (78, 84, 103, 105, 135)

• Publicações ICRU (51, 74)

• Publicações IAEA (BSS 2014, DS453, SRS38, SRS39, SRS40, SSR-6/2012)

• Publicações da Comissão Europeia – Radiation Protection Series (97, 99, 100, 159, 160, 162, 178)

• Publicações NCRP (147, 151)

• IPEM Report 75

• AAPM Report 108

• Websites IAEA (Radiation Protection Of Patients / Human Health campus)

• Legislação nacional sobre radiação ionizante.