University of Oulu

L. Hirvonen, T. Schroderus-Salo, A. Henner, S. Ahonen, M. Kääriäinen, J. Miettunen, K. Mikkonen, Nurses’ knowledge of radiation protection: A cross-sectional study, Radiography, Volume 25, Issue 4, 2019, Pages e108-e112, ISSN 1078-8174,

Nurses’ knowledge of radiation protection : a cross-sectional study

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Author: Hirvonen, L.1,2; Schroderus-Salo, T.3; Henner, A.4;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Central Finland Health Care District, Jyväskylä, Finland
3Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
4Degree Programme in Radiography and Radiation Therapy, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Kiviharjuntie 4, 90220, Oulu, Finland
5University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
7Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-05-10


Introduction: Nursing roles are changing, as several countries have amended legislation so that nurses can make referrals for medical imaging examination that utilize ionising radiation. Nevertheless, nurses’ radiation knowledge remains a poorly studied concept. The aim of the study was to characterize Finnish nurses’ knowledge of radiation use and radiation safety. In this study, nurses were working in operating theaters, first aid clinics and cardiology laboratories.

Methods: A cross-sectional design was applied in which data were simultaneously collected from nurses working in eight hospitals. All nurses working in operating theaters, first aid clinics and cardiology laboratories (N = 1500) at the hospitals in Finland were invited to participate in the study. The response rate was 17% (n = 252). The employed Healthcare Professional Knowledge of Radiation Protection (HPKRP) scale included three areas of knowledge: radiation physics, biology and principles of radiation use; radiation protection; and guidelines of safe ionizing radiation use. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analyses were used to identify factors that influence these three areas.

Results: Nurses reported high knowledge levels in radiation protection but low knowledge levels in radiation physics, biology and principles of radiation use. Moreover, nurses who had not received radiation education reported lower knowledges across all three areas than the nurses who had completed education.

Conclusion: This study identified one major factor that significantly affects nurses’ radiation knowledge, namely, having completed medical radiation education, as this factor positively influenced all three of the included areas of radiation knowledge factors. Therefore, healthcare organizations should concentrate on providing education to all nurses working with, or exposed to, radiation.

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Series: Radiography
ISSN: 1078-8174
ISSN-E: 1532-2831
ISSN-L: 1078-8174
Volume: 25
Issue: 4
Pages: E108 - E1112
DOI: 10.1016/j.radi.2019.04.011
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 316 Nursing
Copyright information: © 2019 The College of Radiographers. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license