Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Projects

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Embargo Period

5-21-2014

Degree Program

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Degree Track

Family Nurse Practioner

Year Degree Awarded

2014

Month Degree Awarded

May

Keywords

Computed tomography, radiation exposure, reducing radiation levels, automatic exposure control

Advisor

Regina Kowal

DNP Project Chair

Regina Kowal

DNP Project Member Name

Jean DeMartinis

DNP Project Outside Member Name

Elizabeth Kelliher

Abstract

In an effort to reduce radiation exposure from computed tomography (CT), practitioners and facilities need to monitor radiation exposure while delivering high-quality diagnostic exams. Computed tomography scanners have a range of pre-programmed protocols for different examination types, with set values for tube potential, tube current, and rotation time (American Association of Physicists in Medicine, 2007). One way to minimize a patient’s exposure to radiation from CT is the use of an automatic exposure control (AEC) device. Current research is focusing on these devices and their actual benefits to patients. To assess the effectiveness of such a device, analysis of radiation doses per CT exam must occur. Machine-specific dose-length product (DLP) and or CT dose index (CTDI) are the only indicators of specific dose levels. This project compares current levels of radiation exposure to patients undergoing CT scans of the head, versus the national levels as evaluated by the Nationwide Evaluation of X-ray Trends (NEXT) program.

Key words: Computed tomography, radiation exposure, reducing radiation, monitoring radiation levels, automatic exposure control.

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