The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRPM) recommends that the maximum permissible dose equivalent to the embryo-fetus from occupational exposure to the expectant mother should be limited to .05 rem for any 30-day period and to .5 rem for the entire gestation period. Proper instruction in and strict adherence to all radiation safety precautions in conjunction with personal radiation monitoring make it possible to limit all occupational exposure to under 0.5 rem and prevent fetal maximum permissible dose levels from being surpassed.
Disclosure of a student’s pregnancy is voluntary. However, because of the potentially dangerous effects of escaped anesthetic gases, caustic fumes from orthopedic cement, radiation exposure from fluoroscopic procedures and the occasional urgent setting of emergency cases, it is very strongly encouraged that the student declares the pregnancy immediately upon knowledge of the pregnancy.
- Any student who believes or suspects she is pregnant may voluntarily declare her pregnancy in writing to the Program Director. The declaration must include the estimated date of conception. The declaration of pregnancy may be written by the student at any time, but she must do so in writing to the Program Director. This document must also be signed and dated by the student. It is strongly recommended for the student to discuss her educational situation with her physician.
The declared pregnant student has the following options:
- Continue as a student without any interruption in the program.
- Continue as a student with deferral of fluoroscopy, surgery and portable rotations until pregnancy is completed.
- Continue as a student with classroom participation only. All clinical rotation requirements deferred until pregnancy is completed. These rotations will be made up.
- Withdraw from the program and re-enter later upon completion of the pregnancy. All procedures for readmission will apply upon withdrawal from the program.
- The declaration of the pregnancy may be withdrawn by the student at any time, but she must do so in writing to the Program Director. This document must also be signed and dated by the student.
The declared pregnant student will be counseled by the program faculty regarding the pregnancy policy of the school. The student who decides to continue clinical and didactic participation is required to abide by the following:
- Adhere to all radiation and standard precautions, rules, and policies.
- If any problem or if change in the student’s status must be made, this should be immediately made in writing.
- Wear two (2) personnel radiation monitoring devices; one placed over the collar and the other placed over the embryo-fetus, for monitoring. Readings will be monitored by the Radiation Safety Officer (Program Director).
- If at any time a pregnant student feels she is working in an unsafe area, or under conditions she feels are detrimental to her or her embryo-fetus, she should stop immediately and report to the Program Director or department supervisor.
Upon the student’s return to the program, all requirements for graduation must be completed.