For Caregivers

Radiation Safety

Parents/caregivers are an important part of the team. As the person caring for the patient in the hospital room, you may receive some radiation exposure. If you follow the precautions we teach you, the amount of exposure will be low.


Wear protective clothing

You must always wear long pants, socks, and shoes (closed-toed, no sandals), to keep your legs and feet completely covered.

  • Over your shoes, you will wear booties, except when lying down on the couch. These booties should be removed as you step outside the plastic covered floor of the room and into the hallway.
  • Before you go to the bed area to help the patient, or touch anything they have touched, put on a disposable gown and gloves.
  • After you have left the bedside and before you return to the couch, remove the gown and gloves, and dispose of them in the radioactive trash bag.

Environmental Health & Radiation Safety staff will show you how to properly put on gowns, booties, and gloves and how to take them off.

Keep your distance

Most of your time should be spent in the “Clean Corner,” which is a safe distance from the patient. Stay at least 3 feet from the patient whenever possible. It is OK to be at the bedside when you need to attend to the patient, but when you finish, return to the “Clean Corner.”

Do NOT stay at the bedside just to talk to the patient for a long time. If the patient is not feeling well, talk to their nurse to see if the team can do something to make them feel better.

Remember these rules

  • Do not eat, drink, or take medicine while you are in the patient’s room.
  • Do not apply cosmetics in the room.
  • Do not bring anything into the room that cannot be thrown out.
  • Do not enter the bathroom. There are a few exceptions to this rule, which Radiation Safety will review with you if applicable.

Monitor your radiation exposure


    • Wear a dosimeter. You will wear a dosimeter the entire time you are caring for the patient. The dosimeter measures your radiation exposure. You will record the number showing on the dosimeter screen in a log at least once a day. When you are discharged, you MUST return the dosimeter to the dosimeter case outside of the room. Use of cell phones and microwaves can cause interference with the dosimeter. Radiation Safety will show you how to operate the dosimeter and will discuss this in further detail.

  • Use the radiation hand and shoe monitor. The hand and shoe radiation monitors in the hallway must be used to check your hands and shoes for contamination every time you leave the patient’s room. If the monitor detects contamination, an audio alarm will sound, and the red light will turn on. Radiation Safety will show you how to operate the hand and shoe monitors and will discuss what to do if your hands or shoes are contaminated after leaving the patient’s room.