World Health Organization define radiation as the emission of energy as electromagnetic waves or moving subatomic particles. It could come from many naturally occurring radioactive materials found in soil, water, air and in the body or from industrial activities. Every day, people inhale and ingest forms of radiation from air, food and water.
Since excessive exposure to radiation may damage living tissues and organs, depending on the amount of radiation received, radiation health and safety has become very important. Radiation Health and Safety Certification is a proof that an individual has acquired the necessary knowledge to protect himself and others who may be exposed to radiation.
What is Radiation Health and Safety Certification?
As mentioned above, Radiation health and safety certification is a process, and it involves training and testing individuals on the safe handling and use of radiation. This certification is required for those who work in industries that generate various forms of radiation or could be exposed to radiation.
You may need Radiation Health and Safety Certification if you are working in healthcare sector, nuclear power, and industrial manufacturing. The certification ensures that individuals have the necessary knowledge and skills to protect themselves and others from the potential hazards of radiation.
Importance of Radiation Health and Safety Certification
There are several importance of radiation health and safety certification, some of which are;
1. Encourages Compliance with Regulations
Possessing Radiation Health and Safety Certification portrays compliance to relevant regulation. Most countries have developed a very strict regulation to manage exposure to radiation because of its negative impact on health. These regulations are in place to protect employees and the general public at large from the negative impact of exposure to radiation.
When you posses this certification, it’s a proofs that you have acquired the relevant knowledge and skill to protect your self and others who may be exposed to radiation.
2. Reduces Risks and Accidents
Exposure to radiation can cause negative health effects from mild to severe, this is why the certification is important to learn how to prevent exposure.
So learning how to prevent or manage exposure to radiation, you are invariably reducing the risk and also preventing accident that would have been caused by the exposure to the radiation.
3. Increases Credibility and Trust
When you are working with radiation or generating high concentration of radiation and have employees trained in radiation health and safety, it will increase your credibility as an organization and also build trust amongst your employees.
It also increase your credibility and trust among your clients and stakeholders.
4. Improves Efficiency and Productivity
Having a competent person handle radiation will boost efficiently and effectiveness by reducing the risk of errors and accidents. This can save time and resources for the organization and allow them to focus on other tasks.
5. Career Advancement
You cannot rule out the place of certification in career advancement; Radiation Health and Safety Certification is not an exception.
As an individual who has acquired a certification in Radiation Safety, you will have opportunities for career advancement. This can take various forms, like better job offer, having competitive edge in the job market, pay rise, etc.
Types of Radiation Health and Safety Certifications
In this paragraph we will dissect some radiation safety certification. Some are professional area which you may feel is not part of health and Safety; it is worthy to note that everyone serving in these area get to learn about the risk of radiation and the safety measure to use it safely where necessary.
Here are some of the certifications;
1. Radiation Health and Safety
The purpose of this training is to broaden your knowledge of radiation safety to enable you to identify hazards associated with nuclear facilities in order to take appropriate protective measures.
- Recognize potential radiation hazards in the workplace
- Determine the risk of handling radiation materials
- Recall the regulatory safety standards to minimize exposure to sources of radiation
- Identify personal protective measure to take to avoid radiation exposure
2. Certified Health Physicist (CHP)
Certified Health Physicist is an official title granted by the American Board of Health Physics, the certification board for health physicists in the United States. A Certified Health Physicist is designated by the letters CHP or DABHP (Diplomate of the American Board of Health Physics) after his or her name.
A person certified as a health physicist has a responsibility to uphold the professional integrity associated with the certification to promote the practice and science of radiation safety. It is expected that such a person will always give health physics information based on the highest standards of science and professional ethics. A certified individual has a responsibility to remain professionally active in the health physics field and remain technically competent in the scientific, technical and regulatory developments in the field.
3. Radiation Safety Officer (RSO)
The radiation safety officer is responsible for advising the manager on matters relating to the implementation of the radiation management plan for the mine.
The radiation officer also investigates any defects or malfunctions discovered in plant, equipment or procedure that cause exposure to radiation in excess of dose constraints or limits, or dose rates or contamination levels in excess of authorised limits.
The requirements for a Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) vary with the type of license and types of materials used. Some excerpts from Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulations and NUREGs (guidance documents) that may help are included here.
These are generally applicable in all states but in some states (called Agreement States), the state has the authority to write its own regulation. In this case, the state may have chosen to simply use the NRC RSO requirements or to use its own which might be more specific.
4. Certified Medical Physicist (CMP)
Qualified Medical Physicist (QMP) is an individual who is competent to independently provide clinical professional services in one or more of the subfields of medical physics. The subfields of medical physics are:
- Radiation Oncology Physics
- Nuclear Medicine Physics
- Diagnostic Radiological Physics
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging
5. Certified Radiation Therapy Technologist (RTT)
Certified Radiation Therapist Technologist treats diseases by exposing specific areas of patients’ bodies to prescribed doses of radiation and repositioning the patient as needed during the procedure. The outcome could be cure, relief of symptoms, and improvement of patient’s quality of life.
How to Obtain Certification
Since there are several certifications associated with radiation health and safety, we will pick one and highlight:
- Educational Requirements
- Training and Experience
Certified Health Physicist (CHP) – Everything you need to know
a. Minimum Requirements
Note: This credential may have multiple options for a service member to meet eligibility requirements. Requirements listed here are based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility section.
Education: Candidate must complete a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 20 semester hours in physical science.
Experience: Candidate must have at least six years of professional experience in health physics within the year the examination is to be taken. At least three years of experience must have been in applied health physics.
Note: Advanced degrees in health physics, or closely related field, may be substituted for a maximum of two years of the required experience at the discretion of the Board. Military service in the commissioned officer and E9 grades will be accepted towards professional health physics experience.
Other: Candidate must present at least two letters of reference from the candidate’s supervisor.
Candidate must submit a written report that reflects a professional health physics effort to be reviewed by an American Board of Health Physics (ABHP) member.
You can get details of all you need to know about all other certification with a little research.
Radiation Health and Safety Certification is necessary if you are working in industry where different forms of radiations are generated or you want to develop a career in radiation safety or you want to work in a professional area that uses different forms of radiations.
From the article you can follow any career path based on your area of interest as we have mention some radiation certifications you can acquire and a clear path for one.