The role of the Health Physics Section (HPS) is defined based on the importance of establishing a rigorous radiation protection program within the KFSH&RC as chartered in 1975. The Section provides technical support to departments utilizing radiation-producing equipment or radioactive materials to help meet radiation-related regulations and compliance requirements. The Section is also responsible for radiation surveys of work areas and equipment, personal dose monitoring, patients and staff dose assessment.
The HPS plays a vital role in the hospital in limiting the risk from radiation exposure to patients, staff and members of the public. It promotes proper usage of radiation and strives to lessen radiation exposure to minimal levels. The Section is recognized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as a center for training in radiation protection and measurements.
The Section complies with existing regulations and recommendations from the ICRP, ICRU, NCRP and IAEA in establishing and enforcing good radiation safety policies and practices by contributing to continuing education programs in radiation usage and protection. It also collaborates with other institutions in enforcing the application of existing methods, techniques, and equipment for the protection of their patients and staff.
The HPS maintains a personnel radiation dose monitoring service based on thermoluminescent dosimetry (TLD) that is licensed by King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology (KACST) and accredited by IAEA. In doing so, the Section meets the high international standards for radiation protection. It utilizes two state-of-the-art Harshaw 6600 automated TLD systems to read and analyze the TLD cards (uniquely identified with bar code reference numbers) and a Personnel Dose Information System (PDIS) for electronic storage of dose records, computerized dose calculation and report generation. This service is provided to KFSH&RC staff and also many hospitals, government and private institutions in the Kingdom and throughout the Gulf region at a very reasonable cost.
The Section provides support and assistance to radiation users by formulating proper codes of practice and implementation of regulations. It distributes and processes radiation monitoring equipment, evaluates the results and maintains employee exposure records. The section also performs periodic monitoring of radiation areas and measures, with portable or fixed instruments, fields of radiation, air or water-borne radioactivity, movement of radioactive material and possible radioactive contamination. The section generates contingency plans for handling radiation-related emergencies. It also performs shielding calculations for installations involving radiation, reviews shielding plans, confirms exact measurements of facilities after the installation of radiation sources and assesses shielding integrity.