Physics and Radiation Protection
The Medical Physics and Radiation Protection Department is made up of graduates in physics who have qualified as specialists in hospital radiophysics and senior technicians in radiotherapy and/or radiodiagnosis.
The Medical Physics and Radiation Protection Department has accreditation from the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council to carry out radiation protection tasks throughout the hospital. The department is firmly committed to quality and safety, and it has obtained ISO 9001:2015 certification.
The professional activity of the members of the department comprises three main aspects: clinical care, research and teaching.
Our department offers support for all the departments at the hospital that use ionising radiation for patient treatment or diagnosis, and also for the professionals who use radionuclides in their research.
The primary responsibility of members of this department is to ensure effective, risk-free management of radiation, in order to attain the best results in diagnosis or therapy in accordance with what had been prescribed for the patient. This includes protecting the patient, the staff and other people present, as well as the environment, from potential risks or excess radiation exposure.
In order to carry out this task, we establish suitable dosimetry and quality control, measure and characterise radiation, determine the dose administered, and define procedures to ensure good image quality. We also carry out quality assurance programmes and collaborate with other health professionals involved in optimising the balance between the benefit and the risk of using radiation.
Portfolio of services
- Patient dosimetry studies.
- 3DCRT dosimetry study. Photons and electrons.
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) dosimetry study.
- Radiosurgery dosimetry study.
- Dosimetry study of cranial and extracranial stereotaxis.
- Dosimetry study and in vivo dosimetry with total body irradiation.
- Dosimetry study for ophthalmic brachytherapy.
- Dosimetry study for patients undergoing diagnostic tests.
- Dosimetry study for pregnant patients undergoing X-ray tests.
- Dosimetry studies in molecular therapy.
- Equipment quality control.
- Quality control of radiotherapy equipment and accelerators.
- Quality control of image diagnostics equipment.
- Quality control of nuclear medicine equipment, radioisotope calibrators, gamma chambers, surgical probes, SPECT and PET.
- Quality control of imaging monitors.
- Radiation protection.
- Quality control of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Management of radiation protection: licences, inspections, authorisations, modifications to radioactive and radiodiagnosis installations.
- Basic radiation protection measures: classification of personnel, zoning, signs, rules, regulations, emergency procedures.
- Monitoring and control of workers: dosimetry controls, dosimetry management, dosimetry history, dosage calculations.
- Monitoring and control of working areas in facilities: risk of external irradiation and contamination.
- Quality control of detectors: environmental radiation and pollution.
- Management of non-encapsulated radioactive material and radioactive sources.
- Management of radioactive waste.
- Continuous education and advisory services on radiation protection.
Education and Training
Our Department was accredited as a teaching unit for specialisation in hospital radiophysics in 1995. Internationally, this specialisation is known as "medical physics" and involves the application of physics to the field of medicine. The title of specialist in hospital radiophysics is obtained after three years of training as a resident. The Medical Physics and Radiation Protection Department has three residents, one for each year of training.
Dr. Josep Sánchez de Toledo Codina, head of the Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Department, tells us about a Department that has laid the foundations for the specialism in Spain. He also remembers the evolution of transplants from haematopoietic stem cells and progenitors, from the beginning, buying the material at a shop in Barcelona city centre, to the more than 1,200 transplants that have now been performed.
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The Master's Degree in Biomedical and Translational Research is an official programme created to train researchers with the requisite combination of scientific knowledge and skills to contribute to the future success of biomedical research.
Fermín Fernández Álvarez, Porter Coordinator, explains the importance of the role these professionals play in the hospital. After 36 years at Vall d’Hebron, Fermín is a real master of the ways things are done. He says that a porter has to combine humility, discretion and safety with a single goal: that patients receive human and friendly treatment.