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Radiation Safety & Patient Risk


This module will specifically explore the question of radiation exposure and the risks involved with videofluoroscopic swallowing studies. The main focus will be on patient risk, but considerations around clinician radiation exposure will also be addressed. Risk associated with contrast media, patient allergies, dosage guidelines and contraindications, and food preparation safety are covered in another module. At the end of this module, clinicians will be able to:

  1. Explain the ALARA principle
  2. Describe the main sources of radiation exposure in the environment
  3. Identify the typical range of radiation exposure experienced by a patient in videofluoroscopy
  4. List patient factors that may contribute to increased radiation exposure
  5. Describe strategies a clinician can take to reduce their own exposure to radiation via scatter
  6. Explain the impact of reduced pulse rates on radiation exposure and diagnostic accuracy

About Instructor

Melanie is a speech language pathologist and a proud member of Dr Catriona Steele’s Swallowing Rehabilitation Research Lab team at the KITE Research Institute of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. Melanie is also professional singer and she holds degrees in jazz voice, vocal music and drama education, and speech language pathology. In addition to her work in the Steele Swallowing Lab, Melanie she runs a private practice focused on voice therapy and assessment in Toronto and she is very active as a volunteer on committees and boards for several professional associations. Melanie is invested in staying on top of current trends in both research and therapeutic interventions in her areas of practice. She holds an Adjunct Lecturer position in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto and is often called upon to present to colleagues around the globe.

Melanie Tapson

BFA BEd MSc SLP (C) CCC-SLP Reg CASLPO
Speech-Language Pathologist