National Imaging Associates

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ALARA Policy

alara policyWhenever a patient undergoes radiation exposure in a health care setting, a balance needs to be reached. Enough radiation must be used to make the medical imaging test effective, but the amount used should be as small as possible.

ALARA stands for "As Low As Reasonably Achievable." This policy was established for radiation usage and is used by physicians to help them make decisions to achieve this balance. ALARA is based on two principles:

  1. Any radiation exposure, no matter how small, can increase the chance of illness such as cancer.
  2. The chance that a patient will experience negative effects of radiation exposure increases cumulatively over time.

Take note that ALARA is a guide and something physicians work to achieve, but that it does not provide exact figures and radiation amounts. Since each patient is different and has different needs, it is impossible to set exact radiation dose standards. This means, your physician must draw upon his or her knowledge and experience, then make a judgment to determine what dose will be right for you.

In addition to ALARA, you can help ensure that you receive the highest quality care possible. Empower yourself to make an informed decision about your health care by:

  1. Learning about the diagnostic imaging test.
  2. Asking questions and discussing the test with your physician.
  3. Choosing an accredited imaging facility or health care center with accredited, experienced staff who have the knowledge and expertise to make these important decisions involving your health.