Background and Aims:
Nuclear medicine is considered one of the main medical specialties exposing practitioners to high radiation doses. Therefore, the assessment of knowledge about protection measures is imperative to ensure the safety. The aim of the study is to assess knowledge among medical students about nuclear radiation at Riyadh universities, Saudi Arabia.
We conducted cross-sectional as an online survey which assesses knowledge about nuclear radiation safety and radiation protection awareness. We distributed it to medical students in Riyadh’s governmental universities.
A total of 584 responses were collected. The participants represented four universities in Riyadh, and 64.9% of them were in clinical years. The study found that 16.1% had adequate knowledge and awareness toward nuclear radiation. Moreover, 44.7% had moderate knowledge while 39.2% had inadequate knowledge. Limitations include the lack of knowledge about personal monitoring devices (81.5%), how to use them (70.7%) and dose limits (51.5%). Furthermore, 74.1% of interns showed adequate awareness, when compared to clinical and preclinical students, who had figures of 16.3% and 8.1% respectively. 70.8% preferred obtaining information from medical websites, while 44.7% opted E-learning. Moreover, it emerged that King Saud University students had the highest level of awareness while Imam Mohammed bin Saud University students showed the lowest.
The study revealed that the level of awareness among medical students about nuclear radiation protection is low. This stems from the lack of knowledge about personal monitoring devices with regards to safety and how best to use them.
Key words: students, awareness, radiation, nuclear, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh