is Health Physics?
"Health physics" is the profession devoted
to protecting people and their environment from potential
radiation hazards, while making it possible to enjoy
the benefits of the peaceful use of the atom.
Radiation control incorporates an understanding of many
disciplines. It has common scientific interests with
many areas of specialization: physics, biology, biophysics,
engineering (nuclear, civil, mechanical, or electrical),
chemistry, genetics, ecology, environmental sciences,
metallurgy, medicine, physiology, and toxicology. The
wide spectrum of knowledge required of the health physicist
makes this profession both challenging and rewarding.
What Do Health
Health physicists work in a variety of disciplines,
including research, industry, education, environmental
protection, and enforcement of government regulations.
Although the health physicist usually concentrates in
one of these disciplines, a professional health physicist
typically performs duties in several Power Reactors.
A power reactor
health physicist is responsible for all phases of radiation
protection at a reactor site. Selecting, purchasing,
and maintaining radiation protection, laboratory, and
detection equipment are some of the responsibilities.
The responsibilities of a medical health physicist are
broad and ever challenging. These individuals work wherever
radiation sources are used to diagnose and treat human
diseases. Hospitals, clinics, and major medical centers
use radiation sources, including x-ray machines, particle
accelerators, and many types of radioactive materials.
in Regulatory Enforcement and Occupational Safety
Whether it be nuclear power, medical uses, industry,
environmental restoration, waste management, or educational
uses of radioactive materials, there are rules and regulations
that guide and provide a margin of safety. There are
many occupational opportunities for health physicists
in regulatory and occupational safety sectors.
The environmental health physicist is the professional
most closely associated with protecting the public and
environment from unnecessary exposure to man-made and
technologically enhanced natural radioactivity. One
important aspect is the environmental surveillance for
radioactivity, which involves many types of instrumentation
and field sampling technologies.
The Radiation Safety Officer and his staff ensure that
facilities using radiation sources or radioactive materials
are in compliance with state and federal regulations.
They also assist in designing facilities, equipment,
and programs to optimize radiation protection efforts.
Opportunities exist for such positions at many universities,
research centers, and industrial sites.