How to Care for a Patient with Internal Radiation Implants

Patients with cancer undergo different types of treatment from chemotherapy to radiation. radiation may be external where therapy is irradiated ont a patient or internal where radiation materials are inserted into a patient. The nurse caring for a patient with internal radiation implants has to take proper precautions when carrying nursing interventions.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Place, your client in a private room with his bed in the center of the room. The radiation may be able to penetrate the walls if they are not lead lined, therefore having the bed in the center of the room reduces the risk of radiation leak outside of the room.

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Keep the patient on bedrest in a supine or flat position to prevent accidental displacement of the rdatiation insert. Place the call bell within his reach so he can contact a nurse if he needs help.

Inform your client that he is not radiactive instead that the inserted implants are. Which is why certain precautions have to be taken, to reduce exposure to others.

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Never handle the radiation implants directly if they fall out by accident.Pick them up using long forceps and put them in an appropriate radioactive container. Inform the radiation officer of the situation immediately.

Pregnant nurses or potential visitors should not care for or be in contact with a client who has radioactive implants due to possible damage to the unborn child. Visitors and nurses should spend as little time with the client as possisble and should maintain a far distance from the patient. Visitors under 16 should not be allowed into the room.

Use appropriate contact precautions when handling your clients linens, urine, saliva, perspiration, vomit or feces. They may be potentially radioactive. Wear gloves and gowns to protect yourself.

Wear a detection badge to determine how much exposure you have had to your clients radioactive implants in order to prevent over exposure.


Always use the principle of time, distance and shielding. spend as little time in the room as you can, stay far away and protect yourself with appropriate wears.