Interventional radiology (IR) is a relatively new, dynamically developing field of modern medicine, combining extensive possibilities of radiation diagnostics and experience in the use of various minimally invasive medical diagnostic interventions. This medical field can be viewed from different perspectives in order to identify how it has developed and changed over time. In addition, it helps to trace how the dangers of using radioactive methods have reduced in the course of decades. Although IR brings positive health outcomes in the field of medicine, especially in the treatment of oncological diseases, potential health hazards arise in the workplace.
Before posing the research question, it is vital to investigate what culture in medicine presumes. In medical terms, culture stands for respect towards such issues as safety, hygiene, and others. Hence, the primary focus will be the safety culture in interventional radiology in this section. Pisanie and Dixon (2018) claimed that “the minimally invasive nature of interventional radiology (IR) does not bar it from major complications” (p. 199). It presumes that even if the procedure conducted has little or no intervention; it still should be carried out under specific safety guidelines. There have been numerous attempts to improve the safety culture in radiology throughout the previous decades. Team acknowledgement of risks, blame-free environment, free collaboration, and resource commitment were identified as key factors in sustaining a safety culture (Pisanie & Dixon, 2018). Therefore, the first posed research question is the following:
How has the culture of safety in the field of interventional radiology reduced the percentage of occupational hazards?
The other side of the cultural perspective considers inclusion, diversity, and equity as factors that should be considered while treating a patient. In radiology, “it is essential to understand and embrace the unique characteristics and differences of patients and to deliver effective care that meets their social, psychological, cultural, and linguistic needs” (Perry et al., 2018, p. 1833). As well as in different medical fields, doctors should take into account the idea of helping a person regardless of their socioeconomic and another status. Meanwhile, radiologists’ diversity is vital, too – all these characteristics should not differentiate the professionals. Even though this occupation does not suit the majority of graduates, it is indispensable to attract people from different parts of the world because this area is growing rapidly. Hence, the second research question will be:
How culturally diverse is the field of interventional radiology in the United States?
Medical ethics is a set of moral qualities of a healthcare professional, their behavioral norms, and the sense of duty. It also presupposes the conscious attitude of a specialist to their profession. What is more, it bears the idea that medical workers are in charge of providing safe environment both to themselves and their patients (Rockwell et al., 2021). In terms of occupational hazards in interventional radiology, the ethics can be viewed from its major tenet: do no harm (Rockwell et al., 2021). However, this idea would work in a reverse way – specialists should protect themselves from any dangers of radiation. The ethical tenets should warn or even serve as protective guidelines in order to avoid any workplace-related hazards. Therefore, the first question for this section is the following:
In what ways does the Code of Ethics protect the personnel from any occupation-related risks?
Ethical perspective can also be connected to the use of new technology such as artificial intelligence (AI). This novelty is gradually invading the medical fields, including radiology since it allows for facilitating procedures and human labor. It presumes that specialists can no longer take part in the surgeries with the use of new tools. This statement gives a foundation for three major ethical dilemmas concerning data, algorithms, and practices (Kohli & Geis, 2018). For example, the algorithms of AI should be applied carefully so as not to do any harm. However, in case the algorithm is improper, both a patient and radiologist can suffer, for instance, from an overdose of radiation. In terms of ethics of practices, “radiology should define and document ethical artificial intelligence practice that promotes technical progress and protects the rights of individuals and groups” (Kohli & Geis, 2018, p. 1318). It means that the ethical code should protect workers’ rights when it comes to using new technologies. Thus, the research question is:
How does the Code of Ethics protect specialists from technology-related threats?
In summary, interventional radiology is a modern field that allows specialists to conduct non-invasive operations. It is growing in popularity; however, not many graduates are willing to become interventional radiologists due to workplace-related hazards. The cultural perspective views the field in terms of inclusion and safety culture, whereas the ethical side examines IR from the standpoint of using new technologies and the protective measure guaranteed by the Code of Ethics.
Kohli, M., & Geis, R. (2018). Ethics, artificial intelligence, and radiology. Journal of the American College of Radiology, 15(9), 1317-1319. Web.
Perry, H., Eisenberg, R. L., Swedeen, S. T., Snell, A. M., Siewert, B., & Kruskal, J. B. (2018). Improving imaging care for diverse, marginalized, and vulnerable patient populations. Radiographics: A Review Publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc, 38(6), 1833-1844. Web.
Pisanie, J. L., & Dixon, R. (2018). Building a culture of safety in interventional radiology. Techniques in vascular and interventional radiology, 21(4), 198-204. Web.
Rockwell, H. D., Beeson, S. A., Keller, E. J., Kothary, N., & Dickey, K. (2021). Perceptions of ethics in interventional radiology. Current problems in diagnostic radiology, 32(5), S67. Web.