Physics and Radiation Protection
The Physics and Radiation Protection Department is made up of graduates in physics who have qualified as specialists in hospital radiophysics and senior technicians in radiotherapy or radiodiagnosis. The professional activity of staff in the Department comprises three main aspects: clinical care, research and teaching.
Our Department offers support for all the departments at the Hospital that use ionising radiation for patient treatment or diagnosis. This type of radiation is based on photons or particles that produce ions upon interaction with matter. In the field of medicine it has applications in both diagnosis, with scintigraphy and in treatment, radiation therapy in oncology being an example of this.
The primary responsibility of staff in this Department is to ensure effective, risk-free administration of radiation, in order to attain the best results in diagnosis or therapy in accordance with the patient’s medical outlook. This includes protecting the patient, the worker and other people present from potential risks or excess radiation exposure.
In order to carry out this task, we establish suitable dosimetry and quality control, measure and characterise radiation, determine the dose administered, and define procedures to ensure good image quality. We also carry out quality assurance programmes and collaborate with other health professionals involved in optimising the balance between the benefit and the risk of using radiation.
Portfolio of services
- Patient dosimetry studies
- 3DRCT dosimetry study. Photons and electrons
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) dosimetry study
- Radiosurgery dosimetry study
- Dosimetry study of cranial and extracranial stereotaxis
- Dosimetry study and in vivo dosimetry with total body irradiation
- Dosimetry study for ophthalmic brachytherapy
- Dosimetry study for patients undergoing diagnostic tests
- Dosimetry study for pregnant patients undergoing X-ray tests
- Equipment quality control
- Quality control of radiotherapy equipment, accelerators, cobalt unit
- Quality control of image diagnostics equipment
- Quality control of nuclear medicine equipment, radioisotope calibrators, gamma chambers, SPECT and PET
- Quality control of imaging monitors
- Radiation protection
- Quality control of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Management of radiation protection: licences, inspections, authorisations, modifications to radioactive and radiodiagnostic installations
- Basic radiation protection measures: classification of personnel, zoning, signs, rules, regulations, emergency procedures
- Monitoring and control of workers: dosimetry controls, dosimetry management, dosimetry history, dosage estimates.
- Monitoring and control of working areas in facilities: risk of external irradiation and contamination
- Quality control of detectors: environmental radiation and pollution
- Management of non-encapsulated radioactive material and radioactive sources
- Management of radioactive waste
- Continuous education and advice on radiation protection and advisory services
Our Department was accredited as a teaching unit for the hospital radiophysics specialisation in 1995. Internationally, this specialisation is known as "medical physics" and involves the application of physics to the field of medicine. The title of specialist in hospital radiophysics is obtained after three years of training as a resident. The SFPR has three residents, one for each year of training.
Fermín Fernández Álvarez, Porter Coordinator, explains the importance of the role these professionals play in the hospital. After 36 years at Vall d’Hebron, Fermín is a real master of the ways things are done. He says that a porter has to combine humility, discretion and safety with a single goal: that patients receive human and friendly treatment.
The constant search for excellence is part of Hospital Vall d’Hebron’s nature. The biggest hospital in Catalonia and the leader in many fields, headed since February 2015 by Dr. Vicenç Martínez Ibáñez, who has a close personal and professional relationship with the Hospital. Dr. Martínez Ibáñez says that if Vall d’Hebron did not exist, it would need to be invented. The current director trained at the hospital, where he was one of the protagonists of an historic moment: the first paediatric liver transplant in Spain. Now, he is committed to continuing this legacy and, always putting the patient first, achieving excellence across all staff.
The Neonatology Department’s Sibling Project is a workshop for the siblings of new-born babies admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit in the Vall d’Hebron Maternity and Children's Hospital. Through simulated games and situations, the project prepares them to get used to seeing their younger siblings in a hospital medical setting.
Vall d’Hebron University Hospital’s kitchen serves more than 1,000 meals a day, twice a day, not counting breakfast. A reality that José Parrilla and Carmina Esteban know all too well.From three kitchens to one and from coal to gas. That is how the hospital’s catering service has evolved. A place where the needs of each patient must be taken into account and where there is room for small, juicy anecdotes.
The former head of the Thoracic Surgery Department, Dr. Mercè Canela, recently retired, recalls the important evolution of the Department to become a leader in Spain and a lung transplant pioneer. A task made possible thanks to collaboration with professionals from other departments, an added value in the personal and team environment.
Rosalia Moure arrived at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in 1967. She spent her entire working life in the linen and laundry department of the Hospital. Rosalia Moure has witnessed the Hospital’s big transformations, from dictatorship to democracy and from analogue to digital systems.
Dr. Josep Sánchez de Toledo Codina, head of the Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Department, tells us about a Department that has laid the foundations for the specialism in Spain. He also remembers the evolution of transplants from haematopoietic stem cells and progenitors, from the beginning, buying the material at a shop in Barcelona city centre, to the more than 1,200 transplants that have now been performed.
Dr. Francesc Bosch, Head of the Haematology Department, talks about the complexity of the Department, which has turned Vall d’Hebron into a reference centre in haematology thanks to its commitment to transplants and the use of new treatments. The Clinical Trials Unit helps a lot, giving access to treatments for complex patients.