HPS 66th Annual Meeting

Phoenix, Arizona
July 25th-29th 2021

Single Session

[Schedule Grid]

WPM-A - Special Session: 10 Reasons you can thrive in HP, #7 will shock you.

North 221ABC   14:30 - 17:25

WPM-A.1   14:30  Welcome to the first Early-Career Professionals Special Session CA Wilson IV, University of Missouri ; MJ Kennedy*, University of Pittsburgh; A Nieves, Yale New Haven; C Wang, Duke University; C Register, University of Missouri

Abstract: The section officers and founding members are pleased to welcome you to the first Early-Career Professionals Special Session. As an introduction to our new section, it was originally proposed to the Board in 2017 by Neil Whiteside and Jason Harris. The section aims to improve the transition between student and the first 15 professional years in Health Physics and to better retain HPS interest for professionals making this leap. The first special session will feature the most requested questions from early-career members, “should I get certified?” and “what can a health physicist do?”

WPM-A.2   14:35  Value of Certification - CHP S Schwahn*, AAHP

Abstract: In this presentation, Scott Scwahn, president of the American Academy of Health Physics will discuss why early-career members of the Health Physics Society should consider becoming Certified Health Physicists.

WPM-A.3   14:50  Early-Career Professional value of certification - NRRPT R Murdock*, Waste Control Specialists LLC

Abstract: What is the NRRPT: The need for the NRRPT evolved out of the nuclear industry's desire for responsible and competent radiation protection technologists. The NRRPT was established in 1976 through the sponsorship of the Health Physics Society and the American Board of Health Physics. The objective of the NRRPT is to encourage and promote the education and training of radiation protection technologists and, by so doing, promote and advance the science of health physics. To do this, the NRRPT has established a credentialing exam. This, criteria based, 150 question exam covers broad-based radiation protection knowledge of accelerators, university health physics programs, medical health physics, power reactors, government radiological facilities, radioactive waste disposal, transportation of radioactive material, fundamentals, and regulatory requirements. The NRRPT has been endorsed in various ways by several organizations. The Institute for Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) and the Department of Energy (DOE) have openly recommended that nuclear facilities encourage their personnel to seek NRRPT Registration. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) provides support by having a staff member assigned to the NRRPT Panel of Examiners. HPS members established the NRRPT and the majority of NRRPT Board of Directors and Panel Members are active members of the HPS national and local chapters. Nuclear facilities (i.e., power plants, government facilities, universities, medical facilities, and military services) provide incentives for personnel to seek and maintain registration. How it has helped me: I can say without a doubt I would not be where I am today in the profession with out the knowledge and help from the NRRPT. Not only has the organization prepared me through different disciplines to have a better understanding of Health Physics in general. The friendships, mentors and colleagues you meet along the way will by far help you establish yourself as a professional within our community. Not only does the registry provided leadership through its discipline but quite a few of the professionals in the registry hold key positions throughout the country. Members of the board, panel, and registry are employed from DOE, NRC, EPA, VA, ACOE, hospitals and Universities throughout the country just to name a few. We are scattered throughout multiple disciplines holding key positions from CEO, President, Director to Technician. The registry was built on fundamentals. Fundamentals are steppingstones to being able to recognize a concern to being able to make an informed decision in an immediate response. Without these you can relight on theory and research but understanding real life operations and having a hands-on approach will better prepare you for different aspects of Health Physics. Not all but a lot of people in the NRRPT started out as a technician ang grew into different roles. Supervisor, Managers, directors or some other form of senior management but not all. Some just use the fundamentals to help them establish themselves as SME’s or trainers within the discipline. One of the benefits of an organization as large as we are is having the ability of multiple disciplines to reach out to. Not everyone is an expert or SME in a particular discipline. I find myself on multiple occasions using the registry as a toolbox.

WPM-A.4   15:05  Strategic Planning for Early-Career Radiation Safety Professionals: Bridging the Gap to Other Safety Needs RJ Emery*, Univ of Texas Houton

Abstract: Radiation safety issues typically do not exist within a vacuum: other safety concerns such as physical, chemical, and biological hazards are commonly involved in the total risk assessment. Within this context, this presentation will describe the various professional development pathways that early-career radiation safety professional may wish to consider as they progress along their career paths to enhance their ability to protect the populations they serve.

WPM-A.5   15:20  What it's like to be a University HP L Vasudevan*, Texas A&M University

Abstract: In this presentation, Dr. Latha Vasudevan will share with early career members of the Health Physics Society what it is like to be an University RSO. Dr. Vasudevan is currently the Assistant Director for Environmental Health and Safety at Texas A & M University. She is also the University’s Radiation Safety Officer and Laser Safety Officer and is a member of Texas A&M Radiological Safety Committee and Reactor Safety Board.

WPM-A.6   15:35  What It’s Like to be a Health Physicist at a US Nuclear Reactor R Adams*, Xcel Energy

Abstract: In this discussion I would like to present my experiences as a health physicist in a nuclear power plant. I hope to provide some insights for early career individuals or others interested in cross-functional information regarding a typical day/year. I will also discuss the need for flexibility, willingness to always learn, as shown through the changes in the field due to regulations and other oversight bodies; the benefit of continued participation in the community of health physics in at least one of the myriad available avenues. I will also touch on the benefits of working in the utility side of things: general job security, good benefits, professional support, access to other career paths, etc.

15:50  BREAK

WPM-A.7   16:05  What it's like to be a Medical HP NR Whiteside*, Yale New Haven Medical

Abstract: Neil Whiteside, Radiation Safety Officer for Yale-New Haven Medical will present to the early career professionals about what it is like to work as a health physicist in a medical setting.

WPM-A.8   16:20  A Look at Military Health Physics From Below, At, and Above Sea Level for Early Career Health Physicists DA Sowers*, Retired ; DA SOWERS

Abstract: Choosing a course of study and career path is difficult enough in high school and college; in the world of health physics many specialties exist which entertain the early career health physicist with yet another plethora of options. Of these specialties, unique opportunities present themselves as a uniformed health physicist, often spanning many health physics disciplines while completing a tour of duty. This talk will give a quick view of military health physics from my 21 years in a Navy uniform: from submarine reactor operations, to medical health physics, to shipboard and shipyard operations, to remediating fallout aboard USS Ronald Reagan in 2011, to managing the Navy’s master materials license with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. We will discuss some pros and cons of service in uniform, the value of certification, and mentorship within one of the many facets of our amazing field. Ultimately, my intention is to build relationships with all in attendance which transcend well past the 15 minutes when my speaker light turns red.

WPM-A.9   16:35  What its like to be a Federal HP L Nguyen*, EPA

Abstract: Lyndsey Nguyen, who has worked in health physics at the Environmental Protection Agency for the past 12 years will present her experiences working in Government HP.

WPM-A.10   16:50  What it's like to be a Decomissioning HP D Miller*, Chase Environmental Group

Abstract: Mr. Miller has worked as a Decommissioning Health Physicist and Project Manager for his entire 19 year career. Working in the decommissioning field “exposes” one to a variety of nuclides and interesting stories of prior uses of radioactive materials. Mr. Miller will provide a glimpse of what is involved with decommissioning health physics.

WPM-A.11   17:05  The Need of the Health Physicist to be Verse in NIR FF McWilliams*, MIT ; PJ Sprenger, US Navy; JT Bushberg, UC Davis Medical Center; DL Haes, Consultant

Abstract: The Non-Ionizing radiation portion of the electromagnetic spectrum makes up the majority of the electromagnetic spectrum, yet in the world of Health Physics our attention and interest originated from the ionizing radiation side of the spectrum for most of us. The use of non-ionizing radiation has seen incredible growth in recent years and a number of us have been thrown into this realm based on the need of our employer (and hopefully at the interest of the employee). Since the invention of lasers a little over 50 years ago, the laser was mostly regulated to a couple of large units located in some physics lab at our institutions but have now become ubiquitous and found a place in pretty much every facet of academia, medical, research, and industry. The use of Lasers for example in the university setting has surpassed the use of radioactive materials and more attention is given to these sources. RF other than radar systems since World War II has likewise seen a spectacular growth pretty much since the advent of the cellular phone in the early 1990’s and its companion sources of WiFi, RFIDs, Bluetooth necessitating the average Health Physicist to become versed in this technology. Of recent, the interest in UV sources as a means of sterilization due to COVID has likewise seen an increase in its use and requires our attention. This talk discusses the increased challenges that face us and the need for the next generation to acquire competencies in health and safety aspects of devices emitting different frequencies of NIR as their continued use and applications continue to expand.

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