Hospitals and medical clinics often use radiation-emitting materials and equipment to diagnose and treat patients. The radiation shielding of such facilities is generally incorporated into their building design to ensure radiation exposure to staff and the public is kept below the safe levels mandated by governmental agencies. Examples of common built-in shielding include thick concrete walls and sheets of lead.
Medical physicists are typically involved in the design, construction, and radiation survey of facilities that use radiation. Surveys are performed soon after construction using detectors appropriate for measuring radiation levels within and around the facility. These surveys are important for verifying that radiation levels are safe for staff and the general public.