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ASRT Press Release
ASRT House of Delegates Focuses on Ensuring Quality Care
LAS VEGAS, June 20, 2003 - To protect patients and improve the quality of medical imaging, the ASRT House of Delegates has called for the development of educational guidelines for personnel who perform x-ray examinations on specific parts of the body, such as only the chest or only the extremities. It also settled on a title for these personnel, who often work in chiropractors' clinics, podiatrists' offices or private physician offices. The resolutions were two of 11 adopted by the House of Delegates at its June 18 meeting in Las Vegas.
Resolution 03-2.02 gives the title of "limited x-ray machine operator" to individuals who have obtained a state license to perform a limited scope of radiographic examinations. Of the 36 states that license radiologic technologists, 25 have limited licensing provisions.
Delegate Liana Watson, B.A., R.T.(R)(M)(S), RDMS, RVT, FASRT, noted that limited-scope personnel are called "limited licensees," "x-ray technicians" or "limited permittees," depending on the state and the facility where they work. In arguing in favor of the resolution, Ms. Watson said, "If the ASRT does not come up with a term for our limited scope x-ray operators, another organization may come up with a name that we may not like."
After handling the terminology issue, delegates then adopted Resolution 03-2.03, which calls for the ASRT to develop educational standards for limited x-ray machine operators. Delegates agreed that the educational standards are needed because the skill levels and competency of limited x-ray machine operators varies widely. The resolution's stated goal is to ensure "quality patient care, radiation protection and production of quality images."
In a reference committee meeting two days before the vote, ASRT Chairman of the Board Allen Terrell, M.S., R.T.(R)(MR), argued in favor of the resolution. Reference committee meetings are an opportunity for any ASRT member to voice their opinions on proposed resolutions.
"I wish we didn't have this problem, but a majority of the states that license R.T.s also license limited personnel," Mr. Terrell said. "Since there are no federal recommendations or models for states to follow, some states allow just six hours of training. This is an opportunity to set educational standards for this group."
Also arguing in favor of the resolution was Bill May, R.T.(R), an affiliate delegate from Mississippi. "This is not what we ideally want, but we've got to look at the reality of what's happening because of the personnel shortage. The shortage is so bad that hospitals are hauling in OJTs (people trained on the job) to do 'simple' chest x-rays. In Mississippi, OJTs only need 12 hours of training. To protect patients, we need to ensure that these people have more training and that there are some standards. Who better to develop the standards than the ASRT?"
In other action, the House voted to accept a report from the ASRT Task Force on Governance Restructuring. The task force has been working for three years to streamline the ASRT's election process and the operation of its House of Delegates. In its report, the task force proposed a governance model that trims the size of the House of Delegates from a possible 234 delegates to 82, with two delegates representing each of ASRT's 14 chapters and one delegate from each of ASRT's 54 affiliate societies. The chapter delegates would be elected by a national ballot and the affiliate delegates would be selected by the affiliate societies.
Task Force Chairman Kelly Thomalla, B.S., R.T.(R)(M)(S), RDMS, FASRT, said that decreasing the size of the House would enable ASRT to have a more expeditious, efficient governance structure. The model proposed by the task force also changes the composition of ASRT Commissions and eliminates the ASRT regions from the governance structure.
Acceptance of the task force's report clears the way for the ASRT Bylaws Committee to make the bylaw changes necessary to implement a new governance structure. Ms. Thomalla emphasized that the governance model proposed by the Task Force on Governance Restructuring is a framework to build upon, not a final plan. "We've given the Bylaws Committee a proposal, but it will be up to them to determine what the final governance structure looks like," said Ms. Thomalla. Any proposed bylaw changes will then need to be brought back to the House of Delegates for final adoption.
The House of Delegates is the ASRT's governing body. One hundred ninety-five delegates participated in this year's meeting. The 11 resolutions adopted by the 2003 ASRT House of Delegates were:
ASRT Position Statement on Definition of Limited X-ray Machine Operator
Resolved, the ASRT adopt the position statement "Definition of Limited X-ray Machine Operator" that reads: "The ASRT defines a limited x-ray machine operator as an individual other than a radiologic technologist who performs diagnostic x-ray procedures on selected anatomical sites. Limited x-ray machine operator is the term that replaces other terms including, but not limited to, radiologic technician, x-ray technician and limited permittee."
Educational Standards for Limited X-Ray Machine Operators
Resolved, the ASRT develop national, standardized educational guidelines for limited radiography, including clinical and didactic components. The guidelines should contain education appropriate to body areas as defined through the limited scope examinations offered by ARRT or other nationally recognized certifying agencies. The content must assure quality patient care, radiation protection and production of quality images.
Development of Educational Pathways for Educators
Resolved, the ASRT investigate and facilitate educational pathways to encourage current and future educators to obtain their master's degrees.
Sunset of ASRT Position Statement "Advanced Professional Career Levels"
Resolved, the ASRT Position Statement "Advanced Professional Career Levels" be sunset.Radiation therapy practitioner and radiology practitioner are advanced professional career levels for radiologic technologists with educational requirements at the graduate level.
Revision of ASRT Position Statement "Radiologic Science Program Standards"
Resolved, the ASRT position statement "Radiologic Science Program Standards" be revised to read: "The ASRT opposes any abbreviated radiologic science program for the education of radiologic technologists that does not meet the minimum standards equivalent to those established by the Joint Review Committees or equivalent programmatic accreditation agencies."
Placement and Removal of Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters (PICC)
Resolved, the ASRT recognizes that placement and removal of peripherally inserted central catheters is within the scope of practice for radiologic technologists with appropriate clinical and didactic education where state statutes and/or institutional policy permits.
Revision of ASRT Position Statement "Breast Palpation by Radiologic Technologists"
Resolved, the ASRT position statement "Breast Palpation by Radiologic Technologists" be retitled "Breast Assessment by Radiologic Technologists" and revised to read: "Physical breast assessment by radiologic technologists in correlation with breast imaging and treatment is within the scope of practice for radiologic technologists with appropriate clinical and didactic education. The physical breast assessment consists of performing visual inspection, manual palpation, obtaining breast health history and documenting findings of the assessment."
Qualifications of Personnel Performing Fusion Imaging Examinations
Resolved, the ASRT adopt the position statement "Qualifications of Personnel Utilizing Hybrid Imaging Equipment in Performing Fusion Imaging Examinations" that reads: "The ASRT recommends that personnel utilizing hybrid imaging equipment with components requiring multiple modality competencies should be registered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists or other nationally recognized certification board. Furthermore, the ASRT recommends that these credentialed technologists have such appropriate clinical and didactic education in each additional component of the specific fusion examination and demonstrate competency in all data acquisition phases of the diagnostic procedure.
Revision of ASRT Position Statement "Qualifications for Performing Cardiovascular-Interventional Procedures"
Resolved, the ASRT position statement "Qualifications for Performing Cardiovascular-Interventional Procedures" be revised to read: "Only radiologic technologists credentialed in cardiac-interventional, vascular-interventional or cardiovascular-interventional technology by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) or equivalent should perform all cardiovascular-interventional procedures."
Revision of ASRT Position Statement "Radiologic Technologists Performing Cardiovascular-Interventional Technology"
Resolved, the ASRT position statement "Radiologic Technologists Performing Cardiovascular-Interventional Technology" be retitled "Radiologic Technologists Performing Cardiovascular-Interventional Technology, Cardiac-Interventional or Vascular-Interventional Technology" and revised to read: "Cardiovascular-interventional technology is an advanced scope of practice for the radiologic technologist. Cardiovascular-interventional technologist describes the radiologic technologist credentialed in cardiovascular-interventional technology. Cardiac-interventional technologist describes the radiologic technologist credentialed in cardiac-interventional technology and vascular-interventional technologist describes the radiologic technologist credentialed in vascular-interventional technology."
Radiologic Technologists Performing Diagnostic Radiography
Resolved, the ASRT adopt the position statement "Radiologic Technologists Performing Diagnostic Radiography" that reads: "The ASRT recognizes diagnostic radiography as a primary discipline equal to post-primary radiologic science specialties."
Media Contact: Ceela McElveny
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Note: The ARRTs recognition of the CE evaluation mechanism administered by the Texas Society of Radiologic Technologists (TSRT) on behalf of the Texas Department of Health. (This change adds Texas to the states of Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Mexico and Oregon that also have ARRT recognition.) The TSRT now has equal RCEEM (Recognized Continuing Education Evaluation Mechanism) status with the ASRT.