PRESIDENT'S MESSAGES | SUMMER 2002
By: Craig Dial, CRT
The sub committee of the RTCC was held on April 25, and Matt Kroona and I were present for the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to study the education necessary to ensure radiographic procedures using computed radiography or direct digital radiography equipment, and to recommend quality assurance procedures necessary to make certain digital radiographic equipment can produce quality clinical images.
In outline form the discussion touched on the following: You can't overexpose an image. This means that if the patient is exposed to high radiation levels, the computer will compensate. The images are only penalized if the patient is underexposed. Currently, there are no regulatory training requirements for RTs and XTs. And educational requirements are not clearly set because the technology is changing rapidly.
The discussion continued with the explanation of why the restrictions for digital radiogra-phy were on the law books in the first place. The thought was that back in 1985 (when the law was written), "scanned projection radiography" only being used in hospitals, and because digital imaging was difficult to master, the state thought the time involved in training an XT would be too time consuming for licencing requirements when most of the XTs would not use this skill set anyway.
The preparations for the recommendations to the RTCC are as follows: Training. The vendors do a good job of training the technologists on their particular imaging equipment, but each machine is different, and vendors decide on the amount of training needed for their machine. Some of the concerns were: Who makes the call when a retake is needed or quality assurance procedures arises? The tech usual makes the call, but the doctor is ultimately responsible for the imaging; therefore, do technologist need additional training in digital? The training fundamentals of XTs already cover retake and quality assurance protocol, and that formula applies to analog imaging as well as digital. So the question is: will additional training be necessary to operate digital x-ray equipment? Typically the vendor's train the technologist when the lab receives a new piece of imaging equipment, and the training sessions last between 3-5 days, but can the state rely solely on manufactures to educate the technologist?
Having only the manufacuters and x-ray facilities doing the educational training for these high tech machines concerned many of the sub committee members. The board requested that train-ing material from the manufacturers, schools, and x-ray facilities who have developed teaching curriculum be present for the next meeting which is being held on June 18th.