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Commission reviews issues bound for the house.

The adoption of the ASRT Practice Standards for Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy by the House of Delegates in 2007 greatly helped the Commission in reviewing resolutions to be heard at this year's House meeting. The seven-member Commission met at the ASRT office in late February and made recommendations on 50 items: six resolutions referred back from last year's House, three new ones and 41 existing position statements.

Commission members agreed that the practice standards go into more depth, give more context to position statements and include the R.T.'s scope of practice, making some position statements moot. As a result, the Commission felt comfortable recommending to the House that it sunset all position statements that include the definition and qualifications of R.T.s. The Commission also recommended that after the CARE bill passes, the House consider sunsetting position statements that include R.T.s' educational and certification qualifications.

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The Commission was led by Chairman Bill May, M.Ed., R.T.(R), FASRT, and members Deborah Berry, R.T.(R)(M); Mitzi Drey, R.T.(R)(CV); Mary O. St. Peter, B.S., R.T.(R) (N), CNMT; Sandra Hayden, B.S., R.T.(T); Kelly Jo Thomalla, B.S., R.T.(R)(M)(S), RDMS, FASRT and Alex Zafirovski, B.S., R.T.(T). Two student interns, Kelsey Malm and Melissa Trom, of the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences in Minnesota, assisted the group.

The Commission recommended nonadoption of five resolutions from last year and sunset of the current position statements they pertained to. It also decided not to support the resolution dealing with documentation of patient radiation exposure for CT and other high-dose exams. While they supported the intent of that resolution, they noted that the ASRT already has a statement on ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable), the practice standards endorse using minimal dosage and that "high dose" was not defined.

"So we document it [high dose]. What does it mean?" asked Ms. Thomalla. "I think it gets away from the intent of the resolution." Mr. Zafirovski suggested that the CT steering committee work with the American Association of Physicists in Medicine "to give us something more meaningful. It doesn't tell the whole story, using documentation only."

The Commission then heard from ASRT Executive Vice President and Chief Knowledge Officer Greg Morrison about the ASRT's role as a founding member of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging. As a result of that involvement, the CT chapter sponsored Resolution C-08.01, "Computed Tomography Exams on Pediatric Patients."

"This is a huge issue that should be important to all members," said Ms. St. Peter. "I want the ASRT to be in the forefront of this issue." Ms. Thomalla agreed, adding, "It's evident that not everyone is [reducing dose] and that education is needed."

Resolution C-08.02, "Personnel Performing Image-guided Procedures" was written by the Commission and recommended for adoption because, in the best interests of quality patient care and safety, "We don't want nurses doing our job," said Mr. May of the resolution that states that only R.T.s perform image-guided procedures.

Another issue the commissioners felt strongly about was C-08.15, "Supervising and Training Responsibilities for Radiologic Technologists." They advised strengthening the language in the existing position statement that R.T.s should not be required to supervise or train non-R.T.s.

Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer Sal Martino advised the group that "The position statements aren't regulatory, but are the profession's gold standards," what the profession aspires to achieve. Commission members talked about the reality some R.T.s face: If their employer tells them to train a non-R.T. and they refuse, they could be fired. "If we have this [position statement], it could help them win in court," Dr. Martino said, emphasizing the role of the position statements.

Both Speaker of the House Cathie Kukec, B.M.E., R.T.(R)(QM), and Vice Speaker Donna Thaler Long, M.S.M., R.T.(R)(M)(QM), FASRT, were pleased with the Commission and the Committee on Bylaws, whom they appointed.

"Members discussed and debated all aspects of the resolutions and proposed changes to the position statements and bylaws. Many very good points were made," said Ms. Kukec. "The groups were forward-thinking; they kept current practice in mind, but also looked to the future of our profession."

Said Ms. Thaler Long, "I have to echo Cathie's sentiments. Both groups were an excellent combination of seasoned and new volunteers. Members of both groups voiced their opinion on the issues. And trust me--they didn't always have the same view, which was a good thing! The diverse backgrounds and interactions helped assure that all aspects of the issues were thoroughly examined."

The proposed resolutions are posted on the ASRT Web site, www.asrt.org.

Student Interns Chosen

Six students in radiologic science programs have been selected as interns for the Annual Governance and House of Delegates meeting. They will learn about the governance structure of the ASRT by assisting during the meeting. This year's interns are Kelsey Malm, of Rochester, Minn.; Melissa Trom, of Blooming Prairie, Minn.; Amber Schiele, of Rochester, Minn.; and Kelle Morgan, of Rochester, Minn., all students at the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences. Laura Sanders, of Fort Smith, Ark., is a student at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith; and Jeremy Peterson, of Omaha, Neb., is a student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
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Date:Apr 1, 2008
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