States' rad tech licensing requirements vary drastically

While the state of North Carolina is working toward establishing licensing and education standards for radiologic technologists, Texas is considering eliminating its standards.

Currently in North Carolina, individuals can perform radiologic procedures without taking courses in medical safety, patient positioning or even basic radiologic science physics. The two bills under consideration--House bill 742 and Senate bill 390--require persons performing these procedures to meet educational requirements and present their credentials to North Carolina's Radiologic Imaging and Radiation Therapy (NCSRT) Board of Examiners to get licensed.

If licensed, practitioners would have to get the license renewed every two years and would have to complete 24 hours of continuing education to quality for renewal.

"Setting basic education and certification standards for the personnel who perform radiologic procedures is a common-sense measure that benefits patients in North Carolina," Brenda Greenberg, legislative chairman of the NCSRT in a statement. "Patients expect to be treated by healthcare professionals who understand radiation safety protection measures and are educated in the core fundamentals of radiologic technology; however, in our state, individuals can perform procedures without any training or education."

Conversely, in Texas, the state legislature's Sunset Advisory Commission is recommending the elimination of licensing requirements for 19 occupations, including radiologic technologists.

The commission believes that the deregulation of radiologic technologists would have "little impact on public health or safety" because they work in facilities subject to federal and state requirements and are subject to "private" accreditation programs, according to an announcement from the American Society of Radiologic Technologist (ASRT).

The ASRT, the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, the Texas Society of Radiologic Technologists, the North Texas Society of Radiologic Technologists, the Midwestern State University and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center will send representatives to a public meeting of the Sunset Advisory Commission later this month, where they will argue that radiology technology and medical physics should continue to be licensed.

To learn more:
- see the North Carolina bills, House bill 742 and Senate bill 390
- check out the statement from the ASRT on the North Carolina legislation
- see the announcement from the ASRT on the situation in Texas