Forensic radiographers surprise ASRT with level of imaging access

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Nearly 34 percent of all forensic radiography exams are performed by registered radiographers and nearly 90 percent of those surveyed rated the images produced at their facility as good or excellent, according to a survey conducted by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT).

The survey also reported that nearly 90 percent of those who perform forensic radiography have access to radiography equipment at their facilities. Forty-four percent of the respondents said the exams were performed by a forensic assistant and 13 percent are performed by a forensic professional such as a medical examiner or coroner.

Developed by former ASRT President and current Chairman Connie L. Mitchell, RT, and the ASRT Forensic Radiography Task Force, the goal of the survey was to gather valuable information about the state of forensic radiography in the United States.

"A major goal of the task force was to conduct a survey that would provide insight regarding the roles of forensic-educated registered radiologic technologists,” Mitchell said.

"I think we were all surprised at the level of access to imaging equipment that exists in forensic laboratories," said current ASRT President Linda K. Holden, RT. "Even those that do not have equipment in their facilities had access at a nearby hospital or clinic."

The forensic survey was sent to 720 members of the National Association of Medical Examiners. The survey garnered an 11 percent participation rate and provided the ASRT with important information about this unique practice area of the radiologic sciences.

Mitchell said that the task force will continue gathering research about the field of forensic radiography to determine who is performing forensic imaging and what level of training is required to perform the job.