State-level technologist licensing discussions heat up

While most states have licensing requirements for medical imaging and radiation therapy personnel, there are some gaps as one looks around the country. Five states have no licensing requirements at all, and others have very bare bones regulation. That may change significantly in 2015.

The states with no licensing requirements are Alabama, Idaho, Missouri, North Carolina and South Dakota. As the American Society of Radiologic Technologists puts it, this means that individuals in these states potentially could perform radiologist procedures without completing any courses on radiation safety or basic radiologic science.

Aside from these states, there are others that have some regulations in this area, but are lacking the comprehensiveness seen in most states around the U.S. This includes Alaska, where personnel performing fluoroscopy must complete 10 hours of training, but there are no licensure or regulatory laws for other types of medical imaging procedures. In North Dakota, the state has instituted some equipment operation regulations, but the state attorney general has not recognized these as a formal licensure system.

Since the calendar flipped to 2015, there’s been a flurry of activity on this front. Both Missouri and North Carolina currently have bills making their way through the legislative process that, if passed, would establish formal licensing requirements in those states.

Meanwhile, Alaska and North Dakota legislators are reviewing bills that would expand the very minimal technologist requirements in those states. Both bills would require technologists to pass board-administered exams, and they also clarify what duties personnel can perform under the supervision of licensed practitioners.

If you work in any of these states, now is the time to pay attention and get involved. Find out how these proposals would impact your practice, and reach out to representatives to ensure your opinion is heard.

-Evan Godt
Editor – Health Imaging