Technologist licensing bills signed in N.D., introduced in N.C.

In an effort to fill in the gaps in radiologic technologist licensing requirements around the country, North Dakota has passed a measure strengthening its regulations, while legislators in North Carolina have introduced a bill that would establish a licensure system currently nonexistent in the state.

The North Dakota law, SB 2236, was signed by Gov. Jack Dalrymple last week and sets standards for licensing technical personnel who perform medical imaging and radiation therapy. Prior to SB 2236, the state had equipment operation regulations in place for radiographers, radiation therapists and nuclear medicine technologists, but the state attorney general did not recognize this as a formal licensure system.

A nine-member board will oversee the licensure program and be charged with handling disciplinary actions and penalties. SB 2236 also enables technologists to take verbal orders from physicians and other providers and enter them into a patient’s EHR.

“Enactment of SB 2236 is a huge step toward making sure that patient care is provided as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Ann Bell-Pfeifer, RT(R)(M)(QM), of the North Dakota Society of Radiologic Technologists Legislative Committee, in a statement.

Meanwhile, North Carolina Sens. Wesley Meredith and Tommy Tucker have introduced a bill in their state, SB 498, which would for the first time require those performing medical imaging and radiation therapy to secure a license beforehand. If passed, the law would establish a board to oversee licensing standards and require personnel to complete educational requirements and pass a certification exam. The bill is currently in committee.

North Carolina is one of five states without any licensing requirements for technologists, along with Alabama, Idaho, Missouri and South Dakota. Alaska has minimal requirements that only pertain to those performing fluoroscopy. In March, Missouri legislators also introduced a bill that would establish licensing requirements.