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OTC Instructor Lobbies in Washington

March 18-20, 2007 over 150 registered imaging professionals and 40 students met for the American Society of Radiologic Technologists  9th “R.T. in D.C.” in Washington. This event was an opportunity to build Congressional support for the Consistency, Accuracy, Responsibility, and Excellence (CARE) in Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy bill.

ASRT members at Capitol
ASRT members at Capitol

The CARE bill is important patient care legislation. Unfortunately, some personnel who perform imaging procedures are not adequately trained or credentialed, resulting in inconsistent and inadequate care being delivered.  In nine states, Georgia, Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and the District of Columbia, individuals are allowed to perform medical imaging and radiation therapy procedures with no previous training or qualifications.  Due to these shortcomings, there is a lower standard of care for patients by potentially placing them in jeopardy and causing an increased economic strain on an already overburdened healthcare system when images must be repeated.
Three members of the Georgia Society of Radiologic Technologists made the trip to D.C. to lobby Georgia lawmakers for their support and co-sponsorship for this legislation. Shelvia Koontz, GSRT president, Jan Martin, Legislative Chair, and Freda Stewart, Member-At-Large represented imaging professionals from Georgia.  Ms. Martin is an Imaging Science Instructor at Ogeechee Technical College in Statesboro.   A number of legislative officials were contacted on the trip, including Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, Congressman Jack Kingston, and a number of legislative aides to other members of Congress. 
With millions of imaging exams performed in Georgia, the general public assumes the person performing their exam is a highly trained professional however this is not always the case. Most people do not realize that the unskilled technologist might cause exposure to excess radiation, resulting in sloppy work and increased healthcare dollars.

Senate bill 1042 was introduced March 29 by Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA).  It is the same bill passed by the Senate at the end of 2006.  Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) is the first cosponsor.  The legislation is ready for the House under HR 583. It is time for the voters in Georgia to contact their Representatives and ask for them to co-sponsor this bill.

**Information for article provided by the Georgia Society of Radiologic Technologists.

Contact: Barry Turner
Executive Director of Public Relations
Phone: (912) 688-6958
Email: bturner@ogeecheetech.edu

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