ARRT Seeks Comments on Proposed Changes

Provide your thoughts on Computed Tomography Examination Content Specifications and Clinical Experience Requirements by Sept. 12, 2016

(August 11, 2016) The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) is looking for help from educators and people who work in computed tomography (CT). As an interested party, you are encouraged to review the proposed changes to the Examination Content Specifications and Clinical Experience Requirements for Computed Tomography certification and registration.

Our goal is to produce comprehensive, accurate and fair documents that cover the knowledge and cognitive skills required of CT technologists. ARRT’s examinations are practice-related. That is, we only include topics if knowledge of those topics relates directly to a clinical activity typically required in practice.

ARRT’s Computed Tomography Practice Analysis and CQR Advisory Committee (composed of subject matter experts from throughout the nation) began working on these documents in September 2015 and will complete its work on them later this year. After that, ARRT’s Board of Trustees will review the proposed changes. The revised Examination Content Specifications and Clinical Experience Requirements have an implementation date of July 1, 2017.

Proposed changes in the drafts are either underlined (additions) or lined out (deletions). Notable changes include the following:

Examination Content Specifications

Proposed changes to the Examination Content Specifications include retitling several content categories and reorganizing them into four major sections: Patient Care, Safety, Image Production, and Procedures. This creates consistent category names across all ARRT disciplines.

Reorganization and renaming changes to the Examination Content Specifications include:

  • The section previously called Patient Care and Safety was divided into two sections, one called Patient Care and one called Safety.
  • The Physics and Instrumentation section was retitled Image Production and divided it into two subsections: Image Formation; and Image Evaluation and Archival.
  • The Special Procedures subsection within the Procedures section was renamed Other Procedures. Topics regarding vascular studies were moved from the list of studies to this subsection. Both angiography (CTA) and venography (CTV) are now included in vascular studies.
  • In preparation for Continuing Qualifications Requirements (CQR), studies were reorganized within the Procedures section into three new subsections: Head, Spine, and Musculoskeletal; Neck and Chest; and Abdomen and Pelvis. Topics concerning Spine procedures were moved from the Musculoskeletal subsection into their own subsection and regionally separated.

Topics added or removed from the Examination Content Specifications include:

  • Topics concerning radiation protection for personnel, dose notifications, and dose alerts were added to the Safety section.
  • Topics concerning electronic medical records (EMR) were added to the informatics subsection of Image Production.
  • Topics concerning aspirations were added to the Focus of Questions subsection within the Procedures section.
  • Radiation therapy planning, colonography or virtual colonography, and transplant studies were all removed from the list of examinations in the Special Procedures subsection of the Procedures section.

Clinical Experience Requirements

Changes to the Clinical Experience Requirements include:

  • Changed the individuals who can verify completion of a procedure.
  • Reduced the number of eligible procedures from 59 to 58 and changed the number of eligible categories from seven to six.
  • Made procedures performed in conjunction with a PET or SPECT attenuation correction scan ineligible for CT clinical experience documentation.
  • Made procedures performed in conjunction with radiation therapy planning ineligible for CT clinical experience documentation.
  • Organized and retitled individual procedures to match the Examination Content Specifications.
  • Mandated the use of iodinated IV contrast for 19 procedures.
  • Divided “head without and/or with contrast” into two procedures: a head CT without contrast and a head CT with contrast; this was also done for chest, abdomen, and pelvis procedures.
  • Added pituitary, orbits, brain perfusion, and shoulder and/or scapula as separate procedures within the Head, Spine, and Musculoskeletal section.
  • Added CTV as an option to all vascular items.
  • Added low-dose lung screening to the Neck and Chest section.
  • Added pediatric procedures to Other Procedures.
  • Removed radiation therapy planning, colonography or virtual colonography, and transplant studies from Other Procedures.
  • Combined ROI measurement with geometric or distance measurement, making one procedure within Image Display and Postprocessing.
  • Removed retrospective reconstruction as a procedure within Image Display and Postprocessing.
  • Removed linearity, spatial resolution, and contrast resolution procedures within Quality Assurance.

Review the Documents and Provide Feedback

Links to drafts of the proposed documents appear below. We invite you to review the documents and provide feedback via an important online survey (now closed). The survey is the official method by which we track feedback. Your comments will help us create policy changes that are fair, and in the best interests of the profession and patients.

Visit The Online Discussion Forum

After completing the survey, you’ll also have the option to discuss the proposed changes with your peers in our online discussion forum (live until September 12, 2016). You may also direct questions about the proposed changes to ARRT at 651.681.3150.

Thank you for your contribution to this important project.

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