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ARRT Seeks Comments on Proposed Radiation Therapy Changes

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) is looking for help from working professionals in radiation therapy. We encourage you to review the proposed changes to the Radiation Therapy Examination Content Specifications and Clinical Competency Requirements.

Our goal is to produce comprehensive, accurate, and fair documents that cover the knowledge and cognitive skills required of therapists. ARRT’s examinations are job-related. That is, we only include topics if knowledge of those topics relates directly to a clinical activity typically required in one’s job. A survey of possible tasks was sent to 1,500 current radiation therapists to determine these topics.

ARRT’s Radiation Therapy Practice Analysis Advisory Committee (composed of subject matter experts from throughout the nation) began working on these documents in October 2019 and will complete work on them later this year. After that, ARRT’s Board of Trustees will review the proposed changes. The revised radiation therapy documents have a scheduled implementation date of January 1, 2022.

SUMMARY OF MAJOR PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE RADIATION THERAPY EXAMINATION CONTENT SPECIFICATIONS

Patient Care Section

The patient education section was expanded to include pre- and post-treatment instructions and response to questions about other imaging exams.

A pharmacology subsection was added to include important content about contrast media.

Safety

Target interactions and particles were added under machine-produced radiation.

Several additional somatic effects were added under biological effects of radiation.

A section that lists factors to minimize patient exposure was added.

New content about MRI magnetic field screening was added.

In quality control procedures, warm-up and inspection of CT simulators was expanded and separated from linear accelerators.

Procedures Section

Non-volumetric arc therapy and volumetric arc therapy are listed separately.

Motion management and six degrees of freedom couch were added under treatment machine set-up.

Additionally, we updated wording on multiple topics for clarification and consistency.

SUMMARY OF THE MAJOR PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE CLINICAL COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS

Requirements about simulating performance were clarified.

Two additional quality control procedures, imaging systems for a linear accelerator and QC water phantom for a simulator, were added.

Under simulation procedures, abdomen was removed and special procedure (e.g., 4D CT, SBRT, gating, brachytherapy) was added.

Under participatory procedures, SBRT/SRS was added.

Under radiation therapy treatment procedures, abdomen IMRT and/or arc therapy and single field spine were removed. Abutting fields may be done with photons or electrons.

The total number of radiation treatment procedures decreased from 18 to 16 and two of these may be demonstrated in a clinical lab environment. 

Additionally, we updated wording for clarification and consistency.

REVIEW THE DOCUMENTS AND PROVIDE FEEDBACK

We invite you to review the documents below and provide feedback through an online survey (live until October 2, 2020). The survey is the official method by which we track feedback. The Radiation Therapy Practice Analysis Advisory Committee will review all comments and may make additional changes based on your feedback.

Note: Additions are in blue and deletions are in strikethrough red in the drafts.

QUESTIONS?

If you have questions about how the proposed changes may affect your eligibility for certification and registration in Radiation Therapy, call our Initial Certification Department at 651.681.0048, ext. 8560.

Thank you for your contribution to this important project.