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ARRT Seeks Comments on Proposed Registered Radiologist Assistant Document Changes

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) is looking for help from working professionals working as or with a Registered Radiologist Assistant (R.R.A.). We encourage you to review the proposed changes to the R.R.A. Examination Content Specifications and Didactic and Clinical Portfolio Requirements.

Our goal is to produce comprehensive, accurate, and fair documents that cover the knowledge and cognitive skills required of R.R.A.s. 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 and procedures were sent to 568 current R.R.A.s to determine these topics. An additional survey was sent to about 1,600 radiologists to determine the level of supervision R.R.A.s have when performing various procedures. Results from these surveys were used to update the content specifications and the certification and registration application packet.

ARRT’s R.R.A. Practice Analysis Committee (composed of subject matter experts from throughout the nation) began working on these documents in November 2020 and will complete work on them later this year. After that, ARRT’s Board of Trustees will review the proposed changes. The revised R.R.A. documents have a scheduled implementation date of January 1, 2023.

SUMMARY OF MAJOR PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE R.R.A. EXAMINATION CONTENT SPECIFICATIONS

Patient Care Section

  • Sedation and/or pain control was added under the patient monitoring and assessment. Additional detail was added under the infection control section.
  • The patient care section was updated to reflect current practice and guidelines.

Safety Section

  • Additional content was added to safety standards.
  • Reporting and data system (BI-RADS) was moved from the procedures section to the safety section under regulations. The safety section was updated to reflect current practice and guidelines.

Procedures Section

  • Some of the content common to each area were moved to the area before the list of procedures. These include patient assessment, medical devices, and CT and MRI post processing.
  • In the abdominal section procedures that were added include, removal of percutaneous drainage catheter, and nasogastric/enteric and orogastric/enteric tube placement. Some of the medical devices that were added include, gastrointestinal tract stents, cholecystostomy tubes, biliary drainage tubes, and artificial urinary sphincter. CT colonography was removed.
  • In the thoracic section, cardiac stents, pulmonary vascular coils, pulmonary malignant and benign masses, and breast tissue expander and radiofrequency devices were added. 
  • Cardiac perfusion status, electrocardiogram (ECG), and breast needle localization were removed.
  • In the musculoskeletal and endocrine sections, superficial soft tissue mass biopsy was added to procedures and insulin pumps were added to medical devices.
  • In the neurological, vascular, and lymphatic sections, orthopedic hardware and intracranial hemorrhage were added to the neurological section. Tunneled venous catheter removal, umbilical vascular catheters, and hemorrhage were added to the vascular and lymphatic section. Signs and symptoms of venous obstruction and insufficiency, and insertion of tunneled central venous catheter were removed.

The number of scored questions remained the same at 200 but some of the sections changed the number of items. The number of pilot (unscored) questions increased from 20 to 30.

SUMMARY OF THE MAJOR PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE R.R.A. DIDACTIC COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS

  • Current advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) certification was added to the Certification and Registration Eligibility Checklist.
  • The following procedures were added to the procedure list of clinical experience and competence assessments: percutaneous, nasogastric/enteric and orogastric/enteric tube evaluation – verification with contrast injection, superficial soft tissue mass biopsy, and tunneled venous catheter removal.
  • The following procedures were removed from the procedure list of clinical experience and competence assessments: CT colonography, breast needle localization, and insertion of tunneled central venous catheter.
  • Definitions of personal supervision and direct supervision were added.
  • Additionally, wording was updated 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 1, 2021). The survey is the official method by which we track feedback. The R.R.A. Practice Analysis 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 R.R.A., call 651.681.0048. Choose the option for earning an ARRT credential.

Thank you for your contribution to this important project.