Montana communities now have the opportunity to invest in their workforce and in the future of radiology. Missoula College offers the state’s first online Computerized Tomography certificate.
The five-credit CT certificate, which fulfills the new American Registry of Radiologic Technologists certification requirements, will be available to registered and licensed radiologic technologists and current MC radiology students. The AART requirements took effect in January 2016.
The program is a direct response to changing industry standards, which soon will require a classroom component in addition to traditional on-the-job training. The college hopes to attract current professionals working in urban and rural areas across the state through its online course offerings and flexible clinical placement opportunities.
The Joint Commission has released new requirements for diagnostic imaging services that are applicable to hospitals and critical access facilities. The new requirements stipulate the following:
- Technologists who perform diagnostic CT exams must have advanced-level certification by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB) in CT, or state licensure that allows them to perform diagnostic CT exams; registration and certification in radiography by ARRT; or certification in nuclear medicine technology by ARRT or NMTCB.
- Technologists who conduct diagnostic CT exams must participate in education that prepares them to have advanced-level certification in the modality by January 1, 2018.
- A facility's medical staff determines the qualifications of the radiology staff that use imaging equipment and administer procedures.
- Diagnostic CT protocols are reviewed and kept current with input from an interpreting physician, a medical physicist, and a lead imaging technologist.
“Missoula College is in a unique position to provide that,” said Dan Funsch, clinical coordinator of MC’s Radiologic Technology program. “Rural facilities find it difficult to retain certified and qualified technologists in CT, and our program will generate a pool of qualified technologists.”
The Montana Department of Labor and Industry is working with employers to set up an apprenticeship model for qualified candidates, to complete their clinical competences. Employers may sponsor the certification of current radiology technologists to ensure compliance with the new TJC requirements. For technologists who are not employed by the institution, the apprenticeship agreement would codify a probationary period, incremental wage increases, a requirement to pass the certification exam and a requirement to work for an agreed-upon amount of time once the training is complete.
The two courses that fulfill the Certificate requirement are on-line and are offered each semester. They are:
AHXR 274 Sectional Anatomy
AHXR 275 Physics