Letters to the Editor

Licenses required

I am a pediatric radiologic technologist (RT) registered with the American Registry of RTs and a licensed Texas medical RT.

The Texas Sunset Commission is seeking to end licensing programs for RTs (Medical Radiation Technology Act), nuclear medicine technologists, radiation therapists and medical physicists. They believe radiology equipment and staff are monitored by other governmental agencies.

This is true for hospital departments, but rarely for private offices.

I saw private offices (before the MRT Act) with X-ray equipment assigning secretaries, receptionists, and non-radiology employees to radiate patients. Most images were of poor quality and repeated in hospitals by radiology professionals.

Non-radiology employees are not monitored by the government. This means no one checks for poor images, overexposure, weak cancer treatment protocols, employee film badges and working equipment.

When the MRT Act passed, private offices hired radiology professionals. Image quality improved, equipment was inspected, and ALARA (“as low as [is] reasonably achievable”) standards were followed.

Texas citizens need to contact the Sunset Commission. Ask them to preserve the MRT Act and licensure of medical physicists. Texans want licensed RTs performing their medical images, inspections of radiation equipment and the best in cancer treatments by radiation therapists.

— Lois Lehman, Dallas