posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 08:50 AM
This is a complicated issue. I am a radiographer with a BS in Radiology. This report is somewhat correct.
One of the problems in this field is that there are too many lax regulations on who can take xrays and do scans. I went to school 4 years at one of
the countries top Radiology programs, and I am certified. There are programs out there that allow people to work under a limited license in as little
a 8 weeks. The problem with this is that Dr's are looking for cheap labor so they hire these NCT's (non-certified technologists) and allow them to
work beyond their scope of practice. They have no education in radiobiology or physics. So you end up with people taking xrays that have no idea how
to use mA to reduce pt. dose. Same goes for some CT techs. People should only allow technologists that are ARRT certified take their xrays or scans.
Most hospitals require this, but a lot of clinics do not.
However, the motivation behind this report I believe is once again about money. Recently, insurance companies have come to mandate that in order for
facilities to be reimbursed for cat scans, they must be ACR (American College of Radiology) accredited. This costs each company approx. $8000. I
agree there needs to be regulation, but this does nothing to stop unqualified techs operating the scanners (sounds like cap and trade huh?). Just
because you are ACR accredited, doesn't change the fact the techs doing the scans don't know how to minimize pt. dose and still produce quality
scans. Interestingly, this new mandate will cause many clinics to close, because they have old single slice scanners and would have to purchase new
muti-slice scanners that run into the hundred of thousands of dollars to get ACR approved. Well, guess what? The muti-slice scanners require much
higher doses of radiation to produce the images. It's pretty much a risk vs benefit thing. A higher quality scan can show more detail, but require
higher doses while the single slice is not as detailed but give lower doses. Another problem is that Dr's are practicing defensive medicine in order
to keep from being sued. This in turn causes them to order scans for ridiculous reasons.
Cat scans have saved millions of lives, again, risk vs benefit.