Taking an Opposing Stance, Texas Considers Deregulating Technologists

While most states are looking to regulate licensure for radiologic technologists, Texas is considering eliminating the licensure standards already in place.

While more and more states are looking to introduce licensure regulations for radiologic technologists, Texas is taking an opposite stance and considering eliminating the licensure requirements currently in place for radiologic technologists, according to the Sunset Advisory Commission of the Texas Legislature.

The 2014 Sunset Staff Report created by the Sunset Advisory Commission recommends eliminating licensure requirements for 19 occupations, including radiologic technologists. According to the report, the rationale for eliminating the licensure requirements for technologists is that it would have little impact on public health or safety, practitioners operate in a highly regulated environment, regulation is also provided by another state or local regulatory program or voluntary certification program, and the program generates little regulatory activity. There were six total criteria for reasoning to eliminate regulation, radiologic technologists satisfied four of them.

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Texas currently licenses 28,275 radiologic technologists, according to the Texas Society of Radiologic Technologists (TSRT). The regulations in place make technologists responsible for following radiation safety measures, and ensuring patients receive proper radiation safety shielding and the lowest possible radiation dose. Eliminating licensure requirements would mean that individuals would be able to administer medical radiation without completing any applicable coursework, TSRT said in a release.

TSRT also argues that the national voluntary certification programs, one of the criteria that made technologists vulnerable for elimination, will not replace licensure requirements in Texas because it’s up to the discretion of the individual or employer to require the voluntary certification.

“With what we know about the dangers of medical radiation, it’s very surprising that the Texas legislature would consider removing licensure standards so anyone could administer medical radiation within the patient population,” Kameka Rideaux, president of the TSRT, said in a release. “Texans should know that their elected officials are considering removing a program that was designed to protect patients from excessive medical radiation dose and has been very successful for more than 25 years.

The Commission also recommended removing licensing standards for medical physicists, another field that works directly with radiation.

TSRT will be in Austin June 24-25 to urge the Commission to maintain the licensing standards currently in place.

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