"Establishing state standards will ensure that Alaskans will have access to safe and high quality radiologic care."
- Rep. Anderson
"An Act requiring licensure of occupations relating to radiologic technology, radiation therapy, and nuclear medicine technology; and providing for an effective date."
The Radiologic Health Science professionals in the State of Alaska are dedicated to the preservation of life and health as well as the prevention and treatment of disease. The use of x-rays and other medical imaging disciplines is the most acceptable method for discovering and treating many conditions that might not otherwise be observed until it is too late for treatment.
The unregulated practice of Radiologic Technology, Nuclear Medicine Technology and Radiation Therapy by unqualified individuals represents a serious health risk to the citizens of Alaska. The Alaska Society of Radiologic Technologists has consistently supported the enactment of state standards for the education and credentialing of Radiologic Technologists, Radiation Therapists and Nuclear Medicine Technologists as a means of protecting Alaskans from the harmful effects of excessive and unnecessary exposure to medical radiation.
Any radiology procedure is only as effective as the person performing it. An underexposed chest x-ray cannot reveal pneumonia or a malignant lesion, just as an inadequate mammography technique cannot detect breast cancer. No matter what the procedure, the Radiologic Technologist's knowledge of anatomy, careful application of radiation and skillful operation of sophisticated medical equipment are the keys to its success. Patients have long benefited from Alaska's wisely implemented Radiology equipment performance standards but those benefits can easily be negated by under trained operators of the equipment. To be clinically useful, diagnostic imaging exams must be accurate. To stop invasive cancers, radiation therapy treatments must be precise.
To ensure that the citizens of the State of Alaska receive maximum protection practicable from the harmful effects of excessive and improper exposure to ionizing radiation, licensure must be passed to establish standards.
Establishing state standards will ensure that Alaskans will have access to safe and high quality radiologic care. Licensure for Radiologic Technologists, Radiation Therapists and Nuclear Medicine Technologists will establish radiation protection measures as well as education and credentialing standards that will ensure the competency of persons operating medical equipment emitting radiation.
I urge your support of this important piece of legislation.