A number of different imaging exams can be used to provide this view, including X-ray, MRI, ultrasound, CT scan, mammography, nuclear medicine, fluoroscopy, bone mineral densitometry and PET scan. Diagnostic imaging provides detailed information about structural or disease related changes. Early diagnosis saves lives.
Without diagnosis there can be no treatment, there can be no cure. Image interpretation is the most visible contribution of radiologists. The population should be informed about the importance of diagnostic imaging. Doctors today cannot manage patients without diagnostic imaging.
For many diseases, your family doctor and emergency care physicians rely on radiology test results to determine your diagnosis and the course of your treatment. Radiology is known as the science of using medical imaging to help diagnose and, in some cases, treat diseases in the human body. Many different imaging techniques are a part of radiology including x-ray, computed tomography CT , magnetic resonance imaging MRI , ultrasound and more.
History of Radiology
The history of radiology started with Wilhelm Roentgen in Wilhelm was able to take the first x-ray, which was of his wife and won the Nobel Prize in physics in due to his new discovery. He had experimented with passing electric currents through a tube and by doing so, was able to figure out how to turn this experiment into an X-ray. The ability to take an x-ray was a huge advancement in the medical community. It allowed for the diagnosis of fractures, broken bones, ailments and much more.
Originally, radiographs were made onto glass photographic plates. The curriculum was the first of many that the society would publish over the years as it consistently pushed for uniform educational standards for radiologic technologists. The change happened because more and more of the society's members were nuclear medicine technologists and radiation therapists, so the term "x-ray technician" no longer accurately reflected the membership.
In addition, members believed the shift from "technician" to "technologist" placed a stronger emphasis on professionalism and education.
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The same year, the society also changed the name of its journal to Radiologic Technology. The ASRT continued to grow, and by membership had reached 14, The organization's leaders realized it was time to move the burgeoning society from Fond du Lac, the ASRT's headquarters for more than two decades. They chose Chicago, home to nearly other health care associations. The late s and early s were a tumultuous time for the profession and for ASRT. The explosion in new technology caused a severe shortage of radiologic technologists nationwide.
Once-exotic procedures such as computed tomography, mammography and sonography were becoming commonplace, and demand soared for personnel qualified to operate the equipment.
- Radiology and Fine Art : American Journal of Roentgenology : Vol. , No. 1 (AJR).
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Fearing that the shortage would lead to "diploma mills" that churned out technologists with little formal training, the ASRT began promoting more rigorous educational requirements and minimum national standards for medical imaging and radiation therapy personnel. In , ASRT asked the federal government to establish standards regulating the licensure of radiologic technologists. At the time, the U. Public Health Service estimated that there were more than , operators of x-ray equipment in the country, but only about 55, were certified.
The ASRT supported a bill that proposed standards for the licensure of radiologic technologists.
Following the issuance of the standards, states would have two years either to adopt them or to enact their own, more stringent, standards. In , only four states licensed radiologic technologists. The Consumer-Patient Radiation Health and Safety bill, as the proposed legislation was titled, had strong opponents who exerted significant political pressure. The bill was reintroduced year after year in Congress but never made it out of committee.
As the ASRT continued to fight for passage of the federal bill, it also worked with the states to enact licensure laws.
By , nine states licensed radiologic technologists. The Secretary of Health and Human Services was ordered to develop federal standards for the certification of radiologic technologists and the accreditation of educational programs in the radiologic sciences. The Act also required the federal government to provide the states with a model statute for licensure.
However, the Act made compliance voluntary and did not impose penalties for states that ignored the standards.
The ASRT regarded enactment of the law a partial victory. In the years following its passage, increasing numbers of states began licensing radiologic technologists. By , 33 states had enacted licensure laws for radiographers, 28 licensed radiation therapists and 21 licensed nuclear medicine technologists.
While ASRT was working for regulatory standards on the governmental level, it also was introducing the profession to the concept of continuing education. In , the ASRT designed a voluntary continuing education program in which technologists could earn CE points by participating in professional meetings, in-service education and self-study programs. Although voluntary, response to the CE program was strong. Within a year of its launch, more than 5, radiologic technologists had enrolled — a testament to their eagerness for continuing education.
By the early s, the ASRT was focused on ensuring long-term financial stability for the organization while expanding its range of benefits and services to members. To do so, the organization recognized that it needed to leave Chicago. The ASRT's downtown Chicago office was the organization's single largest expense, leaving no money for investments or for future expansion of the Society.
Estimating that the Society would be able to operate for nearly half the cost as in Chicago, it opened its office in Albuquerque in August She claimed that the main danger of radiation overexposure came from faulty machinery, not from equipment operators who had never been educated as radiologic technologists.
The Department of Health and Human Services also said it would not issue a model licensure bill to the states, as required by the Act. Under pressure from the public, HHS backed down and agreed to comply with the Act. In December , the federal agency mailed copies of a model licensure bill to the governors of all 50 states. Meanwhile, ASRT membership continued to rise, with a growing number of members practicing in fields other than radiography.
To better represent all its members, the ASRT in created a new legislative and governing body, the House of Delegates. The country was divided into 10 regions and the ASRT membership was divided into four modalities: radiography, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy and sonography. Each region sent one delegate representing each modality to the annual meeting of the House.
This system ensured that every modality and every region had equal representation on issues affecting the radiologic sciences.
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The House also included two affiliate delegates elected from each state and city affiliate. Each chapter was represented in the House by a delegate from each of the ASRT's 10 regions, replacing each region's four modality delegates. A military chapter was added in , and chapters for bone densitometry and quality management were added in The system of representation in the House of Delegates was further refined in , when delegates voted to restructure ASRT's system of governance.
Among the changes was the elimination of the region system for election of chapter delegates, allowing chapter delegates to be elected nationally instead of regionally. In , the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists ARRT made continuing education mandatory as a condition for the annual renewal of technologists' certifications.
Although the society had offered educational materials through its annual meeting and journals since its inception in , the CE mandate put the Society under additional pressure to help R. It responded by becoming one of the few organizations approved by the ARRT to perform all four CE responsibilities: developing, sponsoring and evaluating CE activities and recording technologists' accumulated CE credits.
As more and more technologists recognized the benefits of belonging to ASRT, membership soared. It climbed from 28, in to 56, in and 70, in