It's that time of year again--time to celebrate how far the radiologic science profession has come since Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovered the X-ray on Nov. 8, 1895. It's time to prepare for National Radiologic Technology Week (NRTW), Nov. 7-13, and recognize the medical personnel who perform medical imaging procedures or plan and deliver radiation therapy.
NRTW raises awareness about the valuable role of these professionals play as members of the health care team. For more than 30 years, the annual event has provided the RT community with an avenue to highlight the profession and honor the dedicated personnel who work in the radiologic sciences.
What's unique about NRTW is that it offers RTs a chance to promote themselves and the profession to their peers, the general public and other health care professionals. Regardless of their practice areas, RTs unite to showcase how they contribute to the health care team. NRTW reminds everyone that their contributions have significantly influenced the way medicine is practiced today and the way patients receive care.
To highlight the importance of quality medical images, this year the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) chose "Developing Picture-perfect Care" as the theme for NRTW. The theme not only validates the important role of RTs, but it communicates the necessity of securing high-quality images, which helps in diagnosing diseases.
"This year's theme really captures the essence of the radiologic technology profession," says ASRT President Jim Temme, MPA, RT(R)(QM), FASRT. "Radiologic technologists provide patients with top-notch care, whether it is by securing high-quality images or delivering accurate radiation therapy treatments. We are proud of the important work that we do."
A great thing about NRTW: The ways to participate are endless. Many medical imaging facilities, organizations, departments and personnel celebrate NRTW the entire week. Some hold department open houses, treat their staff to lunch, and even invite local, state and national political leaders and media to tour departments and learn more about the work done by medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals.
The ASRT also makes involvement and participation easy. It offers suggestions for individuals looking for ways to honor RTs and promote their department, facility or profession. For promotional ideas to help you plan your own celebration, visit www.asrt.org/nrtw.
Also, ASRT is continuing its trend of providing special services during NRTW. Once again, the ASRT's Continuing Education (CE) Department will review CE activity at no charge from Nov. 7-13. To qualify, the activity must be a live lecture not exceeding two hours. Sponsors must complete the ASRT CE Request for Approval packet and submit it by Nov. 5 for review. Interested parties can access the NRTW RFA form, program requirements and instructions by visiting the ASRT website.
In addition to a week's worth of celebrations, NRTW 2010 occurs around a series of ASRT advocacy and educational initiatives.
For example, right before NRTW, ASRT is hosting the 34th Annual Radiation Therapy Conference in San Diego, Oct. 31-Nov. 2. This is the premier event for radiation therapists and medical dosimetrists. The conference is a key component in ASRT's efforts to support members in their professional development.
Moreover, right after NRTW winds down, Congress returns to Capitol Hill Nov. 15 after its district work period concludes. The timing couldn't be better for RTs to advocate for their profession: The Consistency, Accuracy, Responsibility and Excellence (CARE) in Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy bill is being reviewed by the House and Senate. NRTW is a great time for RTs to hit the ground running and ask their elected officials for their support to establish federal education and credentialing standards.
With everything happening in the radiologic science world this fall and winter, NRTW is the perfect avenue for RTs to recognize their important contributions to the profession.
Jake Buehler is director of communications for the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT).