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In the Media

ASRT Statement on Fetal and Gonadal Shielding

By ASRT Legislative Actions, In the Media, Member News

Since the spring of 2019, the ASRT Board of Directors has engaged in multiple, in-depth discussions on the issue of discontinuing the use of fetal and gonadal shielding during medical diagnostic x-ray procedures.

Recommendations from the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurementsannounced on Jan. 12, 2021, support an end to shielding specifically during abdominal and pelvic radiography. After review of the latest empirical research and in consideration of the recent information from the NCRP, the 2019 AAPM Position Statement (PP 32-A) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s action to rescind its longstanding gonadal shielding recommendation (21 CFR part 1000.50), the Board has concluded that shielding the fetus and/or gonads during abdominal and pelvic radiography may result in a risk of repeat exposure. This risk outweighs any potential benefit from the limited reduction in patient dose from a shield placed within or near the exposed field.

Consistent with our commitment to a culture of radiation safety, it is the ASRT Board’s position that it is appropriate to discontinue shielding for abdominal and pelvic imaging when the exam is performed by a registered radiologic technologist.

The ASRT Board is committed to working with all of our partner organizations to design and disseminate educational materials to help inform the public about the extremely low dose from certain radiologic procedures and ASRT’s ongoing focus on patient safety through comprehensive radiation protection practices.


ASRT Update on Gonadal and Fetal Shielding

On Jan. 12, 2021, the ASRT Board of Directors released a statement supporting the discontinuation of the use of gonadal and fetal shielding specifically during abdominal and pelvic radiography.

Significant advances in technology have resulted in reduced patient radiation dose during radiographic procedures, opening the door to this change in clinical practice. However, the radiation protection methods implemented by registered and certified radiologic technologists remain an essential component of high-quality and safe medical imaging procedures. While shielding placed outside of the exposed field may offer only limited additional reductions to patient exposure, this low-risk practice is an important component of our comprehensive efforts to reduce excess radiation dose during our procedures.

The ASRT Board supports the continued use of lead shielding during radiographic procedures where shield placement is appropriate and aligned with minimizing patient radiation exposure. For example, the placement of a lap shield during a radiographic extremity procedure carries little-to-no risk of exam interference or error, but may significantly increase patient comfort and confidence, thus helping to reaffirm our profession’s commitment to maximizing safety. The elimination of all patient shielding from standard practice could exacerbate the radiophobia that exists among the public and our patients due to widespread media coverage of the published risks associated with medical radiation exposure.

Before considering the elimination of all patient shielding as a standard practice during radiographic procedures, it is essential that we educate our patients and health care colleagues on the recent advances in technology that have dramatically reduced patient radiation dose, as well as the indispensable role that radiologic technologists serve in the provision of safe and high-quality medical imaging procedures.

The ASRT will explore partnering with key stakeholders to collaboratively develop and disseminate educational materials to inform the public about the safety of our procedures.

ASRT Fellows Scholarship

By In the Media, Member News

ISSRT Members,

The ASRT Foundation is offering the ASRT Fellows Scholarship to support an ASRT member pursuing the prestigious status of ASRT Fellow.  This is a $1000 scholarship – please see requirements and details at or call 800-444-2778 at extension 1912. The ASRT Fellows have aided in funding this scholarship, and are proud to be able to assist members in their pursuit of becoming a Fellow.

Cathie Kukec

Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology

By ASRT Legislative Actions, In the Media, Member News
Currently, there is legislation in California titled, “AB-1273 Interagency Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship: the Director of Consumer Affairs and the State Public Health Officer”. The JRCERT opposes CA AB1273 as currently drafted, specifically the “earn and learn” concept due to the negative impact it would impose on JRCERT accredited programs and the profession.
The “earn and learn” concept is on the job training (OJT) which allows students to secure a wage while working. JRCERT policy prohibits students from earning wages during clinical hours to guarantee students are not taking the place of qualified staff and are appropriately supervised during their clinical education. Additionally, this prevents the risk of liability to medical facilities due to unqualified individuals performing medical imaging and therapeutic procedures.
This bill would cause the profession to regress back to the antiquated method of educating radiologic science professionals through on the job training. A well-structured educational program that includes a competency-based curriculum assures students have the knowledge and skills for entry-level practitioners.

Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act of 2021

By In the Media, Member News

Dear Colleague:

The Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act of 2021 was introduced on June 1 by Representative Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania as H.R. 3657. This bill proposes a law that amends Medicare policy, allowing radiology practices and facilities to receive complete reimbursement for diagnostic imaging procedures performed by RAs, regardless of the setting in which the procedure is performed.

In late 2018, Medicare amended its payment policy to adjust the radiologist supervision levels for radiologist assistants. The ASRT, ARRT, ACR and SRPE are now advocating for the adoption of new statutory language in Medicare to ensure that regardless of the setting in which the radiology service is performed; hospital, critical access hospital, ambulatory surgical center or any other facility setting, that services provided by a radiologist assistant receive complete Medicare reimbursement. By not separating radiologist assistant reimbursement policies into different payment categories by service location, the adoption of MARCA would enable radiologists to devote more focused time to reviewing and interpreting complex medical images or urgent cases, thus increasing patients’ access to care. RAs will be able to work more efficiently, and Medicare patients will receive care from qualified RAs regardless of the facility in which their procedure takes place.

RAs have completed advanced education and clinical competencies and can expertly and safely perform radiologic assessments and certain procedures that traditionally were performed only by radiologists. Without complete Medicare reimbursement for RAs services made to the radiology practices employing RAs, the profession is in peril. As a direct result of Medicare’s current policy, RAs are losing their jobs and are unable to practice to the full extent of their capabilities. Medicare patients are not receiving the full benefit of care provided by a qualified and experienced radiology professional.

All radiologic technologists can help by going to the ASRT’s Advocacy Action Center to learn more about the MARCA bill and send a message to your congressional representative. R.T.s can also monitor activity on the bills and follow up with federal lawmakers regularly.


Mike Odgren, B.S., R.P.A., R.R.A., R.T.(R)(CT)