Updated: Nov 20, 2020
Currently, there are about 20 states that don't require that x-ray operators to be ARRT certified. The staff that often takes on limited x-ray procedures in these states come in the form of nurses, medical assistants, CNA's and others.
It is unfortunate that x-rays look easy to perform, however, staff that incur these responsibilities will describe them as daunting, intimidating, and frustrating.
The problem isn't the clinical professionals' inability to comprehend how to perform exams. It is the lack of information and clarity that makes things so challenging. Training workers with a handbook and having them shadow a radiology tech for a day is helpful but doesn't address the day-to-day issues that tend to arise in the profession.
Your staff needs constant oversight for several weeks to bring new trainees up to speed on x-rays. Anything shy of that simply isn't appropriate.
There are several ways to do that, including hiring a rad tech to work on site for a couple of weeks. But more often than not, the rad techs don't have training experience and they tend to speak over their audience's head. They, like many health professionals, are very proud of their trade, and are often reluctant to give up all of the secrets... understandably so.
You can fund online or off site training for the staff so that they can get hands on exposure and repeated practice in refining their skills. However, this can be a very expensive endeavor, and worse yet, the real questions that arise come long after the training is done. In other words, it isn't until the new x-ray professionals are in "the thick of it" that they begin to encounter very difficult situations and challenges. This is why I recommend that they are trained under a long-term scenario.
This is why we exist at The Radiology Coach. We've produced many hours of x-ray safety content, positioning videos, technique settings, and much more. Most of this, you can find on YouTube. Your techs will have access to videos that answer their questions on all of your examination requirements. They can watch these videos repeatedly and become familiar with their environment during the process.
The reason x-rays can be so challenging is because administering isn't just a science.... it's an art. It requires intuition, imagination, and spacial clarity. Very small mistakes can end up with very large consequences. Gaining a comprehensive, global perspective on these skill sets will set your clinic up for success.
So search our YouTube channel, The Radiology Coach, and ramp up your staff's knowledge. If you need additional recommendations or solutions, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.