Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert has signed into law House Bill 238, making Utah the 29th U.S. state to license, regulate, or recognize the radiologist assistant (RA) as a member of the radiology healthcare team.
The statute, which took effect last Friday, establishes licensure and continuing education requirements for an RA. It also defines the scope of RA practice, amends the current membership of the state’s Radiologic Technologist Licensing Board to include one licensed radiologist assistant, and allows for individuals certified by the Certification Board of Radiology Practitioner Assistants to be licensed as RAs.
Under the new law, RAs in Utah will be allowed to assess and evaluate the physiological responsiveness of patients undergoing radiologic procedures, as well as to evaluate image quality, make initial observations, and communicate observations to the supervising radiologist. Additionally, RAs working in the state may administer contrast media or other medications prescribed by the supervising radiologist and perform radiologic procedures under the indirect supervision of a radiologist.
American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) President James Temme, M.P.A, R.T. (R) (QM), FASRT deems the passage of the law “wonderful news for patients in Utah, radiologic technologists, and the health care profession. “More than half the states in the country now recognize RAs as mid-level providers,” he says. “The ASRT believes that as radiologist extenders, RAs will improve the quality of health care for patients.”