It is to the affiliate’s benefit to think about potential questions lawmakers may ask during meetings and build create a response in advance.  The best way to get started is by listening during the meeting.  Later use what was asked to make a list of questions and answers, then prioritize the list according to the most prevalent concerns and common themes. 

Effective advocacy requires planning ahead before stepping inside a lawmaker’s office. Knowing the issue inside and out — both from a personal perspective and other viewpoints — will help construct a list of possible questions lawmakers may ask and answers.

Below are ways to build a list of anticipated questions:

  • Use the survey the affiliate society created to determine how the radiologic technologists in the state feel about the issue.
  • Ask members of the affiliate society what they’re hearing as well.
  • Approach other stakeholder organizations to get their opinions about the issue at hand.
  • Speak to a lawmaker who is an ally to find out what his or her colleagues concerns may be.
  • If the issue has been presented in the past be prepared to answer what the results were and any changes that have been made to the bill or that have taken place since that time.
  • Consider the economic impact of the issue and how it could affect the job market for R.T.s, costs to hospitals and employers and health care cost savings that may result .
  • Determine the extent that patient safety may be affected by not addressing the issue and determine how the claim can be substantiated.
  • Brainstorm with others.

Below are ideas to consider as potential solutions to the questions:

  • Identify the level of education and training individuals complete to become a certified technologist or therapist.
  • Cite the established code of ethics and scopes of practice.
  • Describe how the issue at hand compares to similar issues in other states.
  • Describe how solving the issue will benefit the lawmaker's constituents.
  • Prepare to discuss how issues in rural and urban areas may be dealt with.  Will there be enough qualified R.T.s to sustain patient access to care?
  • Don’t neglect the personal touch. It's the personal story that can often times motivate a lawmaker to act.

It is the responsibility of affiliate leaders to care talking points t that express the organization's viewpoint and to prepare advocates to discuss the issue with lawmakers. Answer lawmaker's and staff questions honestly and if the question further consideration before it is answered let the lawmaker or staff member know that you will find out the answer and get back to them shortly…. Then do it!