Below are some steps to take when calling lawmakers. Following these guidelines may help to keep the conversation on track.

  • Introduce yourself and identify yourself as a constituent. Often times elected officials only want to hear from their constituents; so be sure to state that.
  • Ask to speak to the person who handles health care issues. This person' title is generally health legislative assistant.
  • State the purpose for the call once you have been transferred to the right person. (For example, "I am a radiologic technologist and I'm concerned about _____.")
  • Briefly elaborate. Brevity is the key for this step. You'll want to entice the listener and build intrigue; but you don't want to lose the listener in details. Conversation is a two way street so allow the listener a chance to comment and ask questions.
  • Be prepared to go into further detail and state your case as the listener becomes engaged and asks questions 
  • Let the listener know what you want your elected official to do about your concern. (For example, "I would like Rep./Sen._____ to _______.")
  • Let the listener know how you can be contacted to provide more information and agree on a time frame for followup. (For example, "I'd like to follow up with you to see what Rep./Sen. has to say about my concern. Can I check back in a (week/few days/month)?")
  • Find out the best way to communicate in the future. (For example, "Would you like me to call you or follow up by email?")
  • Thank them for their time!

It's very likely you'll have to leave a message, but the above steps can be followed just the same.

Example:

  • Hello, my name is _______, I'm a constituent of Rep./Sen. _____.
  • I'd like to speak to the person in charge of health care issues. 

After being transferred:

  • Hello, I'm a radiologic technologist and I'm concerned that there are no standards in place in <name of state> for medical imaging or radiation therapy professionals.
  • I have seen uneducated individuals perform x-rays on patients at the facility where I work and I'm very concerned for the patient's safety.
  • The state society I belong to, the ____Society of Radiologic Technologists, is working with lawmakers to have a bill introduced requiring individuals who perform these examinations to meet educational and clinical requirements and be licensed.
  • I would like Rep./Sen. _______ to (cosponsor/vote yes/vote no) this bill.
  • I invite him to contact me so I can answer more questions. My phone number is _______ and my email address is _______. He can also contact the sponsor of the bill, Rep./Sen. ________ to find out how he can help.
  • This is a very important safety concern and I will want to follow up to see how the Rep./Sen. feels about this issue and answer more questions. I will check back with you shortly.
  • Thank you for your time. I look forward to working with you more on this patient safety issue.

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