Practice Resources

 
 

 Practice Standards


The practice standards define the practice and establish general and specific criteria to determine compliance.

Practice standards are authoritative statements established by the profession for judging the quality of practice, service and education. Professional practice constantly changes as a result of a number of factors including technological advances, market and economic forces, and statutory and regulatory mandates.

For all medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals, aspects of professional practice can vary throughout the United States. Community custom, state statute or regulation may dictate local practice parameters. Wherever there is a conflict between these standards and state or local statutes and regulations, the state or local statutes and regulations supersede these standards. Recognizing this, the profession has adopted standards that are purposely broad in nature.

Practice standards and scopes of practice can be the documents that states, institutions and legal advisors use when questions arise about the practice of specific professionals.

 

Glossary

An alphabetical list of terms or words specifically found in the ASRT Practice Standards; with a definition. The terms or words have meaning that is not general knowledge.

The definition is formulated using evidentiary documentation and put into place following extensive review and subsequent approval

 

 Scopes of Practice


Scopes of practice delineate the parameters of practice, identify the boundaries for practice and typically are formatted as lists of tasks that are appropriate to include as part of the work of an individual who is educationally prepared and clinically competent for that profession.

Each scope of practice is limited to that which the law allows for specific education, experience and demonstrated competency. Many states have laws, licensing bodies and regulations that describe requirements for education and training and define scopes of practice for professions.

It is important to note that even though scopes of practice are often lists of tasks, they should be worded broadly. A scope of practice may include the statement: Starting and maintaining intravenous (IV) access. This is a broad statement and does not say how to do the task or which devices to use. Those specifics may be determined by the institutional policy and may vary from facility to facility.

If the ASRT House of Delegates decides there is a need for further clarification about a specific type of IV access, then an advisory opinion statement can be developed.

 Advisory Opinion Statements


Advisory opinion statements are interpretations of the practice standards. They are intended for clarification and guidance for specific practice issues

These statements allow the organization to address practice specific issues that are not addressed in practice standards or scopes of practice. An example of an issue that ASRT considered issuing an advisory opinion statement for was the administration of medications by medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals.

Even though the practice standards indicate that administering medications was within the scope of practice for individuals who are educationally prepared and clinically competent, when the task is performed, it was often questioned. The decision was made to provide an opinion statement with evidentiary documentation that supports the performance of this task.

Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE)

The ASRT 2009-2010 Practice Standards Council endorsed the use of grading of recommendations assessment, development and evaluation (GRADE)1 in measuring the quality of evidence and strength in recommendation for development of advisory opinion statements and significant changes to scopes of practice for medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals.

The use of a standardized method for grading the quality of evidence and strength of recommendation assists in minimizing bias and ensuring that recommendations made by the Practice Standards Council are based on review of adequate and appropriate evidentiary documentation.

 
  • Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE)

 Position Statements


Position statements reflect the beliefs or standing of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists. In reviewing the position statements, one must take into account existing state statutes and institutional policy.

Position statements address issues outside of practice. Typically, they are not considered as strong as practice standards and scopes of practice.

When a practice issue is addressed in multiple documents — such as a position statement and a practice standard or a scope of practice — the organization runs the risk of inconsistency in defining practice for the profession. Practice-specific issues are best addressed in scope of practice, practice standards or by issuing an advisory opinion statement.

 
 

Questions?

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AskTheCouncil@asrt.org

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