This is the argument for licensure. I would not allow an unlicensed MD
or RN to practice on me or mine and I doubt anyone else would either,
however sonography seems exempt from that reasoning. Sure the shortage
of sonographers has helped working conditions and salaries, but until
employers are prevented from hiring Joe Blow off the street and training
him for 2 weeks to do a lower extremity physiologic exam (read ABI) and
call him a vascular technician we will never get the professional
respect our profession deserves.
Accreditation is helping but it is still voluntary. Medicare
reimbursement issues still do not significantly impact the majority of
hospitals because of DRG’s, primarily only Part “B” providers are
feeling that weight at this time.
We can raise the bar all we want within our profession but until it is
required by law no one but our profession recognizes it. A good example
of that is the UP credential, you can get a masters or even a doctorate
in ultrasound if you want to but until it is recognized by law and the
medical community you are still a sonographer (if you can pass the
Terry J Zwakenberg BS RVT RCS
From: UVM Flownet [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Diana
Sent: Saturday, November 23, 2002 1:12 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: carotid screening exams
Well, I finally got an answer to one of my questions; i.e. what is a
screening carotid duplex exam?
I went to the Veith/Montefiore vascular diagnostic conference and an
MD/RVT gave a paper which said to duplex the distal cca and ica only.
Time for exam: 90 seconds!
What happened to identification of the eca? No mention of it.
Let me just mention that I once worked for that group, and their major
complaint about the previous sonographer was that she often confused the
eca with the ica in cases of total occlusion of the ica.
I think it is OK to add 10 seconds to identify the eca.
This is one of the top vascular surgery groups in this city. They
employ two techs and I know for sure that one of them (the chief tech!)
isn't registered. I'm not sure about the other one. Both have been
working there for several years. This is what I mean when I say that
accreditation ain't all it's cracked up to be; and the exams aren't the
be-all end-all of our field. They are the minimum requirements for
being able to perform our exams, but they don't insure that the
possessors of these certifications have common sense or know that much
about scanning or even touch an ultrasound machine.
The truly sad thought is knowing that unregistered techs are at more of
a premium than ever before. I saw an ad recently that really only
wanted "registry-eligible" techs ONLY. Low cost is really only one
reason. They would rather have inexperienced, younger people so that
they can mold and control them, IMHO.
Does anyone ever hire a medical-degree eligible person as a doctor?
(Maybe they do).
Diana Ross, RT, RDMS
Editor, The WAVE~~~Online Newsletter for Sonographers of All Disciplines
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