Breast cancer is a dreadful disease, but one of the cancers whose early detection and treatment are plausible and feasible. With regular X-rays and checkups, breast cancer can be detected as early as three years before any of it can be felt physically. An X-ray of the breast is referred to as a mammogram. Mammography is a test aimed for breast cancer detection, and many certification bodies have defined mammography continuing education credits to ensure a radiologist maintains their license.
Continuing education (CE) is required for medical radiologic technologists to keep their ARRT certification and registration current. It’s a way to assure the medical community and the patients that a radiologist has the necessary knowledge and skills to perform radiologic technology.
Mammography CE Requirements
Firstly, a radiologist must be a registered x-ray technologist with the ARRT, have acquired an x-ray technician license from the state, or be certified in general radiography by an FDA-approved certification authority.
A radiologist doesn’t need to complete ARRT mammography exams to do mammograms. However, the prerequisites differ from state to state in the US. The primary mammography continuing education credits required for a radiologist to do mammograms is to perform training of 40 hours under the supervision of a qualified instructor.
The following mandate is to complete a minimum of 25 mammograms performed under the supervision of a competent mammography technologist or radiologic. These exams must be documented, with the date, facility name, and supervising technologist’s name included. The 25 supervised mammograms can be accomplished before taking the ARRT mammography boards, except in California. They will count for 12.5 hours of the needed 40 hours, leaving 27.5 hours to be completed with the instructor academically.
Following the first MQSA certification, technologists must maintain their active status by obtaining 15 mammography continuing education credits every three years. The MQSA inspector who comes to inspect the facility will check to see if these credits are received or not. Failing to meet the requirements might affect the license to work as a mammographer.
To meet the clinical experience requirement, radiologists must additionally perform 200 mammograms every two years.
Course format of Mammography CE
For mammography licensure, the continuing education credits must be related to breast cancer, mammography, or a modality used to perform mammograms. Several popular mammogram CE credit bundles are available and the common ones are as below.
- Digital Mammography
- MRI and Ultrasound
- Percutaneous Stereotactic Biopsy
- Mammography and Breast Imaging Prep
- Legal and Ethical Issues Surrounding Breast Imaging
- Breast Imaging Radiology Review
- The Patient Experience
- Abnormal Breast Conditions
- Breast Cancer
Significance of Mammography CE
Mammography is used for the detection of abnormal breast conditions. It is significantly crucial that the radiologist follows the ethical and legal best practices for an adequate assessment.
A medical license for a radiologist needs to be audited frequently at regular intervals. Mammography is no exception. The CE credits provide insight for MQSA into the quality of practice performed by the facility and the radiologist. Hence, licensure needs to maintain the required CE to continue practice in their field.
CE credits are a direct implication of quality delivered to patients. It is essential to provide high-quality tests as early detection can give responsive treatment with quick recovery.
New technology adaptations
With new technologies and tools introduced, each radiologist must be up-to-date with the upcoming technologies and their impact on the test evaluation.
Adherence to best practices
A credit system is the best way to ensure best practices culminate in the daily practice regimen. Hence the governing bodies monitor frequent credits even after the initial license.
Better career advancement
A skilled technologist backed by relevant CE credits has better career prospects with promotions and increments.
CE credits provide a lesser risk to patients and facilities alike, providing a safe and secure environment for conducting mammograms.
CE credits for mammography provide healthy grounds for practice for both radiologists and patients. Poor quality of tests conducted by a radiologist compromises a person’s health that may have irreversible damage caused to them. Also, the facilities fall under liabilities that may further cause damage to their reputation. Therefore, mammography CE not only upgrades the skills of a technologist but also ensures the safety of patients.