Nuclear Medicine Technologists (NMTs) have been following two different pathways regarding CT: obtaining authorization to perform PET-CT or SPECT-CT, and obtaining authorization to perform diagnostic CT. The pathways for obtaining these authorizations are different.
In the case of an NMT who wants to perform PET-CT or SPECT-CT, he or she must be currently certified and registered in Nuclear Medicine Technology by either the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists or the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board, must be licensed as a Radiologic Technologist in Massachusetts (NOTE: not a Temporary License), must have obtained additional training in CT approved by the Department of Public Health (DPH), and must have applied for and received a license amendment from DPH, before he/she can operate the CT portion of a PET-CT or SPECT-CT unit. To date, we have approved the following training for this purpose:
- the "CT CrossTrainer" program developed by Medical Imaging Consultants, Inc. (NOTE: the MIC "CT Registry Review" course is not approved)
- the Mass College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences "CT Imaging" course
- The Massassoit College course in Computerized Tomography
- The Northern Essex Community College course in Computed Tomography
In addition to this training, the NMT must provide evidence of having obtained "hands-on" experience with the fusion scanner to be used. This could take the form of a manufacturer's in-service certificate, or an attestation by the applicant's employer that the applicant has received some training specific to the device he or she will be using.
Licenses with a "PET-CT" or "SPECT-CT" endorsement authorize the use of CT for attenuation correction only.
In order to obtain the clinical competencies in CT required as a prerequisite to sitting for the ARRT exam in Computed Tomography, the candidate must apply to DPH for a waiver authorizing the performance of diagnostic CT. The waiver letter we send in this case specifies that the diagnostic CTs be conducted under the direct supervision of either a licensed physician or a Radiologic Technologist currently certified and registered in either Radiography or Computed Tomography by the ARRT. Once the candidate writes the ARRT exam and receives a certification in Computed Tomography, he or she applies to DPH, submitting evidence of ARRT certification on CT, and we add the Computed Tomography endorsement to the RT license. This license then authorizes all manner of CT procedures, including PET-CT, SPECT-CT, use of CT for simulation in radiation therapy, and diagnostic CT.