NYSNA ACTION ALERT:
Radiation Technician Expansion of Practice
The radiation technician expansion of practice bill in NY continues to move and could pass the NY Senate and Assembly. We need your help to stop it!
New York State Nurses Association Memorandum in Opposition
By Assemblyman Pretlow By Senator Hannon
Ways and Means Committee Senate Calendar No. 819
AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to the practice of radiologic technology
The New York State Nurses Association OPPOSES action on the above-referenced legislation.
This bill would expand the scope of practice of radiation technicians and give them the authority to administer drugs intravenously during diagnostic examinations in radiology departments of hospitals, diagnostic and treatment centers and in private practice settings.
Current regulations allow technicians to assist physicians who are present in the examining room in the use of radiopaque dyes. This bill will allow technicians to function without a physician or registered nurse being present.
Inserting an intravenous line and starting the flow of drugs into the vein can be dangerous to patients and has been restricted to physicians and registered nurses. Because of the risk of adverse reaction and the need to assess the patient prior to intravenous administration of the dye, even Licensed Practical Nurses have been prohibited from assisting physicians in this service. To allow radiation technicians, educated in their field but predominately in the functioning of the equipment - not as providers of health care, to insert an IV and administer drugs is a step in the wrong direction.
This legislation allows the radiation technician to insert an intravenous line and start the flow of radiopaque dye into a patient needing a diagnostic X-ray. Patients needing such a procedure are under the care of a physician or nurse practitioner who is forming a diagnosis of illness. The test may be performed while a patient is in a hospital emergency room, during an inpatient stay or as an outpatient. These patients may be of any age and may be seriously ill.
The legislation will allow the radiation technician to start the diagnostic test without the patient being seen immediately prior to the I-V insertion by a physician or RN who can determine that the patients condition is indeed stable at the time of the test. By removing the currently required assessment, this legislation fails to protect the public
The legislation allows the radiation technician to work under direct supervision of a physician. Direct supervision means that the physician does NOT need to be in the room at the time of the procedure, but in the general area. The physician needs to be immediately available - this is, unfortunately, the same language used in health law to indicate sufficiency in RN to patient ratios. The term simply is inadequate to guarantee professional oversight and leads to failure to rescue.
This legislation creates a licensure and scope of practice for radiation technicians and nuclear medicine technicians. It is not appropriate for such legislation to amend the public health law rather than the education law where licensed professions are regulated and where boards for professions are established to mitigate differences among the professions.
Recently the Legislature took steps to regulate Medical Physicists under the Education Law. The remaining workers in the field of radiology should be licensed under Title 8 of the Education Law if the Legislature deems licensure appropriate.
NYSNA opposes enactment of this legislation.
This is why staff nurses need to be politically aware and involved -'cause other groups are out there pushing for laws to change our practice, laws that would be created without our input if we just go to work & keep our heads in the sand, laws that will have been written by non-nurses but that we will have to live with, and laws that will even replace our profession. Theres a lot of stuff going on out there that the hospital associations are trying to get passed into law so they wont need so many expensive nurses. And the bedside nurse "shortage" is being used as the perfect excuse to get their agenda moved forward.
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