VA Working to Resolve Issue of Qualified NMTs Not Being Allowed to Perform Diagnostic CT Services

November 9, 2016

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is reviewing the qualification standards to allow nuclear medicine technologists with certification to perform advanced CT procedures. 

Issue

The current VA Nuclear Medicine qualification standard does not address hybrid imaging, such as positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT). CNMTs can perform the PET portion of exams and the CT portion for attenuation correction/localization, as part of a PET/CT or SPECT/CT procedure, but not a diagnostic CT procedure.

Why This Is an Issue

  • It requires two technologists to participate in one procedure, when one qualified tech would be sufficient.
  • CNMTs with advanced CT certification are unable to perform their full scope of practice.

SNMMI’s Action

On October 9, SNMMI sent informal comments (see changes SNMMI recommended in red) to the VA asking that the human resources handbook be modified to allow certified NMTs with advanced CT certification through the ARRT and/or NMTCB to practice diagnostic CT.

Response from the VA

The VA has replied that it is aware of this issue and is actively working toward a resolution through revision of the qualification standards, as it agrees that qualified technologists should be allowed to perform diagnostic CT studies.