FAQ’s Initial Training

Q&A

  1. What is the Mammography Quality Standards Act?
  2. How do I get the MQSA required 8 hours of Digital Training and 8 hours of DBT (Digital Breast Tomosynthesis) training?
  3. What are the Initial Training Requirements under the MQSA?
  4. Does your initial Mammography training program provide the 16 hours of structured education related to the content specifications as outlined by the ARRT’s new requirements beginning on Jan. 1, 2016? 
  5. How do I get my clinical examinations?
  6. I live in California, how do I become a Mammographer?
  7. I am interested in RadComm’s Initial Training in Mammography (ITM) program. How does it compare to a seminar?
  8. How long does it take to complete the Topics in Mammography courses?
  9. Is RadComm’s Initial Training for Mammography program accredited?
  10. I am an X-Ray technologist looking to further my education and get trained for mammography. Does your program meet ACR accreditation requirements?
  11. Is this course guaranteed to be acceptable for the ARRT Structured Education requirements and MQSA 40 hours of didactic instructions? I know that the laws have changed.   
  12. I am a registered Radiologic Technologist and I would like to learn Mammography. Is this program something I can do while working part/full time?
  13. I have an employee cross-training in Mammography. Does your self-study course fulfill the MQSA didactic requirements?
  14. What is your success rate for technologists passing the ARRT examination?
  15. What is included with the USB drive option?
  16. I am a registered radiologic technologist and I am interested in becoming a certified mammographer. Will this program fit my needs? Will I be able to sit for the ARRT registry after taking this program, or will I need additional training? Can you provide me with additional details on how your program works?
  17. Must the technologist complete the 40 hours of training prior to performing the 25 exams under direct supervision?
  18. After I complete your program how much time do I have to complete the ARRT Mammography Certification Examination?
  19. Will I be able to take the ARRT Mammography Certification Examination as soon as I complete your course?
  20. Can I legally perform mammograms if I am NOT ARRT-registered in Mammography?

1. What is the Mammography Quality Standards Act?

The Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) requires mammography facilities across the nation to meet uniform quality standards. Congress passed this law in 1992 to assure high-quality mammography for early breast cancer detection, which can lead to early treatment, a range of treatment options, and increased chances of survival. The MQSA was enacted in response to serious concerns about the quality of mammography. This diagnostic technique is a crucial tool in combating the mortality associated with the growing incidence of breast cancer. The FDA enforces the MQSA through compliance inspections.

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2. How do I get the MQSA required 8 hours of Digital Training and 8 hours of DBT (Digital Breast Tomosynthesis) training?

Participants in RadComm’s Initial Training for Mammography program are awarded 8 Category A credits for the Digital Mammography course, which satisfies the MQSA requirement. This is noted on the Certificate of Completion you receive.

The Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) course earns 6 Category ‘A’ credits of general DBT instruction. This is noted on the certificate of completion you receive. The additional 2 hours of training on each specific DBT system is achieved by on-site training in the unique features of the particular system (Hologic, GE, Siemens, etc.). Completion of the DBT clinical training document that we provide serves as the required documentation. You will not receive a certificate for the 2 hours of on-site specific training since credit hours are not awarded for on-site training.

A mammographer or physicist who has already been trained to operate the DBT system must provide the clinical training. The Certificate of Completion and the DBT Specific Clinical Training Document are for your permanent records and must be available for the FDA compliance inspection.

If you have additional questions after reading this explanation, please call the FDA – MQSA Rules and Regulations Hotline: 1-800-838-7715 or visit this link

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3. What are the Initial Training Requirements under the MQSA?

The answer to this question can be found on the FDA MQSA Policy Guidance Help System. Visit this link.

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4. Does your initial Mammography training program provide the 16 hours of structured education related to the content specifications as outlined by the ARRT’s new requirements beginning on Jan. 1, 2016?

RadComm’s Initial Training for Mammography program satisfies and exceeds the minimum 16 hours of structured education as required in the Professional Education Requirements specified in the ARRT Rules and Regulations, effective January 1, 2016. Structured education documentation must include credit in each content area:

  • Patient Care (Patient Interactions and Management),
  • Image Production (Equipment Operation and Quality Assurance),
  • Procedures (Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology) (Positioning and Procedures)

To review our structured education documentation click here.

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5. How do I get my clinical examinations?

You must locate a facility to perform your 25 supervised mammograms and the 2-hour 3D Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Training Document we provide, if applicable.

Completion of the 25-supervised mammograms document, RadComm’s Initial Training in Mammography Certificate of Completion, and the DBT clinical training document satisfy MQSA compliance. You may now perform mammograms independently, without supervision.

An additional 75 mammograms are required to take the ARRT examination in Mammography.
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6.  I live in California, how do I become a Mammographer?

California state law requires that you do the following in this order:1.   Obtain 40 credit hours in mammography curriculum.2.   Successfully pass the California Mammography Certification Examination administered by the ARRT.NOTE: The ARRT administered examination for state candidates is used for state certification only.3.   Complete the 2-hour specific training DBT document if you will be performing Breast Tomosynthesis.4.   Perform 25 mammograms under the direct supervision of a qualified mammography technologist.Following this process, you may then start the application process for the ARRT Mammography Certification Examination.

Please click on the following link for more information and download a copy of the application for a certificate in mammographic radiologic technology:

http://www.cdph.ca.gov/pubsforms/forms/CtrldForms/cdph8200m.pdf 

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7. I am interested in RadComm’s Initial Training in Mammography (ITM) program. How does it compare to a seminar?

RadComm’s ITM program is a self-directed program that is completed at the participant’s own pace. Each course has a test that corresponds to the number of credits awarded upon successful completion. RadComm also includes two examination reviews and a video demonstrating proper positioning for the basic screening views. The cost of RadComm’s ITM program is significantly lower since expenses associated with travel are eliminated.

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8. How long does it take to complete the Topics in Mammography courses?

There are 11 course modules and each contains a test. The courses comprise 40 hours/credits of training. Each credit is based on 50 minutes of reading time. The time required to complete the test is not included in that time. This is according to the ARRT guidelines for education.

Since everyone reads and comprehends differently, the reading time may vary. Technologists with some experience in mammography will usually comprehend the material at a quicker pace and finish in less time. From our experience, the minimum time for completion has been 5-days, although some participants have spread the training across a few months. You can complete the courses at your own pace.

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9. Is RadComm’s Initial Training for Mammography program accredited?

Post-primary education programs are not accredited unless they are earned as part of a college or university program. ARRT post-primary education is completed utilizing courses or lectures that are approved for credit by an ARRT RCEEM.

Our Initial Training in Mammography Program courses have been approved by the AHRA (American Healthcare Radiology Administrators) for Category A credit. AHRA is a Recognized Continuing Education Evaluation Mechanism (RCEEM) and has been authorized by the ARRT to approve Category A credit.

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10. I am an X-Ray technologist looking to further my education and get trained for mammography. Does your program meet ACR accreditation requirements?

The ACR does not accredit post-primary education programs. Please refer to the previous question.

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11. Is this course guaranteed to be acceptable for the ARRT Structured Education requirements and MQSA 40 hours of didactic instructions? I know that the laws have changed.

The ARRT changed its requirements for the mammography examination application process. RadComm’s ITM program satisfies and exceeds the 16 hours of structured education as required in the Professional Education Requirements specified in the ARRT Rules and Regulations, effective January 1, 2016. Structured education documentation must include credit in each content area:

• Patient Care (Patient Interactions and Management),
• Image Production (Equipment Operation and Quality Assurance),
• Procedures (Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology) (Positioning and Procedures)

Each course in RadComm’s ITM program is intentionally organized according to the ARRT Content Specifications for the Mammography Examination in order to provide you with comprehensive study of the material. RadComm’s ITM program provides the 40-hour didactic requirement to become MQSA compliant. Your certificate of completion + your clinical log of 25 supervised mammograms + your 2-hour DBT clinical experience document (if applicable) makes you MQSA-qualified to perform mammography independently. Most employers require that you also obtain ARRT certification in Mammography as well.

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12. I am a registered Radiologic Technologist and I would like to learn Mammography. Is this program something I can do while working part/full time?

Yes, a technologist working either full time or part time can complete this program. You can complete the courses at your own pace. However, RadComm recommends that you first secure a facility that will permit you to perform 25-supervised mammograms (MQSA requirement).

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13. I have an employee cross-training in Mammography. Does your self-study course fulfill the MQSA didactic requirements?

Yes, our Initial Training in Mammography Program provides the MQSA required didactic instruction in the fundamentals of mammography, including training in breast anatomy and physiology, positioning and compression, quality assurance/quality control techniques, imaging of patients with breast implants, and digital mammography.

To satisfy the MQSA clinical requirements, you are required to complete 25 supervised mammograms and the DBT Specific Clinical Training Document (if your facility uses DBT). An additional 75 mammograms and various clinical tasks are also required as part of the application process for the ARRT examination in Mammography.

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14. What is your success rate for technologists passing the ARRT examination?

We do not track the success rate of radiologic technologists after completion of our course.

Our goal is for the technologist to become MQSA compliant. That permits the technologist to lawfully perform mammograms and start the application process for the ARRT Mammography Certification Examination.

Tracking success is difficult and the results would not provide accurate information. Survey response rates are usually 10-20%. Therefore, any figures presented would be inaccurate and misleading. Some participants may choose not to take the ARRT examination if it is not a condition of their employment. We feel this is short sighted and always recommend that the technologist complete the ARRT certification process since a future employer or state regulatory agency may require ARRT Certification.

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15. What is included with the USB drive option?

The USB comes in a packet with all the courses and documents required for MQSA compliance and preparation for the ARRT Certification Examination in Mammography.

The drive contains 11 course modules and each course includes a test. The courses comprise 40 hours of training.

RadComm’s ITM program includes the ARRT Mammography Certification Examination Review to help you prepare for the Mammography exam. We also include a 275-question and answer Mock Registry Examination and a Basic Positioning Video Demonstration.

The package is shipped USPS Priority Mail.

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16. I am a registered radiologic technologist and I am interested in becoming a certified mammographer. Will this program fit my needs? Will I be able to sit for the ARRT registry after taking this program, or will I need additional training? Can you provide me with additional details on how your program works?

Before you apply for the ARRT Mammography Certification exam, you must first become MQSA compliant. RadComm’s ITM program contains the 40-hours of required MQSA coursework and additional content needed for a successful career in mammography. Locate a facility that will allow you to perform 25 supervised mammograms and the specific DBT clinical training document, if applicable. The completion of RadComm’s ITM program, 25-supervised mammograms, and the 2-hour DBT Specific Clinical Training document (if applicable) makes you MQSA compliant. You may then legally perform mammograms. These documents must be kept on file where you are performing mammograms and available for the FDA inspector. ALWAYS make copies for your own records!

Next, you may begin the application process for the ARRT Certification Exam in Mammography. Download the ARRT Mammography Certification and Registration Handbook at https://www.arrt.org/pdfs/Disciplines/Handbooks/MAM-Handbook.pdf

RadComm’s Initial Training in Mammography Program satisfies and exceeds the 16 hours of structured education as required in the Professional Education Requirements specified in the ARRT Rules and Regulations, effective January 1, 2016. Structured education documentation must include credit in each content area:

  • Patient Care (Patient Interactions and Management),
  • Image Production (Equipment Operation and Quality Assurance),
  • Procedures (Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology) (Positioning and Procedures)

Additional information on our program:
RadComm’s ITM program is a self-directed learning product. The courses are available through our Learning Center or on a USB drive in PDF format. Read the material on your computer or portable device. If you are comfortable with independent learning, our self-directed program will meet your needs. There are two steps to becoming a Mammographer: MQSA compliance and ARRT Mammography Certification.

Each course module contains a test and answer sheet or quiz if using our Learning Center. When choosing the USB option, you are instructed to return the completed answers sheets together to RadComm for processing. You are then issued a Certificate of Completion as proof of MQSA compliance for the required didactic training.

All course materials are recognized by the ARRT as Category A credit.

There are 11 course modules and each course contains a test. The courses comprise 40 hours of training. Each hour is based on 50 minutes of reading time. The time required to complete the test is not included in that time, according to ARRT guidelines. You can complete the courses at your own pace. The Initial Training Course covers all the MQSA-required study topics.

You have 1 year to return the completed answer sheets for processing or complete the course in the Learning Center.
RadComm’s ITM program also includes an ARRT Mammography Certification Examination Content Specification Review, 275-Question and Answer Mock Registry Exam, and a Basic Positioning Video Demonstration.

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17. Must the technologist complete the 40 hours of training prior to performing the 25 exams under direct supervision?

The MQSA guidelines do not require that the didactic portion of the technologist’s training be completed first.

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18. After I complete your program how much time do I have to complete the ARRT Mammography Certification Examination?

Candidates for ARRT Mammography certification and registration must — within the 24 months before submitting their applications — complete and document specific procedures as outlined in the clinical experience requirements. For more details, please visit the ARRT website and download here

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19. Will I be able to take the ARRT Mammography Certification Examination as soon as I complete your course?

No. First, you must become FDA/MQSA compliant. See question … above. After completing our course, you must perform the clinical experience requirements found in ARRT Mammography Certification Handbook. Then you may apply for the ARRT Mammography Certification Examination.

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20. Can I legally perform mammograms if I am NOT ARRT-registered in Mammography?

Yes. The federal government (FDA) requires that you are qualified under the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA). They do not specify that you must be ARRT-registered in Mammography. However, most employers prefer that you are ARRT-registered or that you are working towards that goal.

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Feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have!