Mammography CE credits are a mandatory part of ultimate employment as a Mammography Technologist and are a requirement of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) to receive your credentials. There are strict guidelines when it comes to the amount of credits required, as well as those approved by the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA). We’re going to take a look at mammography CE credits for the ARRT and MQSA continuing education, to help break down the requirements.
What is the ARRT?
The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) is a leading credentialing organization that recognizes qualified individuals in medical imaging, interventional procedures, and radiation therapy. This organization offers certification and registration in a wide range of disciplines, helping people who work in medical imaging and radiation therapy develop their careers. The ARRT currently has over 348,000 registrants.
How Many Mammography CE Credits Do I Require to Achieve My Certification?
The ARRT itself does not require any CE credits specific to Mammography, even if you hold a mammography license, but does require CE credits in Sonography. That being said, the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) and some state agencies do. The FDA MQSA policy guidelines require the Radiologic Technologist to have completed or taught a minimum of 15 CEUs in mammography in the 36 months immediately before a facility’s annual MQSA inspection. At least 6 of these continuing education units required must be related to each mammographic modality used by the technologist.
MQSA Continuing Education
In addition to the completion of mammography CE credits, the ARRT requires that you attend 24 hours of general continuing education every two years. In this case, the education time is quantified as credits or units, with one credit equaling one hour of education in mammography schools. Fortunately, your mammography CE credits do count towards this goal, so you can use the 15 mammography credits and only need another 9 to complete the 24 required credits.
What Are the Requirements to Work as A Mammography Technologist in the USA?
The following FDA regulations for employment as a Mammography Technologist first became effective on April 28, 1999:
Licensure or Board Certification
In order to perform radiographic procedures, a full / general state license or mammography certification from either The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or The American Registry of Clinical Radiography Technologists (ARCRT) is required.
Initial Training in Mammography
A minimum of 40 hours of initial mammography training are required in order to qualify to work as a Mammography Technologist. This training should include breast anatomy and physiology, breast positioning and compression, special techniques for imaging patients with breast implants, as well as techniques for quality control/quality assurance. The Mammography Technologist must also perform 25 supervised mammograms, with the time spent on supervised examinations being eligible to count toward the 40-hour total. If a radiologic technologist qualified for certification before April 28, 1999, this does not apply.
If a Mammographic Modality is new to the Mammography Technologist, the technologist must undergo a minimum of 8 hours of training in each modality of mammography in which they had no previous training.
The Mammography Technologist must have performed a minimum of 200 mammograms in the 24 months preceding the date of the facility’s annual MQSA inspection. This time period can also be calculated as 24 months from the last day of the calendar quarter, immediately preceding the annual MQSA inspection.
See the above reference about specifically what CE is required by the FDA in order to continue to perform mammography exams.
Mammography CE Credits & MQSA Continuing Education
To perform mammography exams, a Mammography Technologist is required to meet both the MQSA and state licensing requirements. It’s important to remember that each state has its own initial and continuing education requirements, and the technologist should check with the specific state licensing agency to confirm the courses and CE credits that are accepted by them.