The Joint Commission’s (TJC) newest set of Diagnostic Imaging Services Requirements went into effect on July 1, 2015. These requirements apply to accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals and ambulatory health care organizations, and require that technologists who perform diagnostic computed tomography (CT) examinations participate in ongoing education, which includes annual training on radiation dose optimization techniques and tools. Training is also required regarding safe procedures for operation of the types of CT equipment used by the technologist.
The American Association of Physicists in Medicine’s (AAPM) Alliance for Quality Computed Tomography has published Power Point and PDF educational slides with information on how CT acquisition parameters and CT scanner features affect the radiation dose used for a given study, as well as how dose is reported and tracked. These resources are freely available under the Education Slides Tab
and provide generic and manufacturer-specific information that can be used in meeting these technologist training requirements. Radiation dose optimization techniques and tools, as well as the meaning of various CT dose metrics are included, which specifies the effect on dose of changing various user-selectable parameters (e.g. mA, kV, pitch, AEC quality setting). Images from various manufacturers’ operator consoles help the learner visualize where and how to adjust specific parameters.