Radiological Health: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When is a licensed medical physicist required?

A licensed medical physicist is required to perform or oversee acceptance testing of equipment, various activities related to radiation therapy and for activities listed in New York State Education Department Article 166, Medical Physics Practice, §8702.

Q: How long does a facility need to keep the daily QC processor films?

A: Documents pertaining to a facility's QA program must be kept a minimum of three (3) years or until the the next inspection (if inspection interval is greater than 3 years). This includes processor QC films. 10 NYCRR Part 16.14(b)(1)(2)(c)(1).

Q: Who can operate fluoroscopy equipment on humans?

A: ONLY PHYSICIANS, RADIOLOGIC ASSISTANTS, OR LICENSED RADIOLOGIC TECHNOLOGISTS MAY POSITION PATIENTS, SET TECHNIQUES OR APPLY RADIATION TO PATIENTS. Nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, respiratory therapists, secretaries or receptionists may NOT position patients, set techniques or expose patients unless they are licensed and currently registered as radiologic technologists with this Department. A licensed radiologic technologist may operate fluoroscopic equipment under personal supervision of a physician or under direct supervision for localization of a mobile organ.

Q: Who can take dental x-rays other than the dentist?

A: Dental hygienists may take radiographic, panoramic, cephalometric and CT x-rays. Dental assistants may take radiographic and panoramic x-rays but may NOT take cephalometric or CT x-rays.

Q: We just switched our equipment to CR and/or DR. Do we need to test any of this equipment?

A: Yes. All equipment used in the application of ionizing radiation to a human being requires quality assurance testing. All CR/DR equipment, including monitors will need to be included in the facility's quality assurance program.

Q: How often does the repeat/reject analysis have to be done?

A: A repeat/reject analysis is only required to be done yearly, however, you may choose to do it more frequently. You should have at least 250-300 films/images in order to see possible trends. Also, you must analyze all the films/images for that year, not just a sample.

Q: In film processor sensitometry, are the proper contrast (density difference) step numbers one step above and one step below the speed (medium density) step?

A: No. The proper contrast (density difference) step numbers are the step closest to 2.20 O.D. (optical density) and the step closest to but not below 0.45 O.D.

Q: How often will my facility be inspected?

A: Inspection frequencies vary depending on the type of equipment registered. They typically range from two to five years but this may be adjusted based on the inspection history or other factors. Inspection may be unannounced or scheduled.