Four radiology technologists working in Christiana Care’s Heart and Vascular Interventional Services have achieved certification in interventional radiology, a status attained by only five technologists to date in Delaware.
“This is a personal goal, something I wanted to achieve for myself, as well as our patients,” said Heather Swope, who earned the certification along with her colleagues Kelly Mancuso, Debbie Manley and Debbie Springer.
Obtaining certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists is a rigorous process requiring long hours of study, as well as extensive clinical experience. In addition to written testing, candidates must document a minimum of 200 cases in at least 10 different procedures. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists is the world’s largest credentialing organization in radiologic technology.
“This is a very significant achievement for the radiology technologists within Heart and Vascular Interventional Services and exemplifies their commitment to excel in their profession,” said Billie Speakman, director, HVIS. “Our patients are sure to benefit from their advanced education and skills.”
Throughout the process, the techs encouraged each other by offering one another support and information. Manley enrolled in a review course and shared her notes with her colleagues to help them study for certification.
“I appreciate more of the work that I do because I have a deeper understanding,” she said.
Mancuso, who was nine months’ pregnant when she took the test, has been a technologist for 12 years. “The field has changed so much just in the years that I have been working, and my experience helped me a lot,” she said.
It took nearly a year for Springer, who works part-time, to complete her 200 cases. “I have two small children, and I studied at night for an hour or two after I put them to bed,” she recalls.
Under ARRT guidelines, technologists are certified in the state in which they live. Of the four who recently received certification, two reside in Delaware, and two live in Pennsylvania, where only 111 techs have been certified to date. Expect those numbers to grow as more Christiana Care technologists take on the challenge. Of the 14 techs on staff, most are currently working toward certification, according to Kevin McCarraher, RN, assistant manager, HVIS Vascular Interventional Radiology.
“Our technologists work hard day in and day out to help physicians and patients,” said Mark Garcia, M.D., HVIS medical director. “That they are willing to take on the rigors of working and studying for certification is a testament to their dedication in providing the best technical care possible for our patients.”