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CT, MRI & radiology techs accessing implanted ports

My facility is pushing for CT, MRI and radiology techs to access implanted ports. I am aganist the practice change anyone else out there having these discussions? Are there any facilities that have the techs perform the port access, if so what are their credentials, education and experience, also any literature on the subject. As far as I know INS, AVA and ONS don't endorse the practice. Thanks for any information. 

Chris Cavanaugh
Why not?

Do you have enough nurses in Radiology to access the ports when they arrive?  If not, that is likely why they are looking to make this change.  Radiology techs are licensed as RNs are by the state.  They have a state board that regulates their practice.  They also have a national organization, ASRT that supports this practice.  If they follow the same policies and competencies that your RNs do, there is no reason that they cannot access ports safely.  They should be included in the same policy that RNs follow if their state board allows it. 

RNs do not learn this skill in school, they learn it on the job as well.  Many hospitals, in states where RTs can access central lines, allow this practice.



Chris Cavanaugh, RN, BSN, CRNI, VA-BC

 The INS Standards of

 The INS Standards of Practice to date have been written as nursing standards and were not intended to be written for other professionals. However, this document is used for all groups performing infusion therapy and has been applied to radiology technologists in legal cases. Lack of a statement from any of these groups should not be interpreted as those groups being opposed to allow these techs to access implanted ports. As Chris said, they require the small amount and type of knowledge and skill for this procedure as any nurse doing it. And they must have a documented competency. Lynn

Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.

126 Main Street, PO Box 10

Milner, GA 30257


Office Phone 770-358-7861

Melanie Cates
CT, MRI and radiology techs accessing implanted ports

My facility allows  the MRTs to access the Power Ports to deliver CT contrast.  It ensures that the patient does not get a peripheral IV if they have poor peripheral access and is patient and family centred care.

Our MRTs get training in hospital to review aseptic technique and proper access of an implanted device.

If we think from a patients perspective, it helps with decision making.

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