American Academy of Physician Assistants

PAs and Ionizing Radiation

PAs have been performing diagnostic and interventional procedures that use ionizing radiation since the early days of the profession. Most state PA practice acts authorize a PA to provide any service within the scope of the practice which the PA has adequate training and experience to provide.

However, confusion may arise when a state's laws governing PA practice and its laws governing the use of ionizing radiation are in conflict with one another. AAPA has worked with several state chapters in recent years to clarify PAs' ability to use ionizing radiation. In 2009 alone, both Connecticut and California passed legislation authorizing qualified PAs to use fluoroscopy, and several other states are exploring solutions to this issue.

In addition to legislative activity in individual states, AAPA worked with the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) to develop a national educational framework for PAs who use fluoroscopy. In December 2009, AAPA and ASRT reached a consensus on the curriculum of such an educational program, which is available in full on this page. 

View the entire Fluoroscopy Educational Framework for the Physician Assistant (PDF)

Read ASRT's talking points regarding this curriculum. 

View the PAs and Fluoroscopy brief summary.