In 2018, ASET – The Neurodiagnostic Society put state licensure of neurodiagnostic technologists at the top of its three-year strategic plan. Halfway through this plan, they hired a new executive director and the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Despite these shakeups, the group is still on track to get licensure in at least one state in 2021. And it looks like that state might be California, according to an announcement made at ASET’s annual board meeting last month.
Jennifer Montgomery, director of operations and government affairs for ASET, announced the awarding of a $20,000 licensure grant to its California chapter. Pursuing state licensure is an expensive undertaking, added Montgomery, a former lobbyist.
“There are costs for hiring a lobbyist, which is something you really need to do if you are going to get licensure passed in your state,” she said.
There’s a lot of planning and paperwork. One of the biggest pieces of that is drafting a bill. ASET has developed a model bill for this purpose.
“This model provides the basic structure and provisions for what should be included in neurodiagnostic licensure legislation at the state level,” they write. “It is intended to be modified to meet the specific needs of state and grassroots organizations.”
Why has ASET made licensure a priority? Because the organization believes it is the next step in moving the profession forward. Currently there is no state that requires licensure of diagnostic technologists, despite them being critical players in patient care. Licensure, proponents say, would ensure a minimum level of qualification and elevate the profession in the eyes of the public and the medical community at large.
It would also create a greater sense of community and shared purpose among technologists. Training programs, job descriptions, and work policies would become more standardized. With increased unity and legitimacy, technologists will be empowered to better advocate for themselves and the needs of their patients.
ASET created a fun video in support of neurodiagnostic licensure that you can watch and share.
California’s chapter is preparing to introduce a bill in the state legislature early next year.
“ASET’s governmental advocacy committee is working hard to support the chapter with any resources that they need,” said Montgomery. “That includes crafting letters to go to lawmakers, that includes talking points, and serving as a resource to the chapter to help them get that bill across the finish line. As they move forward in their efforts, they are actually laying the groundwork for other states to follow.”
You can learn more about state licensure and how to get involved by visiting ASET’s Legislative & Regulatory Action Center.