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Competencies and training of radiographers and technologists for PET/MR imaging - a study from the UK MR-PET network

  • Mada, Marius Ovidiu1
  • Hindmarch, Paula2
  • Stirling, James3
  • Davies, James4
  • Brian, David5
  • Barnes, Anna6
  • Hammers, Alexander3
  • Gulliver, Nick7
  • Herholz, Karl8
  • O’Brien, John9
  • Taylor, John-Paul10
  • 1 Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, Box 65, Adrian Way, Cambridge, CB20QQ, UK , Cambridge (United Kingdom)
  • 2 Newcastle University, Building 15, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 6BE, UK , Newcastle upon Tyne (United Kingdom)
  • 3 St Thomas’ Hospital, London, SE1 7EH, UK , London (United Kingdom)
  • 4 Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London, W12 0NN, UK , London (United Kingdom)
  • 5 Queens Medical Research Institute, 47 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh, EH16 4TJ, UK , Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
  • 6 UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, 235 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BU, UK , London (United Kingdom)
  • 7 King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Denmark Hill, London, SE5 9RS, UK , London (United Kingdom)
  • 8 University of Manchester, Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centr, 27 Palantine Road, Manchester, M20 3LJ, UK , Manchester (United Kingdom)
  • 9 University of Cambridge, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Box 189, Adrian Way, Cambridge, CB20QQ, UK , Cambridge (United Kingdom)
  • 10 Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5PL, UK , Newcastle upon Tyne (United Kingdom)
Published Article
European Journal of Hybrid Imaging
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
Jan 23, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s41824-019-0070-6
Springer Nature


BackgroundAfter the success of PET/CT as a clinical diagnostic tool, the introduction of PET/MRI is a natural development aimed at further improving combined diagnostic imaging and reduced ionising radiation dose for half-body imaging. As with PET and CT, the combination of PET and MRI presents a series of issues that need to be addressed regarding workforce training and education. At present, there is a lack of agreement over the competencies, training requirements and educational pathways needed for PET/MRI operation. In the UK, following the establishment of the MR-PET imaging network, a task force was created to investigate the status of the workforce training, identify gaps and make recommendations regarding staff training. To do this, we ran a national survey on the status of the workforce training and the local practices across the UK’s seven PET/MRI sites, reviewed the literature, and convened a panel of experts, to assess all the evidence and make recommendations regarding PET/MRI competencies and training of nuclear medicine technologists and radiographers.ResultsThere is limited literature available specifically on competencies and training for technologists and radiographers. The recommendations on the topic needed revisiting and adapting to the UK MR-PET network. The online survey confirmed the need for developing PET/MRI competencies and training pathways. Local organisational structures and practices were shared across the seven sites, based on models derived from experience outside the UK. The panel of experts agreed on the need for PET/MRI competencies and training strategies. Professional organisations started collaborative discussions with partners from both Nuclear Medicine and Radiography to set training priorities. Multidisciplinary collaboration and partnership were suggested as a key to a successful implementation of competencies and training.ConclusionsThe report identified the need for establishing competencies for the PET/MRI workforce, particularly for technologists and radiographers. It also helped defining these competencies as well as identifying the demand for bespoke training and the development of local and national courses to be implemented to fulfil this new training need.

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