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ASRT Launches ‘Be Seen’ Campaign

By Lauren Swisher

*Image courtesy of the ASRT

The first stage of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists’ (ASRT) “Be Seen” campaign launched on February 20. The campaign, originally initiated by Danny Gonzalez, MSRS, RT(R), FASRT, chair of the ASRT board and past ASRT president, aims to raise public awareness and visibility of medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals and the role they have in diagnosis and treatment.

“Having been in this profession for over 35 years, I was often mistaken for a nurse or a physician or some other more widely recognized profession. For us, it was extremely important that the world knows we are a profession in health care, a frontline hero, and someone who every person interfaces with, either personally or through a friend or family member, at some point in their life,” says Melissa Pergola, EdD, RT(R)(M), FASRT, CEO and executive director of the ASRT, and the CEO of the ASRT Foundation. “It’s a critical profession for diagnosis, intervention, and treatment. We really feel like it’s time for us to be seen, and that was at the heart of what Danny Gonzalez was trying to accomplish.”

Stage one of the campaign includes a website and commercial highlighting several radiological professions and their impact on patients and medicine. The ASRT partnered with Michael Benzaia, RT(R)(CT), to create a commercial highlighting some of the more well-recognized radiologic professions, such as mammography and radiation therapy. Aside from his work as a CT specialist, Benzaia is known for his acting roles in TV shows such as Shameless, General Hospital, and Fallout. The commercial can be viewed on social media, streaming services, and the website asrt.org/BeSeen.

In addition, the website has sections to learn about the 12 professions under the ASRT umbrella, situations in which someone would encounter a radiologic technologist, technologists in the news, and a place for patients to share and read testimonials of their experiences working with radiology professionals. Since launch, more than 9 million people have either visited the campaign website, watched or shared the “Be Seen” commercial, seen one of the ads, interacted with a social media post, or read about it on a news site. Along with raising visibility, the campaign seeks to educate future generations of radiology students.

“Right now, we are in the largest vacancy rates that we’ve ever had in the profession,” Pergola says, “so hopefully it will educate future students on this amazing profession that they can get into.”

The campaign also educates patients on what questions to ask when having imaging done and legislators so they can advocate for and protect patients. “Unfortunately, we don’t have licensure in every state that mandates minimum education and credential standards,” Pergola says. “It’s very alarming to me that I could live in a state where, possibly, the person who is creating my images doesn’t have the minimum education.

What that could mean is, if the images aren’t created correctly, then the radiologist doesn’t have the data to say whether a patient has something as critical as cancer.” Pergola says educating legislators will smooth the legislative process by reducing the time it would take to explain who radiologists are and what they do, allowing more time for meaningful and important discussion in the US Capitol and state capitols.

In the future, the ASRT plans to provide additional promotional material supporting each of the 12 professions under its umbrella, with more specific education along with television and audio coverage. They encourage everyone to visit and share the website with colleagues, family, and friends.

— Lauren Swisher is an editorial intern at Great Valley Publishing.