MRT Standards of Practice

Introduction

Medical radiation technologists in Canada are caring professionals who practice a dynamic, progressive, and supportive profession deeply rooted in patient care. Guided by the CAMRT Code of Ethics, the characteristics of this profession are reflected in the four standards of professional practice presented in this document (for a PDF version of this document, click here):

  • Knowledge
  • Clinical Proficiency
  • Communication
  • Accountability
In achieving acceptable professional standards, the medical radiation technologist (MRT) works in a variety of settings in collaboration with other health professions and occupations. The CAMRT Standards of Practice provide direction to achieve and maintain the technologist’s role on the health care team.
The profession both influences and is influenced by policies, procedures, guidelines and protocols in the workplace setting, and by legislation which governs the profession and/or impacts on practice.

Purpose

The main purpose of the CAMRT Standards of Practice is to act as a guide to MRTs in the exemplary practice of their profession. These are to be considered as minimum standards — cornerstones upon which to build a solid foundation for professional excellence.

The intent of this document is to:
  • assist the profession in evaluating the quality of practice;
  • provide a common base for MRTs to use to coordinate their practice and solidify their efforts in the development of quality care;
  • assist the health care community and the public in understanding what to expect from the MRT;
  • provide flexibility and latitude in practicing the profession in order to minimize medico-legal risks;
  • provide an effective framework and environment for appropriate patient care;
  • encompass the wide range of different clinical settings and situations in which an MRT may be asked to function;
  • be applicable within existing national and provincial regulations;
  • be a generic document that provides flexibility across each discipline of the CAMRT, yet is pertinent to each discipline in its application;
  • be the basis for the development of the CAMRT certification requirements.
These standards of practice should be used in conjunction with, and are intimately linked with, the following documents that should be consulted for further reference:
  • Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • Human Rights Code
  • CAMRT Code of Ethics
  • CAMRT Policies and Position Statements
  • CAMRT Position Descriptions
  • CAMRT Competency Profiles
  • CAMRT Risk Management Guidelines
  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems (WHMIS)
  • International Commission on Radiation Protection Publications

Principles

Medical radiation technologists should base their work upon the following key principles:
  • The patient is the primary focus.
  • The MRT will provide the best possible health outcome for the patient while minimizing exposure to risk of harm.
  • MRTs are accountable to patients, society, employers and peers.
  • The public has a right to expect adherence to professional standards from each member of the CAMRT.
  • Reflective practice — engaging in critical self-assessment and reflection to critique, develop, and monitor one’s professional practice and improve patient care — is a key to competency.

Philosophy

Medical radiation technologists should assent to the following philosophies:
  • The profession exists in response to the needs of society.
  • The MRT is an integral contributor to the health care delivery system.
  • The MRT has ongoing potential for professional and personal growth and development.
  • MRTs, through prescribed and self-directed continuing education, acquire the knowledge, skills and judgment for successful practice.
  • The MRT is an advocate for patient rights.
  • The MRT will work according to the principles defined in the CAMRT Code of Ethics.

Expectations of the MRT

A major responsibility of the MRT is to provide care. The expectations inherent in these standards include:
  • assessing the complexity of the patient’s condition;
  • having the knowledge, skills and judgment to assess and deal with the risk involved;
  • ensuring that the resources (human or otherwise) are available for collaboration and/or assistance;
  • providing an informed opinion to the appropriate medical professional to assist in the patient’s health care management.
In addition, the MRT will:
  • participate in continuous learning and critical evaluation to enhance knowledge, skills, and positive attitudes that can be applied to improve patient care, education, research, or administration;
  • strive for excellence;
  • be accountable in upholding his or her own beliefs, values, and ideals in determining self-direction;
  • be capable of practising within a developing and changing health care system;
  • strive to become expert in the performance of a wide range of techniques in diagnostic imaging and/or therapy;
  • have a quality management responsibility in the application of continuous quality improvement (CQI) principles in all aspects of the profession;
  • engage only in tasks for which he or she has appropriate training and/or delegated authority;
  • be capable of recognizing when, and if, self-directed remedial training is indicated.

Definitions

The terms “standard” and “indicator” are used with the following meaning in this document:
Standard — An authoritative statement that sets out the legal and professional basis of medical radiation technology practice.
Indicator — An illustration of how a standard can be applied in a specifi c dimension of practice.

Indicators in this document are not written in order of importance, nor are they an all-inclusive list of examples of applications of a particular standard. They should be applicable to all technologists, regardless of his or her discipline of practice.

The CAMRT endorses the following four standards of practice, all of which are intimately interlinked:
  • Knowledge
  • Clinical Proficiency
  • Communication
  • Accountability

Knowledge

This standard requires that the MRT, through the philosophy of lifelong learning, acquires and applies relevant knowledge to ensure the effective provision of quality patient care.

Indicators

The MRT:
  • recognizes the dynamic nature of the profession and the need to maintain a proactive philosophy of lifelong learning in pursuit of exemplary clinical practice;
  • assumes responsibility for identifying professional development needs through self-assessment;
  • acquires and integrates new knowledge and skills into clinical and theoretical practice through the application of problem-solving and decision-making skills and the development of new practice methodology;
  • facilitates the sharing of knowledge, skills and judgment processes with students, peers, other health care professionals, patients and the public;
  • demonstrates creative independent thinking and problem analysis;
  • uses factual evidence and sound logical judgment to select an appropriate course of action;
  • applies the principles of continuous quality improvement;
  • demonstrates active participation in job-related organizational activities for professional and personal development;
  • supports and stays current with research projects applicable to his or her discipline;
  • whenever possible, becomes involved in research projects relevant to the profession.

Clinical Proficiency

This standard requires the MRT use a combination of knowledge, skill and judgment, experience and adaptability in the provision of quality health care services.

Indicators

The MRT:
  • demonstrates comprehensive knowledge and technical skills in accordance with job requirements;
  • demonstrates adaptability to changing clinical performance requirements;
  • demonstrates effective time management skills in the completion of multiple or competing tasks;
  • applies knowledge, skills and judgment to maximize patient goals and health outcomes in the clinical setting;
  • enhances clinical proficiency by actively participating in educational and professional activities;
  • applies effective communication methods in collaboration with the health care delivery team, in the planning, implementation, evaluation, and validation of professional services;
  • acts as a coach, preceptor, and mentor;
  • acts as a positive role model to students and colleagues, displaying and promoting exemplary professional conduct.

Communication

This standard requires that the MRT develop, use, and promote the effective expression and receipt of ideas, thoughts, and information to support the achievement of all dimensions of professional practice.

Indicators

The MRT:
  • speaks and writes clearly, concisely, and accurately, adapting language to the intended audience;
  • listens and observes, and communicates effectively to ensure accurate and appropriate exchange of information;
  • demonstrates comprehension of written and verbal information;
  • uses paraphrasing effectively to validate information;
  • ensures appropriate dissemination of information;
  • facilitates a mutually satisfactory resolution to issues.

Accountability

This standard requires that the MRT is accountable to the patient, public, institution and profession and is responsible for ensuring that his or her practice and conduct conforms to legal, ethical, and professional requirements.

Indicators

The MRT:
  • recognizes the CAMRT Code of Ethics as the basis for the provision of health care services by an MRT, to meet the specific needs and rights of the patient, public, institution and profession;
  • acts as a patient advocate by promoting and providing health care services consistent with legislation, and the patient’s goals and health care outcomes;
  • communicates significant medical and technical findings to the appropriate personnel;
  • obtains patient consent (implied, verbal, or written) for a procedure through accurate explanation and instruction;
  • applies risk management and quality assurance principles;
  • is cognizant of potential conflict of interest situations and takes appropriate actions;
  • accepts responsibility for decisions and actions in the performance of his or her duties;
  • ensures, within the limitations of the system, the confidentiality and security of medical information;
  • ensures that ethical guidelines and codes are followed for the protection of clinical research participants and investigators;
  • recognizes the limitations of his or her training and, when necessary, seeks appropriate assistance;
  • initiates and accurately completes documentation;
  • acts as advocate for the profession, and cultivates collaborative partnerships with members of the health care delivery team;
  • promotes the effective and efficient utilization of resources.
The CAMRT wishes to acknowledge the significant contribution towards the development of this document made by the Ontario Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (OAMRT) Task Force, under the direction of Robin Hesler, MRT(R), RTR.A (Ont), BA (HS), m.s.c. The CAMRT Board of Directors contracted this project to the OAMRT and the report of the Task Force forms the basis of this document.
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