Scope of Practice - NLAMRT

The scope of practice for the profession of Medical Radiation Technology involves the safe and effective application of all competencies through best practices encompassed in the use of ionizing radiation and other energy forms. It includes producing diagnostic images and performing diagnostic and therapeutic interventions as well as the evaluation and assessment of such images and therapeutic applications.

Radiological Technologist

Radiological technologists produce diagnostic radiographs or carry out diagnostic procedures either alone or in collaboration with a radiologist or other physician. Radiological technologists evaluate the diagnostic quality of the images and take corrective measures as required. They have expert knowledge in radiation safety and apply these principles in the protection of the patient, attending family, themselves and all other personnel.

Radiological technologists are employed in hospitals, clinics, technical colleges and universities and perform complex procedures producing high quality images. Patients may be received in the imaging department, encountered at the bedside, the emergency department, the operating room, or the morgue. The work of radiological technologists may involve general radiography, CT, mammography, lithotripsy, angiographic and interventional studies, angio-cardiography procedures, and medical research. Other responsibilities include catheter placement, veni-punctures, patient care and other duties as requested or assigned by the attending radiologist, responsible physician or employer.

Radiation Therapist

Radiation therapists plan and apply ionizing radiation to the patient in accordance with the prescription and instructions from the radiation oncologist or radiation physicist. They provide specific care to patients during treatment and educate patients regarding procedures as well as how to deal with radiation reactions. In accordance with the prescription and instructions of a radiation oncologist, they produce an external beam treatment plan for each patient, with alternatives if necessary, either by the use of a treatment planning computer or isodose charts.

Radiation therapists must observe radiation safety measures for patients, personnel and visitors.

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Nuclear medicine technologists perform a variety of technical procedures that utilize radionuclides for diagnosing and treating diseases. These radiopharmaceuticals are most commonly administered by injection but may also be dispensed either orally or by inhalation. Physiological processes then dictate the localization of these agents in specific organs or tissues.

Radiopharmaceuticals emit gamma rays that can be detected externally by special types of cameras. These cameras work in conjunction with computer systems to convert the gamma rays into images and information about the area of the body being examined.

The nuclear medicine technologist is then responsible for using the computer to process the data and enhance images. Many practitioners are also required to provide diagnostic data after analyzing biological specimens in the laboratory. Technologists work collaboratively with doctors, patients and other members of the health care team.

Magnetic Resonance Technologist

Magnetic resonance technologists (MR technologists) produce high quality diagnostic images utilizing a strong magnetic field. MR technologists evaluate the diagnostic quality of these images and take corrective measures as required. They have expert knowledge regarding magnetic field safety and apply these principles in the protection of their patients, themselves, other hospital personnel and the general public. Through the use of high level communication skills, the MR technologist is able to provide coping skills for anxious patients, and ensure patients are able to cooperate throughout the MR procedure.

MR technologists apply their knowledge of MR physics to obtain various pulse sequence data sets. The MR technologist works in collaboration with the radiologist and/or MR physicist to develop new protocols and make full use of sophisticated software.

Under minimal supervision, the MR technologist is responsible for the operation of the magnet and its ancillary equipment. Pharmaceuticals are used to enhance MR images and MR technologists are educated on dosage, injecting the contrast and procedures to use in case of reaction. In some Canadian provinces, MR technologists are regulated in veni-puncture as assigned by the radiologist.