Standards of Practice
1. Legislation, Standards and Ethics
2. Equipment and Materials
3. Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures
4. Safe Practice
5. Relationship with Patients
6. Professional Relationships
7. Records and Reporting
8. Continuing Competence
The Standards of Practice have been developed by the College of Medical Radiation Technologists of Ontario (CMRTO or the “College”) to describe the expectations for professional practice of medical radiation technologists (MRTs). The Standards of Practice describe what each MRT is accountable and responsible for in practice. They represent performance criteria for MRTs and can be used to interpret the scope of practice to the public and other health care professionals.
The Standards of Practice reflect the knowledge, skills and judgement that MRTs need in order to perform the services and procedures that fall within the scope of practice of the profession.
The Regulated Health Professions Act and the companion health profession Acts govern the practice of regulated health professions in Ontario. For medical radiation technology, the companion Act is the Medical Radiation Technology Act. The Medical Radiation Technology Act sets out the scope of practice statement for medical radiation technology, as follows:
"The practice of medical radiation technology is the use of ionizing radiation, electromagnetism and other prescribed forms of energy for the purposes of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, the evaluation of images and data relating to the procedures and the assessment of an individual before, during and after the procedures."
The Medical Radiation Technology Act also sets out which of the 13 controlled acts as set out in the Regulated Health Professions Act, MRTs are authorized to perform. These are known as authorized acts. The Medical Radiation Technology Act states:
"In the course of engaging in the practice of medical radiation technology, a member is authorized, subject to the terms, conditions and limitations imposed on his or her certificate of registration, to perform the following:
1. Administering substances by injection or inhalation.
2. Tracheal suctioning of a tracheostomy.
3. Administering contrast media, or putting an instrument, hand or finger,
4. Performing a procedure on tissue below the dermis.
- Beyond the opening of the urethra,
- Beyond the labia majora,
- Beyond the anal verge, or
- Into an artificial opening of the body.
5. Applying a prescribed form of energy."
The Standards of Practice are intended to be generic. The indicators that follow each Practice Standard indicate the application of the Practice Standard in a specific dimension of practice. Most indicators refer to tasks that are common to all MRTs. Indicators that refer to tasks generally performed only by MRTs in one of the specialties are listed under separate headings. The methods for implementing each task may be determined by departmental policies and procedures.
In the event that the Standards of Practice set a standard that is higher than departmental policy or procedure, the MRT must comply with the standard set by the Standards of Practice. In the Standards of Practice, the term "legislation" refers to both statutes and regulations.
Under the College's Standards of Practice, medical radiation technologists are expected to be:
Competent: meaning to have the necessary knowledge, skills and judgement to perform safely, effectively and ethically and to apply that knowledge, skill and judgement to ensure safe, effective and ethical outcomes for the patient. This means that MRTs must maintain competence in their current area of practice, must refrain from acting if not competent, and must take appropriate action to address the situation.
Accountable: meaning to take responsibility for decisions and actions, including those undertaken independently and those undertaken as a member of a team. This means that MRTs must accept the consequences of their decisions and actions and act on the basis of what they, in their clinical judgement, believe is in the best interests of the patient. MRTs must take appropriate action if they feel these interests are being unnecessarily and unacceptably compromised. This includes not implementing ordered procedures or treatment plans that, from their perspective, appear to be contraindicated, and in this event, taking appropriate action to address the situation.
Collaborative: meaning to work with other members of the health care team to achieve the best possible outcomes for the patient. This means MRTs are responsible for communicating and coordinating care provision with other members of the health care team, and taking appropriate action to address gaps and differences in judgement about care provision.