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Qualified Operators


SUBJECT

Committing to public and workplace safety by ensuring only certified technologists use ionizing and other electromagnetic energy radiation for the purposes of medical diagnostic and therapeutic services.

CAMRT POSITION
In the interest of patient and public safety, the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists recommends that governments, regulatory agencies and employers ensure that only certified medical radiation technologists use ionizing and other electromagnetic energy radiation for the purposes of medical diagnostic and therapeutic services. In rural or remote locations, a modified range of these services may be provided by individuals who are either licensed or certified for limited practice by a provincial regulatory authority, where such an authority exists, or by a provincial educational authority through a program that is approved by the provincial medical radiation technology association.

BACKGROUND
In some jurisdictions in Canada there are no regulations governing who can perform diagnostic or therapeutic procedures that use ionizing or electromagnetic energy radiation, or existing regulations are sufficiently relaxed that inappropriately prepared individuals are performing these procedures. This can lead to dangerous situations both for the person receiving the procedure and for the person performing it. This situation causes concern for the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists, because, as the professional association of those qualified to perform these procedures, it is obliged to address safety concerns of patients and care providers.

RATIONALE
The CAMRT certification is the Canadian benchmark for the practice of medical radiation technology.* Individuals eligible for the CAMRT certification have completed a comprehensive training and education program, which is accredited by the Canadian Medical Association. These education programs include didactic sessions and clinical placements. Completion of such an education program demonstrates that the candidate has gained the knowledge, skills and judgment outlined in a nationally validated competency profile. The competency profiles are established through a process that involves validation by key stakeholders from across Canada and that identifies each element required to acquire the knowledge, skills and judgment essential for safe entry to practice. Therefore, individuals who successfully pass the certification exam are demonstrably competent professionals who can be trusted to serve the Canadian public capably in the field of medical imaging and radiation therapy.

The process of defining entry-level qualifications for medical radiation technologists and therapists provides the public with safe and best practice care within established standards and scopes of practice. As a result, employers have the benefit of a workforce that follows established risk management guidelines and that provides services within defined scopes and standards of practice and the CAMRT Code of Ethics.

The CAMRT believes the general public, regardless of their location in Canada, has the right to access quality care and treatment in a safe environment and that employers should have access to medical radiation technologists of demonstrated competence.

Limited practice individuals can play a valuable role in providing a modified range of care in rural or remote locations. Their competency for limited practice should be attested to through licensure or certification by a provincial regulatory authority, where such regulatory authority exists, or by a provincial educational authority through a program that is approved by the provincial medical radiation technology association.

The CAMRT recognizes that provincial legislation and government agencies may regulate professionals in the use of ionizing and other electromagnetic energy radiation for the purposes of medical diagnostic and therapeutic services. The CAMRT strongly recommends that government agencies work with the regulatory bodies of the profession and/or provincial and national medical radiation technology associations to ensure only certified medical radiation technologists or, in some cases, individuals who are either licensed or certified for limited practice perform such duties. In the event that such legislation or regulatory body is not yet in place, it is recommended, in the interest of public safety, that all parties work together to develop the appropriate public protection legislation and comprehensive regulations.

* NOTE: The Ordre des technologues en imagerie médicale et en radio-oncologie du Québec (OTIMRO) offers a similar certification process for entry-to-practice that is utilized by medical radiation technologists in that province who have not attained certification through the CAMRT.

Approval Date: March 2007

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Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists
85 Albert St, Suite 1000, Ottawa, ON, K1P 6A4
phone: 613 234-0012 / 800 463-9729
fax: 613 234-1097
www.camrt.ca