In a 2013 Harris Decima poll commissioned by the CAMRT, nearly one third of the national sample of Canadians surveyed indicated that they had received a medical imaging procedure or radiation therapy to treat cancer or another disease in the past six months. By the same token, polls also indicate that patients in medical imaging and radiation therapy are satisfied with the care given to them by MRTs.
However, there is a disconnect for the MRT profession: only a small percentage of Canadians could correctly identify MRT as the name of the healthcare provider group that performed the service. This research indicates that most Canadians mistakenly assume that MRTs are nurses, doctors or lab technicians. They don’t understand who delivers these services or the role of the MRT within the healthcare system.
Engaging people through the Image of Care campaign has shown that education and promotion of the profession works. With the high-level of visibility and patient contact during MRT Week, it presents a perfect opportunity to discuss the profession with patients.
Use the promotional tools provided by CAMRT to start a conversation; and educate them about the essential link MRTs provide in delivering technology to them with care:
- Offer them an MRT Week fact sheet and explain who MRTs are, what they do, and the different areas MRTs work in
- Use the MRT Week visual displays (posters, tent cards) as a visual aid in your discussion
- If your workplace has a visual display, play CAMRT’s NOD video in your waiting room throughout the week. It also explains some of the basics of each discipline, and in a very engaging way. You can use this as a conversation starter – ask patients if they have any questions about the information provided
- Run a fun MRT-themed activity (e.g., trivia game/ quiz, scavenger hunt, etc.)
- Refer people to any local public promotion regarding MRT Week, such as newspaper articles, other media coverage, government proclamations, etc.
- Use the Image of Care website to help answer patient questions. Along with descriptions of each discipline, it also contains handy sections on patients questions and FAQs about the profession
- Remember the Image of Care brand promise: We provide an essential link between patients and their healthcare, mastering the technology and art of providing accurate state-of-the-art diagnostic images and radiation-related treatment. We perform our work with confidence, expertise, precision and professionalism. And because we are there with patients at an often-emotional time, we listen and advocate for them in addition to delivering technological expertise. We are the human connection between innovative technology and effective diagnosis and radiation-related treatment.
A simple “Did you know…?” can start a conversation – don’t be shy! And, remember to offer thanks for their attention and interest.
Success in brand championship
“We spent hours pulling very old films, choosing different body areas for a display which changed every day. We set up portable viewboxes with labelled films and a “Question of the Day”. We were fortunate to have neighbourhood vendors donate gift certificates which we used as 1st prizes and then used the MRT week pens and mini-white boards as runner-up prizes when we drew names from the correct answers. The display was tremendously popular with staff and patients.”
A simple NOD goes a long way.
The NOD is a very simple and effective way to promote the MRT profession at any time of the year. During MRT Week, leverage your high level of contact with the general public by giving the NOD: Starting with your NAME, introduce your OCCUPATION, and tell people what you DO.
Check out CAMRT’s new NOD video for an example of how this can be done.
Success stories with the NOD
At the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, staff members in the diagnostic imaging department have introduced a straight-forward program called NOD. They have established an expectation that all MRTs will give a NOD to each patient.
Demonstrate that MRTs are part of a distinct, highly skilled profession, and that they are integral members of the healthcare team, by taking pride in your work and your workplace. As a champion for your profession, you should be proud to broadcast your successes! Inform patients about what the hospital and department is doing to improve patient care. After a staff meeting, let co-workers know what was accomplished. Take any and every occasion to speak positively about your workplace and the profession.
Offer to assist a student, new grad or new employee as they adapt to a new workplace. Share in the celebration when accomplishments and promotion of colleagues are recognized. Talk about the community involvement of your workplace with patients, and encourage participation from your patients and co-workers at hospital events.
Display your certification and course diplomas and display the CAMRT Code of Ethics. These documents demonstrate that you have embraced your role as a respected healthcare professional and illustrate your commitment to patient care.
Whatever you end up doing, be sure to send us photos with the hashtag #MRTWeek2016 to be featured in the winter edition of the CAMRT News!
You can also send MRT Week photos to Jessica McGregor at firstname.lastname@example.org