The Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) firmly believes that there is a place for advanced MRT practice in Canada.
Since 2010, the CAMRT has made Advanced Practice in the MRT professions a strategic priority. A symposium held in November of that year was convened to discuss the advanced MRT practice in the Canadian context. Delegates from all MRT organizations, and representatives from different healthcare professions, came together to discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by MRTs as they pursue advanced practice. Topics of discussion included education, competencies, improving access to patient care and regulation. From this symposium, came a clear mandate for CAMRT:
- Define advanced MRT practice for the Canadian context
- Develop methodologies for advanced practice professionals to become certified
Based on this mandate, the CAMRT undertook two complementary initiatives: the Advanced Practice Framework and Advanced Practice Certification. Both of these initiatives have played a large part in the advances made to date in advanced practice in medical radiation technology and both are integral to fulfilling the goal of advanced practice roles for all MRT profession across the whole country.
The CAMRT Advanced Practice Framework establishes a definition for advanced MRT practice in Canada. Its aim is to establish a common understanding of the phrase “advanced practice” among MRTs in Canada. The framework does this through a discussion of high-level principles and concepts that can be applied across a broad profession. It is hoped that those interested in advanced MRT practice across the country will find within it a common language and a conceptual frame to advance discussions at the institutional, educational and/or governmental levels.
The definition of Advanced Practice is the core of the document. The rest of the framework document has been developed to provide context for advanced practice in Canada and to extend the concepts addressed in the definition. The sections preceding the definition briefly discuss the history of advanced practice and present the rationale for the development of advanced practice in healthcare. The sections that follow the definition isolate its distinct elements and elaborate on these important themes in the context of the Canadian healthcare environment.
A decision was made to avoid identification and listing of specific advanced activities within the framework. The continual evolution of MRT practice, as well as differences in practice across Canadian provincial jurisdictions, will always make it difficult to find examples that can be applied nationally and over time. Instead, the examples provided serve to illustrate and highlight the high-level principles of advanced practice as they have been applied in practice.
|– Executive Summary (PDF)|
|– Full Framework (PDF)|
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Because of the success of the Clinical Specialist Radiation Therapists (CSRT) initiative in Ontario, advanced practice in radiation therapy became an initial focus and case study for construction of a CAMRT advanced practice certification process. The CAMRT has been working over a number of years to establish a process for the certification of MRTs who are practicing at an advanced level in radiation therapy.
The process was built from the outset as competency-based. Advanced competencies were identified with the help of the practicing CSRTs and validated at a national level. Using the nationally-validated competency profile, a blueprinting process was undertaken to weight and design a three-phase structure for global evaluation of advanced practitioners based on portfolio review, submitted cases and an oral examination. From there, templates, documents and examinations were created and the three-phase certification process was piloted. The pilot of the APRT(T) certification process ran from August 2015 to May 2017. All three candidates successfully navigated the three-phase certification process and became the first MRTs to receive the distinct honour of the APRT(T) designation after their names (News Release: Completion of Advanced Practice Certification for Radiation Therapy Pilot).
Following the success of this pilot, the CAMRT has opened the APRT(T) certification process to applicants in the discipline of radiation therapy. The CAMRT also expects that the process built for radiation therapy will form the basis of a national process for the certification of advanced practice in other MRT disciplines when advanced practice roles emerge.
Advanced practice is a transformative evolution for the MRT profession. The development of advanced roles alongside existing practice has the potential to positively affect patient care in medical radiation technology by improving access and creating system efficiencies. It will benefit everyone in the profession by expanding professional horizons and elevating the standing of the profession. We encourage all members to engage with us in this pursuit. By uniting behind a common understanding and working together with CAMRT to lay foundations for roles, MRTs will become invaluable champions for advanced practice in Canada.