Like everyone in Canada, CAMRT is working to adapt in this rapidly-evolving COVID-19 outbreak. Our office has moved to working remotely. We have the tools to do so seamlessly while still delivering excellent member service and being available to you via all the usual channels. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and connect with us.
In addition, we are making it a priority to find extra ways that we can be of support and of service to members and MRTs across Canada in these exceptional times.
Below we have collated some of the important changes and new initiatives relating to COVID-19 and the CAMRTMarch 25 Message from Irving Gold, CEO, CAMRT
Advocacy for MRTs
A modern healthcare system cannot function without professional medical radiation technologists practicing in medical imaging and radiation therapy. With COVID-19 and all the pressures it puts on MRTs and the rest of the healthcare system, we are working hard to address issues, both new and pre-dating the virus, through advocacy and dialogue with decision makers that will make a difference to MRTs.
Our 2019-21 Strategic Plan identified the need to build beyond the vital awareness work we do through MRT Week and the national Image of Care campaign.Even before the coronavirus hit our shores, CAMRT had built plans for a modern, accessible and advocacy friendly MRT awareness campaign, and was beginning its implementation.
As we come across other issues, whether it be access to PPE or temporary pandemic pay, we are noting an increased need for this work. And, as such we are ramping it up.
National Post Insert article (March 27, 2020) – Online version (launched March 25, 2020)
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is an issue of concern for healthcare professionals across Canada in all professions during this crisis. With widespread shortages, came reports directly to CAMRT from MRTs having difficulty accessing PPE in their institutions and facilities.
In response to these reports from members, CAMRT has been advocating on your behalf. On Friday April 3, CAMRT released a position paper outlining ts stance on access to PPE based on the best evidence available.
Following publication of the position, CAMRT has been addressing the shortage of PPE for MRTs and the concern that MRTs are not being correctly identified as frontline workers in this crisis directly with people in positions of influence in the healthcare and public health systems.
To help gather concrete information and direct experiences of frontline MRTs, CAMRT conducted a short survey on access to PPE and the distribution to MRTs on the front lines of the COVID-19 effort. Thanks to the thousands of you that responded, the information you shared with us is proving invaluable in the advocacy we are undertaking on your behalf. Top-line analysis of the survey can be found below, a more comprehensive analysis of the subjective comments received and provincial breakdowns will be posted when available.
We thank you all for sharing this information from the front lines with us. It is invaluable to us when advocating on your behalf, and also to the agencies with which we are collaborating with on a response.
Pandemic Pay for MRTs Across Canada
In response to members seeking information, we have prepared a short summary of the national situation as to MRT eligibility for pandemic pay. We note that this situation is fluid and information can (and has been) changing rapidly. The posted document reflects the situation as we found it on May 28, 2020. We will be working to track this information and make updates to the document when appropriate.
Pandemic Pay for MRTs Across Canada (as of July 28, 2020)
CAMRT is working closely with the Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR) and other medical professions to study the effects that COVID-19 and the associated public health restrictions and service scalebacks had on medical imaging services across the country. By understanding the effects, it is the goal of the collaborative to also bring forward concrete recommendations for governments and healthcare decision makers to follow as they seek to resume and scale back up to a previous level of service.
A second report of this strategic collaboration was released in October, examined data from different organizations relating to the resumption of service, the ongoing effect of the initial pandemic closures and subsequent slowdowns on waitlists and the resiliency of radiology services in general, as well as proposed solutions for 2020 and beyond.
A first report of this strategic collaboration was released in May, discussing the effects of the pandemic on radiology services, and the views established at that time as to how to resume radiological services.
CAMRT is conducting a survey with department managers across Canada to collect information on how the COVID 19 virus is affecting MRTs, departmental policy, departmental workload and most importantly patient care.
The data collected will be summarized and provided to managers and government agencies in a timely manner. CAMRT will use the information to conduct advocacy efforts to support the needs of medical imaging and radiation therapy services during and after the pandemic.
We are also working closely through our networks and contacts share best practices with and from other healthcare professional groups and to assist governments across Canada with advice to sustain the full healthcare system in this exceptional time.
HEAL has been meeting with the staff of the Federal Minister of Health on a regular (weekly at first, and now bi-weekly) basis since the onset of the pandemic. CAMRT, as a member of HEAL has been able to convey information about the MRT profession garnered through our own work (HHR studies, member surveys) and join other healthcare professions in seeking strategic assistance from the federal government (e.g., ensuring national PPE stores and manufacture).
Our broad stakeholder group (HEAL) submitted letters to the Federal Health Minister and to the leadership of the Public Health Agency of Canada last week. A meeting with the Health Minister’s office took place on March 23, where ideas brought forward from all professional groups were addressed. Key issues identified affecting all stakeholders include the availability and need for personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals; consideration for the mental health effects this crisis is having now (and will have in the future) for healthcare professionals; the removal of structural barriers to new issues like retired workers rejoining the workforce and professionals crossing jurisdictions; to name a few.Read the HEAL COVID-19 Press Release from March 25. 2020
Information and Supports for MRTs
Even as we distance socially, there is still a great desire and need amongst our community for sharing information and best practices, and for supporting each other.
CAMRT understands the impact this virus will have on MRTs as front-line healthcare workers. And in a fast-developing situation, such as this one, it is important to know where to turn for healthcare information. At CAMRT, we are monitoring information given by reputable, fact-based agencies around the world, and will work to share the latest updates and most relevant links for MRTs.Visit the COVID-19 Information Page
NOTE: In addition to the pages we link, it is important for MRTs to remain aware and up to date about all directives and guidance being given at their own institutions and within their province or territory. Most provinces have dedicated pages relating to the novel coronavirus.
CAMRT Communities of Practice create an online meeting space for MRTs across the country to come together and share. The COVID-19 Community of Practice creates a secure venue where factual information and trusted practices can be shared directly from MRT to MRT, without the external barrage of information of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
The Communities of Practice is available to all CAMRT Members. Register with CAMRT to start sharing with your MRT peers in the COVID-19 community, as well as numerous other ongoing communities. Once registered, find the new COVID-19 community in the channel listing on Slack (# covid19).Register Now to Join the Community
This is an unprecedented situation, and it’s ok to not be ok. As essential workers, many of you don’t have the option to stay home, and this brings even more concerns as you worry about protecting yourselves, your loved ones, and your patients.
The Canadian Psychological Association, with whom we interact nationally on various issues, has gathered a list of psychologists willing to donate their time to help front-line health workers during this time of crisis. Visit the CPA page to find out how to contact a psychologist in your home province.Find a Psychologist through CPA
CAMRT has gathered a variety of resources dedicated to mental health and wellness that can assist you in navigating this stressful time. You know the value of caring for yourself – let us help.Visit the CAMRT Mental Health Resource Hub
The International COVID-19 Support for Radiographers/RTs is an e-learning module, developed collaboratively by the International Society for Radiographers and Radiologic Technologists (ISRRT) and the European Federation of Radiographer Societies (EFRS) through international experts from both organizations.
The ISRRT and EFRS would like to thank Emeritus Professor Peter Hogg, School of Health and Society, University of Salford (UK) for his enthusiasm and commitment to making this project a reality. Peter, together with Mr Ken Holmes (University of Cumbria, UK) have led this work and the rapid content development process. A special thanks to a large number of content authors from across the world for creating the teaching and support materials. We also want to thank each of the experts that took the time to develop and share best practice information for our professionals worldwide.
The material within this e-learning module, and the scientific evidence that supports it, will provide the Radiographers/RTs throughout the World with additional resources to help in their fight against this global pandemic by keeping themselves healthy and supporting the healthcare services in their countries to support patients.ISRRT Online Module
CAMRT Professional Liability Insurance
CAMRT Professional Liability Insurance (PLI) provider BMS provided an insurance coverage position statement in the context of COVID-19.
One key excerpt states: “Upon review of the CAMRT PLI Wording, there are no specific exclusions relating to transmission of a virus or disease from the insured during delivery of their professional services that have been identified. However negligence on behalf of the Insured must be proven for a claim to be successful. There is also standard exclusions relating to claims arising out of, or attributable to any dishonest, fraudulent or criminal act by an insured.”
CAMRT Certification Exam
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Yardstick Assessment Strategies (YAS) testing centre network will remain closed until the end of May 2020. We secured two options to accommodate the May 2020 certification exam candidates [MORE DETAIL]:
- A remotely proctored certification exam May 20-22
- A supplementary certification exam session on July 20
Information about the upcoming exam session can be found on the Certification section of the CAMRT website.
Because there may be other circumstances that complicate exam preparation and writing for students during this period of time, we are also waiving the usual cancellation fees. Students who wish to cancel their May examination write should contact the certification department at email@example.com.
Continuing Professional Development
CAMRT is looking for ways it can support hard-working MRTs through its CPD.
Infectious Disease Review (Quick Self Study): Made available to all MRTs (member or not), FREE OF CHARGE
Due to the COVID 19 outbreak, the CAMRT has decided to offer Infectious Diseases Review FREE OF CHARGE to both members and non-members. While this course does not cover specifics of COVID-19 it is a great review of the chain of infection and the MRTs role in breaking the chain.Course Registration Page
- Infection Diseases Review (Quick Self Study) – FREE to all MRTs, members and non-members [MORE INFO]
- Stress Management Strategies for the MRT (Webinar recording) – FREE to CAMRT Members [MORE INFO]
- Mental Health in the Workplace (Conference recording) – FREE to CAMRT Members [MORE INFO]
- Patient Safety Culture (Webinar recording) – FREE to CAMRT Members [MORE INFO]
Returning to work in response to COVID-19?
Are you returning to work temporarily in response to COVID-19 and looking to reinstate your CAMRT membership?
The CAMRT will provide free membership and professional liability insurance to those returning to work to help with the pandemic. Please click here for membership options.
During the COVID-19 crisis, the CAMRT will be happy to post all positions related to filling COVID-19 related shortages available for free within the CAMRT Job Bank. This includes casual, temporary, part time and full-time positions in all practice areas. When submitting your job posting, please mention that this posting is in response to COVID-19.
While our healthcare systems may soon experience shortages of healthcare professionals, there will also be MRTs who, for a variety of reasons, may need or wish to work additional hours. In order to facilitate the matching of areas of need with available supply, we are working with partners in some government partners to help them develop a repositories of MRTs available to take on work and provide information to employers looking to find additional resources.
In keeping with the recommendations of governments and public health authorities, we have made some difficult decisions to either cancel or postpone CAMRT events.
This year’s Annual General Meeting was entirely virtual. In this way, we were still able to gather in numbers to discuss the business of the association and maintain our social distance at the same time.
The AGM took place Sunday, May 31 from 1200 to 1330 (EDT).See the recording
Sharing information is so important in moments like these. We see examples daily where shared information has affected lives in this outbreak. In order for us to best help you, we want to hear from you. If you have information to share about practice, share with your colleagues and us in the communities of practice. If you have issues you need us to advocate for, let us know.