Perspectives

As part of a biopsy procedure, Jennifer, a radiological technologist, is required to set up an IV line and draw blood to be sent away with the pathology. Jennifer does not have venipuncture authorization.

Are these activities within Jennifer’s scope of practice?
The establishment of an indwelling intravenous (IV) catheter is a restricted activity that is listed in the Government Organization Act. In order for technologists to be authorized (i.e., within their scope) to perform these restricted activities, the activity must be included on their practice permit. Currently the Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists Profession Regulation is written so that venipuncture and the establishment of an IV line are not a principle expectation of practice for a radiological technologist; however, the technologist may gain this authorization through education.

The Government Organization Act also refers to the drawing of venous blood. It states that it is not a restricted activity. As such, this activity may be considered within the scope of the technologist should it be appropriate to their practice and they possess the knowledge, skills and judgments to perform this activity safely, competently and ethically.

What training does Jennifer have to do in order to perform these activities?
In order for Jennifer to be authorized for venipuncture, Jennifer must complete a College-approved course. These courses are usually designed by employers or educational institutions and meet the needs of the technologist, the workplace and the College. A list of these courses may be found on the College website.

As no further authorization is required for Jennifer to draw blood, Jennifer has the responsibility to ensure that she receives appropriate education on this task. Employers are usually quite supportive of technologists in this regard providing guidance through policy, procedure and sometimes, formal training. Jennifer must ensure that she may perform the activity competently prior to instilling it as part of practice.

What Standards of Practice apply to this scenario?
As a regulated member of the College, Jennifer must practice in compliance with legislation and other documents such as the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. The following standards and statements apply to this scenario.

Standard 1.2 Clinical Procedures
To demonstrate this Standard, a regulated member will:

d. possess the necessary competence to perform the procedure safely, effectively and ethically

Standard 2.1 Legislation, Standards and Ethics
To demonstrate this Standard, a regulated member will:

a. assume responsibility for the quality and effectiveness of the regulated member’s practice
b. maintain and apply the knowledge, skills, judgements and behaviours necessary for competent practice

Standard 2.3 Restricted Activities/Enhanced Practice
To demonstrate this Standard, a regulated member will:

a. perform only those restricted activities for which he or she has the required competence and current authorization

ACMDTT Code of Ethics (2015)
Principle 1 – Responsibility to the public

a. Competent care: A regulated member’s primary responsibility is to provide competent service to patient with respect to their individual needs and overall welfare.

Principle 3 – Accountability

b. Accountability: A regulated member takes responsibility and is accountable for his/her professional activities.


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