Perspectives

Todd is a magnetic resonance technologist who works in a large centre. Todd has been asked by the reporting physician to take the vital signs (i.e., heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate), before and after imaging, of patients undergoing a particular imaging protocol. Is this within the scope of an MRT?

Are these activities within Todd’s scope of practice?
In the practice statement, within the Health Professions Act, that applies to all ACMDTT members (Schedule 12 3(1)):

In their practice, medial diagnostic and therapeutic technologists do one or more of the following:

  • (d.1) assess the medial condition and needs of patients before during and after the procedure

As a result of the above, and the fact that there is no restricted activity involved with assessing the vitals, as listed, it is within any regulated member of the College to take the vital signs of a patient.

What training does Todd have to do in order to perform these activities?
Currently, the competencies integral to monitoring vital signs are included in the national competency profiles for the professions that the College regulates. As such, these skills are taught within entry-to-practice programming and are a principle expectation of practice of any regulated member. That being said, it is the regulated member’s responsibility to restrict themselves, in spite of authorization, to perform only those activities that they can perform safely, competently and ethically.

What Standards of Practice apply to this scenario?
As a regulated member of the College, Todd 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.

ACMDTT Standards of Practice (2014)
Standard 1.2 Clinical Procedures
To demonstrate this Standard, a regulated member will:

ensure readiness for the procedure

  1. possess the necessary competence to perform the procedure safely, effectively and ethically
  2. monitor the patient during the procedure and take appropriate action, when required

Standard 2.1 Legislation, Standards and Ethics

To demonstrate this Standard, a regulated member will:

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

Standard 2.2 Professional Competence

To demonstrate this Standard, a regulated member will:

  1. possess the competencies set out in the College’s Competence Profile that are applicable to the regulated member’s area of practice

Standard 4.2 Safe Practice

To demonstrate this Standard, a regulated member will:

  1. ensure magnet/magnetic field safety of patients and personnel

ACMDTT Code of Ethics (2015)

Principle 1 – Responsibility to the public

  1. 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

  1. Accountability: A regulated member takes responsibility and is accountable for their professional activities.

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