COVID-19 FAQs

Due to the rapidly evolving outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists (the College) has put together some FAQs to help members continue to provide ethical, competent and safe professional services within legislative parameters in the circumstances unique to this pandemic. We understand that COVID-19 will have a significant impact on MRTs and ENPs.

Do I have to provide service if I feel it is unsafe for me to do so because the patient might be infected with the virus?

Self-regulated professionals have an obligation to provide services to patients at all times, regardless of the type of illness the patient might have (Code of Ethics, Principle 1: Responsibility to the public, indicator a). As an MRT or ENP, you have a diverse set of skills that allows you to work with challenging health conditions, infections being one of them. During a pandemic, MRTs and ENPs provide care using appropriate safety precautions.

It’s also important that you’re supported to take account of your own safety and wellbeing. Employers (including private community clinics and Alberta Health Services) are also providing support and guidance to healthcare professionals at this time so that you may continue to provide professional services to your patients.

I may be asked to do something outside of my comfort zone (e.g., work at a different site). Should I do what is asked of me?

In these unprecedented times, we may find ourselves stepping outside of our daily routines. A pandemic situation calls for extraordinary effort from all healthcare professionals. Consider using a simple decision making process — is what is requested ethical? Do I have the competency to do this work? Our regulatory standards are designed to provide a framework for decision-making in a wide range of situations. By using professional judgment, working in collaboration with other healthcare workers serving the best interests of patients (Standard 3.1: Collaboration/Professional Relationships, indicator a) and practicing within the limits of your competence (Standard 2.2: Professional Competence, indicator c) you may continue to provide essential care to Albertans during this pandemic.

Working within a quickly evolving environment such as the pandemic can be challenging and it will be important for regulated members to be mindful of and practice in accordance with any direction from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and emerging policies and procedures pertaining to COVID-19 management set by their employer.

All regulated healthcare professionals may be asked to work in an area that they are less familiar with during a pandemic. Temporary re-deployment is a legitimate employer practice to ensure they can meet the needs of the public they serve every day. You and your employer have an accountability to ensure patients are receiving safe and competent care. It is also very important to note that a public health emergency, such as a pandemic, is not a usual circumstance. This fast-evolving situation may result in a different decision at a different time.

MRTs and ENPs are responsible and accountable for the care they provide and must practice to their level of competence. Although there are elements of professional knowledge and entry-level competencies that cross a broad spectrum of patient groups and areas of practice, they may only be able to do part of a procedure in the setting to which they may be re-deployed.

Regulated members need to assess and communicate the procedures that they can do competently. The discussion with their manager could include asking for an orientation to the new practice setting, asking questions to understand the expectations of them in this situation, and asking for an identified experienced staff member to be a buddy to answer questions when needed.

Healthcare professionals, including MRTs and ENPs, play a significant role in containing the spread of COVID-19. It is vital that MRTs and ENPs adhere to Infection Prevention and Control guidelines.

Alberta Health has effective infection prevention and control measures in place for COVID-19. MRTs and ENPs are required to use appropriate infection prevention and control procedures in the course of providing diagnostic or therapeutic services (Standard 4.2: Safe Practice, indicator e, f).

MRTs and ENPs must:

  • Use good hygiene practices, such as frequent hand-washing
  • Utilize personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriately
  • Adhere with AHS routine practices, including isolation procedures
  • Clean and disinfect equipment and high touch areas as per routine practices

In this type of emergency, MRTs and ENPs are expected to act in the best interests of Albertans at all times within the boundaries of their knowledge and competence (Code of Ethics, Principle 2: Responsibility to the profession, indicator c). You are essential members of the healthcare team, and we thank you for your dedication to provide Albertans safe and competent care during these challenging times.

The College is here to support you. Please feel welcome to contact us at info@acmdtt.com with any questions or concerns.


Code of Ethics

Principle 1 – Responsibility to the public

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

Principle 2 – Responsibility to the profession

c. Boundaries of competence
A regulated member limits their practice to those techniques and procedures which the member is competent and currently authorized to perform by virtue of education and experience and is consistent with the College’s standards.

View the entire Code of Ethics

Standards of Practice

Standard 2.2: Professional Competence

A regulated member of the Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists limits their professional practice to those techniques and procedures that the member is competent to perform, and which are consistent with the College’s Standards. The member is responsible for life-long learning to maintain competence in their practice.

Indicators
To demonstrate this Standard, a regulated member will:
c. Maintain knowledge of current and evolving technologies and integrate new learning into practice, as appropriate.

Standard 3.1: Collaboration/Professional Relationships

A regulated member of the Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists works effectively as a member of an interprofessional team to facilitate safe, competent and ethical service delivery, and to contribute to a positive work environment.

Indicators
To demonstrate this Standard, a regulated member will:
a. Exhibit professionalism as a member of an interprofessional team, serving the best interests of the patient.

Standard 4.2: Safe Practice

A regulated member of the Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists exercises due diligence for the safety of patients, colleagues, self and the general public when conducting procedures and providing services. The member also maintains safe work practices and effectively manages any potential risk to safety by adhering to relevant provincial and federal regulations and employer/organization policies and procedures.

Indicators
To demonstrate this Standard, a regulated member will:
e. Apply the appropriate infection prevention and control standards to prevent contamination of persons, equipment and environment (e.g., perform aseptic or sterile technique, isolation precautions, use and reprocessing of reusable medical devices and employ routine practices).
f. Recognize an emergency situation and take appropriate action (e.g., seek help, administer first aid/basic life support).

View the entire Standards of Practice