Tom, an MR technologist, has been asked by his employer to protocol exams for the MRI department.

Is this activity within Tom’s scope of practice?

According to Alberta legislation, the activity of protocoling MR exams does not require authorization from the College and this activity may be considered appropriate to the technologist’s area of practice.

What training does Tom have to do in order to perform this activity?

A College-approved program is not required as no authorization is needed; it is, however, expected that Tom  will have received appropriate training to perform this activity safely, ethically and competently. It is expected that Tom would only protocol exams within his specialty (i.e. an MR technologist would protocol MR exams and a radiological technologist would protocol CT).

Tom should ask himself:

  • Does he have the knowledge to perform this competently? For example, consider training in protocoling.
  • Does he have the skills to perform this competently? For example, training and familiarity with the procedures being protocoled.

What Standards of Practice apply to this scenario?

As a regulated member of the College, a member needs to 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:

  1. ensure readiness for the procedure (e.g., confirm type and appropriateness of procedure ordered, ensure requisition contains required information)
  2. possess the necessary competence to perform the procedure safely, effectively and ethically
  3. ensure patient safety
  4. select appropriate equipment and parameters
  5. identify and communicate with the appropriate healthcare provider any procedural concerns

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. practice within the limits of the regulated member’s competence
  2. maintain knowledge of current and evolving technologies and integrate new learning into clinical practice as appropriate

Code of Ethics

Principle 1 Responsibility to the public

  1. Professional judgment
  2. A regulated member exhibits sound judgement in ensuring that procedures performed are medically appropriate and requested by an appropriately-authorized healthcare provider using consultation as required.

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