Scopes of Practice > Medical Radiation Technologists



Scope of Practice from Individual Acts

The practice of medical radiation technology is the use of ionizing radiation, electromagnetism and other prescribed forms of energy for the purposes of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, the evaluation of images and data relating to the procedures and the assessment of an individual before, during and after the procedures.



Alternate / Additional Description of Scope

Medical radiation technologists (MRTs) apply ionizing radiation, radiopharmaceuticals, and electromagnetism to patients to create images and data that are part of diagnostic imaging examinations or that are used for defining and recording treatment parameters. MRTs also administer ionizing radiation to treat cancer and other diseases. MRTs assess and monitor the patient in their care, and administer diagnostic and therapeutic substances orally, by injection or inhalation, or into the body through an orifice.

MRTs who apply ionizing radiation do so under the authority of and in accordance with the Healing Arts Radiation Protection Act and, where applicable, the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and their respective regulations. MRTs are permitted to apply electromagnetism for magnetic resonance imaging under an exemption set out in the Controlled Acts regulation made under the Regulated Health Professions Act.

MRTs create images and data that are sufficiently accurate and clear for the diagnostic or therapeutic procedures, while, in the case of procedures that use ionizing radiation, using only the minimum amount of radiation necessary during the course of the procedure. MRTs are proficient in evaluating the images, data and tests relating to the procedures to ensure that the images, data and tests are satisfactory.

MRTs administer ionizing radiation, radiopharmaceuticals and electromagnetism accurately and in accordance with the order of the physician or other authorized health professional for the diagnostic or therapeutic procedure and the applicable legislation. MRTs must not apply or administer ionizing radiation or radiopharmaceuticals unless the conditions under the applicable legislation (including without limitation, the Healing Arts Radiation Protection Act and its regulations and the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, its regulations and licences issued thereunder) have been met.

Under the Medical Radiation Technology Act, MRTs are authorized to perform five controlled acts ("authorized acts") as required in the course of engaging in the practice of the profession. They must not perform the authorized acts or any exempted controlled act unless the conditions under the Regulated Health Professions Act, the Medical Radiation Technology Act and their respective regulations, and the Standards of Practice have been met.

MRTs practice in health care facilities, including hospitals, clinics and cancer centres. There are four specialties for medical radiation technologists:

Radiography
Radiography is the use of x-rays to produce images of parts of the body for the diagnosis of disease, trauma and congenital abnormalities. Medical radiation technologists registered in radiography may perform general x-rays, fluoroscopic examinations, angiography, mammography and computed tomography.

Nuclear Medicine
Nuclear medicine is the use of radiopharmaceuticals to produce images of the body and treat disease. Medical radiation technologists registered in nuclear medicine use gamma cameras and computer systems to assess organ function and structure, and help in the diagnoses of numerous disorders. Nuclear medicine is used in the treatment of thyroid diseases, certain blood disorders, and bone metastases.

Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy is the use of ionizing radiation to treat diseases such as cancer. Medical radiation technologists registered in radiation therapy work together with oncologists to plan treatment, administer treatment and educate the patient on how to cope with side effects.

Magnetic Resonance
Magnetic resonance is the use of electromagnetism to produce diagnostic images. Medical radiation technologists registered in magnetic resonance play a significant role in imaging the brain, spine, abdomen, pelvis and the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems.

MRTs are required to have an order from a regulated health professional, with the authority to order, prior to performing a procedure, treatment or intervention. The health professional, with the authority to order, may vary depending on the type of procedure, treatment or intervention:

  • For the application of ionizing radiation: the order must be from a physician or other authorized health professional listed in the Healing Arts Radiation Protection Act or regulations
  • For nuclear medicine procedures: the order must be from a person authorized under the regulations made under the Public Hospitals Act or in accordance with the generally accepted professional standards established under the Independent Health Facilities Act
  • For the application of electromagnetism for magnetic resonance imaging procedures: the order must be from a physician or another authorized health professional listed in the Controlled Acts regulation made under the Regulated Health Professions Act
  • For authorized acts (other than the application of electromagnetism for magnetic resonance imaging procedures): the order must be from a physician

For authorized acts (other than the application of electromagnetism for magnetic resonance imaging procedures): the order must be from a physician



Summarized Controlled Acts

Administering a substance by injection or inhalation

Applying or ordering the application of a form of energy (partial)

Performing a procedure on tissue below the dermis

Putting an instrument, hand or finger, into natural or artificial body openings (partial)



Authorized Acts

4. In the course of engaging in the practice of medical radiation technology, a member is authorized, subject to the terms, conditions and limitations imposed on his or her certificate of registration, to perform the following:

1. Administering substances by injection or inhalation.

2. Tracheal suctioning of a tracheostomy.

3. Administering contrast media, or putting an instrument, hand or finger,

i. beyond the opening of the urethra,

ii. beyond the labia majora,

iii. beyond the anal verge, or

iv. into an artificial opening of the body.

4. Performing a procedure on tissue below the dermis.

5. Applying a prescribed form of energy. 2009, c. 26. s. 14.

Additional requirements for authorized acts

5.(1) A member shall not perform a procedure under the authority of paragraphs 1 to 4 of section 4 unless the procedure is ordered by a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. 2009, c. 26. s. 14.

Same

(2) A member shall not perform a procedure under paragraph 5 of section 4 unless the procedure is ordered by a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario or a member of any other College who is authorized to order the procedure. 2009, c. 26. s. 14.