The College of Medical Radiation and Imaging Technologists of Ontario (CMRITO) is monitoring COVID-19 as it relates to the practice of medical radiation and imaging technologists (MRITs) and the services they provide to patients. The Government of Ontario announced a state of emergency in response to the pandemic on March 17, 2020 and the Chief Medical Officer of Health issued a series of directives to regulated health professionals under the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA). All directives were revoked effective June 11, 2022 and replaced with Ministry of Health guidance for health care workers and organizations:
Many health care organizations have implemented their own masking and screening protocols to protect their patients and workers. MRITs are reminded to follow the policies and guidelines of their place of employment as it relates to masking and infection control.
As regulated health professionals, MRITs are accountable to their patients and the public to provide safe, effective and ethical medical radiation and imaging technology services. MRITs do this every day by ensuring that their practice meets the legislative requirements and standards of the profession in all types of practice situations, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. MRITs provide essential, non-essential and elective services to patients, depending on the type of facility in which they practice: hospitals, cancer centres, clinics (independent health facilities), and other facilities.
CMRITO’s role is to support MRITs’ ability to provide safe, effective, and ethical medical radiation and imaging technology services, and to help them understand their professional obligations and accountabilities.
As circumstances change and new guidance is received from the Ministry of Health and the Chief Medical Officer of Health, we will keep you updated.
Please visit the Ministry of Health COVID-19 page and Public Health Ontario websites for the most accurate, up-to-date information, and review our Frequently Asked Questions for information specific to MRITs.
Please continue to keep well by following the infection control processes and protocols implemented by your hospitals and clinics, and stay aware of any COVID-19 developments by monitoring the Ontario Ministry of Health and Government of Canada websites.
The following FAQs may be helpful to MRITs.
What are the accountabilities of MRITs during a pandemic?
In an emergency such as the current pandemic, MRITs are key members of the health care team.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has created challenging times for patients and the health care professionals involved in their care. Recent advice from some health regulators to their members recommends limiting non-essential or elective treatment to patients during the current pandemic. While this may be appropriate for some professions that provide non-essential health care, MRITs have an obligation to act in the best interests of their patients at all times, regardless of the type of illness the patient may have.
CMRITO suggests that MRITs review the protocols in place at their facility to ensure that patients receive the safe, effective and ethical medical radiation and imaging technology services necessary for their care. The CMRITO encourages MRITs to discuss with their facilities and/or managers about which services are essential, in order to create plans to serve those in need.
As an MRIT, what is my accountability for providing care for a patient that may have or has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
You are accountable for making decisions that are in the best interests of your patients and for protecting them from harm. You are also accountable for protecting patients from infection risks. You can do this by:
As an MRIT, you must perform your duties responsibly and in a manner that reflects the profession’s commitment to respect the personal dignity of every patient who entrusts themself to your care.
The CMRITO Standards of Practice describe what you are accountable and responsible for as an MRIT in your practice, and reflect the knowledge, skills and judgement that you need in order to perform the services and procedures that fall within the scope of practice of the profession. Under the Standards of Practice, medical radiation and imaging technologists are expected to be competent, accountable and collaborative.
You can read about your professional accountability to your patients in the publication “What you must know about … Professional Accountability”