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Patient advocacy

 

MRTs recognize their professional responsibility to act as advocates for the patients within their care

 

+ What is patient advocacy?

  • Patient advocacy regards any activity which ultimately benefits a patient through a combination of promotion and protection of rights and interests.1
  • For health professionals, advocacy is an expression of professionalism and includes:2
    • Compassion and concern
    • Commitment
    • An ethical approach to problems
    • Protection of another's well-being
    • Promotion of another's best interests

 

  • Successful patient advocacy is achieved through:1,3
    • Respect for patient decisions and autonomy
    • Acknowledgement and support of patients’ rights and preferences
    • Clear and full communication to enable patients to make informed decisions
    • Objectivity in dealings with patients
    • Attention to potential risks
    • Awareness of ethical, legal and related issues

+ Advocacy in practice

  • The CAMRT Standards of Practice refer to the important role of the MRT as an advocate for the patient:4
    • Making the patient the primary focus
    • Providing the best possible health outcome for the patient while minimizing exposure to risk of harm
    • Being accountable to patients, employers and colleagues
    • Engaging in critical self assessment and reflection to critique, develop, and monitor professional practice and improve patient care

 

  • MRTs act as advocates for each patient under their care.1
    • The form that advocacy takes depends on the nature of the individual case
    • In many cases, advocacy is achieved through carrying out best practices in the professional interaction
    • In a few cases, the responsibility for advocacy may require the MRT to actively advocate on the patient's behalf within the healthcare system

 

  • For all patients, the MRT ensures the most appropriate care possible:1
    • Promote patient health through appropriateness of examination or treatment1
    • Ensure radiation exposure (if any) is appropriate and is kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA)1

 

  • If the MRT believes a requisition or prescription does not represent the best course of action, the duty of advocacy requires them as professionals to address this with the radiologist, oncologist or referring healthcare professional.1
  • It is important that patients and family members are given an opportunity to raise their concerns.1
    • Suggestions need to be recorded and acted upon when feasible
    • MRTs should also be aware of the role of the patient relations, patient advocacy, ethics and/or bioethics department at their place of practice and its role in continuing patient advocacy

+ References

  1. Society of Radiographers website. Patient Advocacy. Available at: http://doc-lib.sor.org/patient-advocacy. Accessed April 4, 2012.
  2. Church EJ. Patient Advocacy: the technologist’s role. Radiol Technol 2004;75(4):272-289.
  3. Negarandeh R, Oskouie F, Ahmadi F, et al. Patient advocacy: facilitators and barriers. BMC Nursing 2006;5:3.
  4. Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists. Standards of Practice. Available at: http://www.camrt.ca/abouttheprofession/Standards_of_Practice.pdf. Accessed April 3, 2012.

 

 

Validation

November, 2015

 

 
Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists
85 Albert St, Suite 1000, Ottawa, ON, K1P 6A4
phone: 613 234-0012 / 800 463-9729
fax: 613 234-1097
www.camrt.ca