+ Communication with the patient and/or caregivers
- The CAMRT Code of Ethics directs MRTs to assist patients and/or caregivers in making informed decisions about care.1
- Patient decisions and consent should be based on fact and a true representation of the benefits and risks of each procedure/treatment.
- The significance of each procedure/treatment as part of their overall management and health should be explained to patients and/or caregivers
- Patients and/or caregivers are made aware that the use of radiation in diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy is always designed to deliver benefit and minimize risks2
- Explanations and answers to patient and/or caregiver questions should be comprehensive and accurate, and remain within the limits of an MRT's knowledge and authority/responsibility
- Information that falls outside the limits of an MRT's knowledge and authority/responsibility is referred to the appropriate healthcare professional
- Clear communication regarding benefit and risk is essential in ensuring understanding:2
- Information is presented in a way that patients and/or caregivers can understand
- Technical information is conveyed in clear, simple, everyday language (avoiding medical jargon)
- Important ideas are emphasized and not lost in the discussion
- Information is current and accurate
- Information is presented in a structured and organized way
- MRTs confirm patients and/or caregivers demonstrate comprehension of the information and allow patients the opportunity to ask questions and clarify concerns.
+ Interactive tools
- The task of helping patients and/or caregivers to understand these concepts can be facilitated through the use of interactive tools.
- www.radiologyinfo.org is a useful aid for patient/caregiver education, as it provides:
- Discussion of most available diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
- In-depth explanations aimed at a patient audience
- Important benefits and risks
- In addition, there are some publicly available tools to help patients and/or caregivers understand abstract concepts like radiation dose (see Useful links).2
- The risk calculator at www.xrayrisk.com is a useful tool to relate the concept of radiation dose as an equivalent amount of exposure to the natural background radiation
- Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists. Code of Ethics. Available at: http://www.camrt.ca/abouttheprofession/codeofethics/. Accessed March 27, 2013.
- Joint Task Force on Adult Radiation Protection. Image Wisely. How to Understand and Communicate Radiation Risk. Available at: http://www.imagewisely.org/Imaging-Professionals/Medical-Physicists/Articles/How-to-Understand-and-Communicate-Radiation-Risk. Accessed March 21, 2013.