MRTs monitor all patients in their care by maintaining communication and visual contact (to the greatest extent possible) throughout the procedure or treatment, and respond to changes in patient condition
- Monitoring allows healthcare professionals to detect changes in patient condition, and take action to prevent potential adverse events1.
- CAMRT Competency Profiles for MRTs cite monitoring as a core expectation of the profession2-5.
- Patient monitoring encompasses an MRT’s responsibility to take an active role in patient care and assessment, including:
- Initial assessment
- Monitoring and responding to changes in physical status
- Assessing and responding to a patient’s psychological and emotional status
- Monitoring and responding to patients’ therapeutic and supportive devices
- A patient’s condition is monitored throughout their procedures/treatments.
- The extent of monitoring and assessment depends on patient condition, type of procedure or treatment, facility policy, and the order from the patient’s physician.
- Monitoring may include visual, auditory, and physiological assessments
- Some patients require constant monitoring with electronic and physiologic equipment
- Others are only assessed physiologically at initiation of the procedure or treatment and monitored visually and through direct communication thereafter
- Normal physiological signs, symptoms and ranges and the significance of abnormalities are fully understood by MRTs.
- MRTs are aware of and monitor patients for possible adverse reactions (e.g., contrast reactions)
- MRTs use visual assessment and skills to observe the patient under their care and take note of physical characteristics such as6:
- Skin colour (e.g., pale, flushed, cyanotic)
- Level of consciousness
- Breathing (e.g., rate, depth, effort)
- MRTs monitor a patient’s vital signs when necessary and recognizes changes in patient condition if they occur7.
- MRTs maintain communication with a patient throughout a procedure or treatment, where possible, to monitor both their physical and emotional state:
- Assess and respond to physical discomfort
- Assess consciousness
- Maintain emotional support and guidance
- Recognize patient distress and act by comforting, assessing, and/or escalating the response as needed
- MRTs are aware of the emergency processes and protocols and take steps to be prepared to respond at any time.
- MRTs understand what emergency situations may arise in the workplace and in their discipline.
- MRTs have the skills, knowledge and competency to assess patients and initiate emergency care response when and if the circumstances arise
- MRTs work with leadership to ensure processes and protocols are in place to address emergency situations
- MRTs obtain the assistance of other healthcare professionals when required
- MRTs also understand when a change in status requires a delay or adaptation to the procedure and/or treatment.
- Significant changes in patient status during the course of the procedure or treatment are documented in the patient records and reported to a physician if necessary/appropriate.
Davies MA, Tales H. Enhancing Patient Safety Through a Standardized Model of Physiologic Monitoring. Healthcare Quarterly 2005;8(Sp):49-52.
Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists. Competency Profile, Magnetic Resonance. January 2014. Available from: http://www.camrt.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Modified-MR-profile-Final.pdf. [Accessed 24 Sept, 2018]
Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists. Competency Profile, Nuclear Medicine Technology. January 2014. Available from: http://www.camrt.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Modified-NM-Profile-Final-.pdf. [Accessed 24 Sept 2018]
Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists. Competency Profile, Radiation Therapy. January 2014. Available from: http://www.camrt.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Modified-Therapy-profile-Final-.pdf. Accessed 24 Sept 2018.
Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists. Competency Profile, Radiological Technology. camrt.ca. January 2014. Available from: http://www.camrt.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Modified-Rad-Tech-Profile-Final.pdf. [Accessed 24 Sept 2018]
Ehrlich RA, Coakes DM. Patient Care in Radiography with an Introduction to Medical Imaging. 9th ed. Elsevier; 2017.
Adler AM, Carlton RR. Introduction to radiologic sciences and patient care. 5th ed. St. Louis, MO: Saunders; 2011.