Patient education is provided as an integral part of every medical imaging or therapeutic procedure
- Education takes place before and throughout the procedure or treatment1-4.
- Education is an essential part of the consent process5.
- All patient questions are answered prior to moving forward/continuing with a procedure/treatment which can decrease anxiety5,8
- Patients are educated regarding their care to assure their full understanding of the procedure/treatment1-4:
- Use terms and language the patient can understand
- Personalize standard explanations where possible
- Provide patients the opportunity to have their questions or concerns addressed in all phases of a procedure or treatment
- Addressing questions before the procedure/treatment has been shown to lead to better outcomes6.
- For example, it can help to alleviate any anxiety6,8
- Answer questions clearly and use terms the patient will understand.
- Information should be geared to the individual, for some patients you may be able to give more detail or use medical terms
- For patients with a limited understanding of the language spoken by the MRT, interpretation must be provided to the patient.
- When the question is beyond the MRT’s scope of practice it should be referred to the most appropriate healthcare professional(s).
- It is not within the MRT’s scope of practice to share information with the patient on their diagnosis, prognosis, etc.
- Communicating a diagnosis is a controlled/reserved medical act in many Canadian jurisdictions5,6
- What needs to be discussed with the patient varies by procedure:
- Radiological technology
- Nuclear medicine
- Magnetic resonance
- Radiation therapy
- Printed, video or interactive materials often help to illustrate the concepts you are explaining.
- All materials should be easy to understand, available in other languages, and reflective of the patient population7
Kowalczyk N, Donnett K. Integrated Patient Care for the Imaging Professional. St. Louis, MO: Mosby-Year Book Inc.; 1996.
Ehrlich RA, Coakes DM. Patient Care in Radiography with an Introduction to Medical Imaging. 9th ed. Elsevier; 2017.
Dowd SB, Ott K. The radiologic technologist’s role in patient education. Radiol Technol. 1998;69(5):443–460.
O’Connor G, Drennan C. Optimising patient care: meeting the needs of the paediatric oncology patient. J Diag Radiog Imag. 2003;5:33–38.
Rozovsky LE. The Canadian law of consent to treatment. 3rd ed. Toronto, ON: Lexis Nexis Canada Inc.; 2003.
Stewart MA. Effective physician-patient communication and health outcomes: a review. CMAJ. 1995;152(9):1423-1433.
Nova Scotia Health Authority. Patient Education. NSHA Library Services. Available from: http://library.nshealth.ca/PatientEducation. [Accessed 15 May 2018]
Canil T, Cashell A, Papadakos J, et al. Evaluation of the Effects of Pre-Treatment Education on Self-Efficacy and Anxiety in Patients Receiving Radiation Therapy: A Pilot Study. J Med Imaging Radiat Sci. 2012;43:221-227.