MRTs provide patients and/or caregivers with an accurate description of procedures and associated risks in a truthful and comprehensible manner
- The CAMRT Member Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct directs MRTs to assist patients and/or caregivers in making informed decisions about care1.
- 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 procedure/treatment is 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 understanding2:
- 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.
- 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
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Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists. Member Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. Nov 2015. CAMRT. Available from: https://www.camrt.ca/mrt-profession/professional-resources/code-of-ethics/. [Accessed 12 Dec 2019]
Joint Task Force on Adult Radiation Protection. Image Wisely. How to Understand and Communicate Radiation Risk. Available at: https://www.imagewisely.org/-/media/Image-Wisely/Files/CT/IW-Peck-Samei-Radiation-Risk.pdf?la=en. [Accessed 12 Dec 2019]