What We Do
We are the technologists who perform diagnostic imaging examinations and administer radiation therapy treatments. So, if you have ever had an x-ray, scan, MRI, nuclear medicine procedure or radiation therapy, you have been in contact with an MRT. Technologists also work in interventional radiology, assisting with procedures that use imaging to guide catheters, balloons, stents and other tools through the body to diagnose and treat disease without open surgery. We can be found in emergency departments, operating rooms, mobile breast screening vans as well as diagnostic imaging departments and clinics.
As MRTs, we provide service to both the public and private sectors within the Canadian healthcare system. Our key role is in diagnosis and treatment, and we serve as advisors to radiologists, radiation oncologists and other healthcare providers.
Because we deal with patients on the front lines, we also serve as patient advocates and educators. Some of us are also healthcare researchers, technical and therapy specialists, and interdisciplinary consultants.
Radiological (or x-ray) technologists make up about 80% of the 10,000 members represented by the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT).
At a physician's request, the radiological technologist produces images of a body part or system using equipment that emits x-rays. The radiologist - a doctor who specializes in interpreting x-rays - studies the images and dispenses advice that helps the treating physician make a diagnosis and prescribe an appropriate course of treatment for the patient.
The radiological technologist profession encompasses a broad variety of procedures and covers a number of specialties, including:
- Radiation Technology ie: using x-rays to image parts of the body such as the chest, bones, joints, spine;
- Mammography to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages;
- Angiography to examine the heart, blood vessels and blood flow;
- Fluoroscopy — Real-time images that show how the systems in the body function, for example, the gastrointestinal or urinary systems of a patient;
- Computerized tomography (CT scans), i.e., detailed cross-sectional images of the body;
- Technologists are responsible for the quality of the x-ray images and for providing the correct view of specific body structures or systems for display on the network system for viewing by radiologists, doctors and specialists.
- Some procedures require that barium and/or a dye called contrast medium be given to patients to highlight organs and structures that would not otherwise be seen.
As part of their professional duty, radiological technologists:
- EXPLAIN the procedure to patients
- ANSWER questions as fully as possible
- CONTRIBUTE to patient education
- COMFORT patients and provide emotional support
- POSITION patients and equipment correctly
- ADMINISTER radiation
- PROTECT patients, staff and visitors from radiation
- MONITOR patients during the procedure
- ASSIST the radiologist for angiograms and interventional procedures
- OPERATE the equipment safely and accurately
For more information on other MRT disciplines, click on its link below.Radiation therapists
Nuclear Medicine Technologists
Magnetic Resonance Technologists