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.
In hospitals and cancer clinics, radiation therapists are key members of the cancer treatment team. More than half of all cancer patients receive radiation treatments, which may be given in conjunction with other forms of treatment.
Radiation therapists use focused beams of radiation to destroy tumours, while minimizing harm to healthy tissues. Alternatively, treatment may involve placing radioactive sources directly into the patient's body.
To destroy cancerous tissue, radiation therapy involves exposure to higher doses of radiation than are required for diagnostic imaging. It is therefore vital that the radiation be precisely targeted and the dose to the patient be carefully monitored.
The radiation therapist plays another important role - counseling patients on possible side effects from treatment and providing advice on how to minimize them.
As part of their professional duty, radiation therapists:
- EXPLAIN procedures
- COMFORT patients
- ANSWER questions as fully as possible
- PLAN radiation treatments
- POSITION the patient and equipment correctly
- ENSURE proper radiation handling and protection techniques are followed
- ADMINISTER radiation treatments
- MONITOR patients during procedures
- PROVIDE emotional support
- CONTRIBUTE to patient education
For more information on other MRT disciplines, click on its link below.
Nuclear Medicine Technologists
Magnetic Resonance Technologists