3215 Medical radiation technologists

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Lead statement

This unit group includes technologists who operate radiographic and radiation therapy equipment to administer radiation treatment and produce images of body structures for the diagnosis and treatment of injury and disease. They are employed in hospitals, cancer treatment centres, clinics, radiological laboratories, colleges and universities. Medical radiation technologists who are supervisors or instructors are included in this unit group.

Example Titles

  • mammography technician
  • nuclear medicine clinical instructor
  • nuclear medicine technologist
  • nuclear medicine technologists supervisor
  • radiation oncology technologist
  • radiation therapist
  • radiation therapy clinical instructor
  • radiation therapy technologist (RTT)
  • radiography technologist
  • radiological technologist
  • radiotherapy technician
  • X-ray (radiology) technician

Inclusion(s)

  • diagnostic imaging technologist
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologist

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:

Radiological technologists
  • Operate X-ray, radiographic and fluoroscopic equipment, computerized tomography (CT) scanners, mammography units and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to produce radiographs or anatomic images of the human body for the diagnosis by radiologists of disease or injury
  • Record and process patient data
  • Perform basic verification and quality control checks on radiographic and film processing equipment
  • Provide appropriate care and monitoring of the patient during the radiographic examination
  • Explain procedures, position patient and equipment and apply radiation protection measures
  • May train and supervise student radiographers or supervise other radiological technologists.
  • Radiological technologists may specialize in areas such as computerized tomography, angiography, mammography, magnetic resonance imaging, interventional radiology, dosimetry, stereotaxy or brachytherapy.
    Nuclear medicine technologists
    • Prepare and administer radiopharmaceuticals, such as radionuclides and other tracer materials to patients or to biological samples
    • Operate radiation detection equipment, such as gamma cameras, scanners, scintillation counters, tomodensitometers and ionization chambers, to acquire data for use by nuclear medicine physicians in the diagnosis of disease
    • Perform diagnostic procedures using radioactive materials on biological specimens, such as blood, urine and faeces
    • Record and process results of procedures
    • Check equipment to ensure proper operation
    • Provide appropriate care and monitoring of the patient during the examination
    • Apply radiation protection measures
    • May train and supervise student nuclear medicine technologists or supervise other nuclear medicine technologists.
    Radiation therapists
    • Operate linear accelerators, cobalt 60, X-ray and other radiation therapy equipment to administer radiation treatment prescribed by radiation oncologists
    • Check radiation therapy equipment to ensure proper operation
    • Assist radiation oncologists and clinical physicists with preparation of radiation treatment plan
    • Assist in the preparation of sealed radioactive materials such as cobalt, radium, cesium and isotopes and the construction of devices such as plaster casts and acrylic moulds to assist with administration of radiation treatment
    • Provide appropriate care and monitoring of the patient's physical and psychological well-being during the entire course of treatment
    • Explain procedures and side effects of radiation
    • May train and supervise student radiotherapy technologists or supervise other radiotherapy technologists.

    Employment requirements

    • Completion of a two- to three-year college, hospital or other approved program in diagnostic radiography or magnetic resonance imaging (for radiological technologists and magnetic resonance technologists), nuclear medicine technology (for nuclear medicine technologists) or radiation therapy (for radiation therapists) or a bachelor of health sciences in radiography, nuclear medicine or radiation therapy and a period of supervised practical training are required.
    • Licensure with a regulatory body is required in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
    • Membership with a provincial association is required in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba.
    • Certification by the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists is required in all provinces except Quebec and British Columbia.

    Additional information

    • There is no mobility between the three types of medical radiation technologists without further training.
    • Experience as a medical radiation technologist is required for supervisors and instructors.

    Exclusions