April 2018

Issue 18


Chair’s message

Welcome to the National Board’s first newsletter for 2018.

In this newsletter we provide an update about our work with the New Zealand Medical Radiation Technologist Board, highlight a research study invitation and take a look at the path to graduation. If you have an interest in standards for education in the profession we are calling for applications for the Accreditation Committee. There is also news from around the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme).

In January 2018 Australian Health Ministers announced new appointments and reappointments to the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia. I would like to welcome the new members to the Board, Dr Caroline Wright (Victoria, radiation therapy), James Green (ACT, nuclear medicine technology), Donisha Duff (Queensland, community member) and Joan Burns (South Australia, community member).

I would also like to thank the Board members who have left and do so leaving the Board in excellent shape. My sincere thanks to Travis Pearson (Qld, nuclear medicine technology) Robyn Hopcroft, (Tas., community member), Stephan Millett (WA, community member), Marcia Fleet (Vic, radiation therapy).

Already, 2018 is shaping up to be another busy year for the Board. We have begun a review of the Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice and I anticipate that these will be available for consultation and feedback later this year. We will be working with other National Boards in reviewing the Code of conduct which is common to many regulated health professions in the National Scheme, and the Medical Radiation Practice Accreditation Committee is reviewing accreditation standards for the profession.

Mark Marcenko
Chair, Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia

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News from the Board

International collaboration: New Zealand exam training workshop

The Chair and Executive Officer (Medical Radiation Practice Board) were in Wellington, New Zealand earlier this year as part of a training workshop for the New Zealand exam content writers. Since 2014 the New Zealand and Australian regulatory boards have been collaborating and working towards greater alignment of qualification requirements and a consistent model of skill and knowledge assurance.

‘It has been a pleasure, once again, to be involved in the work of the New Zealand board. The boards continue to work together to establish registration requirements that reflect the common standard of practice in both countries,’ Mr Marcenko said. ‘Many registered practitioners may not realise that there are reciprocal registration arrangements that exist between Australia and New Zealand. The work of both boards ensures that there are mirroring arrangements for registration and practice in both countries.’

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Expressions of interest, Accreditation Committee ‒ closing soon!

Are you interested in being part of the work that ensures medical radiation practitioners are safe to practise?

The Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia (the Board) is calling for applications from interested persons for appointment to the Accreditation Committee (the committee). The role of the committee is to exercise accreditation functions under the National Law as assigned by the Board.

The Board is seeking applications from:

  • medical radiation practitioners in all divisions of registration who have current knowledge of the capabilities required for practice in the profession; and
  • members of the community;
    • with experience in education and/or assessment; and/or
    • currently holding a senior academic position in an Australian tertiary institution within the discipline of medical radiation science; and/or
    • who possess accreditation experience, external to the medical radiation profession.

The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme) has a commitment to increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ leadership and voices. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are strongly encouraged to apply, as are people from rural or regional areas in Australia.

Appointments are for up to three years and are expected to start in July 2018.

To express your interest in appointment to the Accreditation Committee please see the Vacancies page on the Board’s website.

For general enquiries about the EOI process please contact statutoryappointments@ahpra.gov.au.

The closing date for applications is Friday 13 April 2018.

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Review of Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice

The Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice identify the minimum knowledge, skills and professional attributes necessary for safe, independent practice as a medical radiation practitioner in the relevant areas of practice.

The Board has begun a review of the current professional capabilities that were developed and implemented in 2013. During the process of revision we will undertake public consultation on the revised capabilities in the second half of 2018. We encourage you to keep checking the Board’s website for announcements or click the News tab and check regularly for new consultations.

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Research investigating radiation therapist burnout

From time to time the Board is asked to help with research projects that are related to medical radiation practice and have a connection to the Board’s role in regulating the profession. The Board has agreed to provide information in its newsletter about a research project focusing on radiation therapist burnout. Participation in the research project is voluntary and all information provided as part of the project’s online survey is done so anonymously. 

The online survey has been developed as part of Janine Robertson’s Higher Research Degree at the University of Newcastle. Janine is supervised by Associate Professor Helen Warren Forward, Dr Yolanda Surjan and Dr Ben Britton. The research has been approved by The University of Newcastle Human Research Ethics Committee (H-2017-0409).

The aim of the research is to investigate burnout experienced by radiation therapists. In particular, the research explores:

  • the incidence of burnout in radiation therapists
  • the effect burnout has on the radiation therapist
  • what strategies are currently being used to reduce burnout, and
  • the radiation therapist’s views on strategies to reduce burnout.

The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete, and you will go in the draw to win one of five $50 Westfield gift cards.

To read the participant information statement for this research study please visit the website.

There is a link at the end of the participant information statement for participants who wish to complete the survey.

If you would like more information please contact Ms Janine Robertson (Email: janine.robertson@calvarymater.org.au. Phone: (02) 4940143168).

Thank you for considering this invitation.

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Different study paths, same result: Graduates reflect on journey to registration

In this newsletter we speak to two recent graduates whose study paths differed but have led to both being registered with the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia.

MRPBA Graduate - Ellen FullertonIt’s not everyone who can juggle fulltime study with the commitment required of a professional athlete but Ellen Fullerton did just that.

Ellen graduated last December from the Queensland University of Technology after completing a four-year Bachelor of Medical Imaging and started work as a qualified radiographer in January.

Full-time work has seen her say goodbye to a long and fulfilling career as a competitive swimmer.

Ellen made her first Australian Youth Swimming Team at just 13 and competed as part of this team at numerous international youth competitions before making the senior Australian swim team at 16. Up until the age of 24, she competed internationally every year, including at three world championships.

Ellen is still the current Australian record holder for the short course 400m individual medley and has won this Australian title five times.

For four years while studying for her bachelor degree, Ellen had to juggle 30 hours of swimming training per week with regular physiotherapy/massage sessions and casual work.

‘I often had to play catch up with lectures and tutorials when I was away for competitions and training camps but I was fortunate to have good support.

‘While it was very hard I am so happy that I made the decision to do both (study and sport) as I now have a great job in a profession that I’m really passionate about.’

As a competitive sportswoman, Ellen set high standards of achievement for herself and did not settle for anything less when it came to her studies.

‘I am proud to have graduated with honours while being a professional athlete for most of my degree.’

Ellen said a challenge when transitioning from study to work was ensuring she had all the required documentation and licensing completed before starting.

‘Before graduating it’s important to have all your documents for registration, like your radiation licence, ready to submit to AHPRA to help make the transition to work as a qualified and registered practitioner as smooth and timely as possible.’

Ellen feels very fortunate that her workplace has many opportunities for continuing professional development (CPD) and is looking forward to starting a research project which she hopes to present at a conference next year.

MRPBA Graduate - Nia HardyNia Hardy graduated in December with a combined double degree in Health Science and Medical Radiation Science, specialising in medical imaging. She did her studies at the University of Tasmania and through Charles Sturt University.

Nia was fortunate to be offered a full-time role as a radiographer by the hospital where she completed her clinical residency year.

Transitioning from study to work with its early starts and long hours was an early challenge after years of a few lectures a week and setting a study schedule to suit her.

‘I found it difficult to balance my time between work, university and my social life,’ Nia said.

‘But it’s important to allow yourself time with family and friends, as well as time to exercise while also getting enough sleep.’

As a radiographer in a busy hospital, Nia has been exposed to a range of different environments, such as emergency, theatre and clinical settings.

‘This experience has consolidated my knowledge and allowed me to develop my practical skills, which has helped me feel confident in my ability to work as a medical radiation practitioner.’

Any quiet periods at work have been used to complete CPD requirements and record them.

‘Starting at a new hospital and in a new profession can be quite daunting; and I found learning new protocols and how things in the department were managed a lot to take in all at once,’ Nia said.

She said it was important for new graduates to not feel as though they should know everything following completion of their course and being registered.

‘I have learnt a lot in just three months of full-time work. My ability to communicate with others has also significantly improved, as has my ability to prioritise and manage workloads efficiently.

‘I am looking forward to opportunities in the future to further develop my career in other areas of the profession.’

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National Scheme news

Self-assessment tool launched to help practitioners and advertisers

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and National Boards have launched a self-assessment tool to help health practitioners and other advertisers check and correct their advertising.

The tool was developed in consultation with National Boards and with feedback from AHPRA’s Professions Reference Group.
The tool is easy to use and asks users to consider a number of questions about their advertising which can help them understand if it is in breach of the Guidelines for advertising regulated health services, and in turn the National Law.

The self-assessment tool is the latest of a series of advertising resources for practitioners, healthcare providers and other advertisers of regulated health services to use to help them stay in line with the law.

This work is part of a broader strategy ‒ the Advertising compliance and enforcement strategy for the National Scheme ‒ which started last year. The strategy has met a number of its targets since its launch including clear, concise and helpful correspondence for when AHPRA receives a complaint about advertising and new resources such as:

The self-assessment tool is now available to use on the check, correct and comply section of the AHPRA website.

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National regulation of paramedicine moves a step closer

The national regulation of paramedicine moves a step closer with the appointment of the first Paramedicine Board of Australia.

The federal, state and territory Health Ministers made the announcement of the nine-person board at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council meeting held on 19 October 2017. Paramedicine will be the first profession to be regulated under the National Scheme since 2012.

Registration of paramedicine is due to start from late 2018. Paramedics will be able to register once and practise anywhere in Australia. The title ‘paramedic’ will also become a ‘protected title’ – only people registered with the Board will be able to call themselves a paramedic.

The Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia, along with other National Boards, has contributed to the recent public consultation on the national standards that all paramedics will have to meet.

More information, including news about the implementation of the regulation of paramedics and the newly-appointed Board members, is available on the Paramedicine Board of Australia’s website.

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Keep in touch with the Board

  • Visit the Medical Radiation Practice Board website for the mandatory registration standards, codes, guidelines and FAQ. Visiting the website regularly is the best way to stay in touch with news and updates from the Board.
  • Lodge an online enquiry form.
  • For registration enquiries, call 1300 419 495 (from within Australia) or +61 3 9275 9009 (for overseas callers).
  • To update your contact details for important registration renewal emails and other Board updates, go to the AHPRA website: Update contact details.
  • Address mail correspondence to: Mark Marcenko, Chair, Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne, VIC 3001.

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Page reviewed 12/04/2018