Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia - Professional capabilities for medical radiation practitioners released to celebrate World Radiography Day
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Professional capabilities for medical radiation practitioners released to celebrate World Radiography Day

08 Nov 2019

The Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia (the Board) has published revised Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice (the professional capabilities) to ensure that the medical radiation practice workforce is ready for, and adaptable to, technological change while continuing to deliver safe contemporary practice.

The Board published the professional capabilities on World Radiography Day, well in advance of them coming into effect on 1 March 2020, to help Australia’s 16,718 medical radiation practitioners understand what they mean and how they can apply them to their practice.

This special day is celebrated every 8 November and marks the anniversary of the discovery of X-rays by Wilhelm Roentgen in 1895. This year’s theme set by the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists (ISRRT) is ‘Your safety, our priority’ with a focus on how practitioners can promote and maintain a safety culture.

Along with the professional capabilities the Board has published new resources including fact sheets for education providers and clinical supervisors, frequently asked questions and a policy to help practitioners to communicate safely if urgent or unexpected findings are identified.

Board Chair Mr Mark Marcenko said the Board chose this special day as it is meaningful to medical radiation practitioners and recognises their contribution to modern healthcare, which is something the professional capabilities also do.

‘We know that medical radiation practitioners choose the profession as a career for its focus and contribution to a modern healthcare system across Australia. There many ways as a medical radiation practitioner you make this contribution; as professionals, as partners in care, as communicators and collaborators, as educators and as radiation safety experts. The capabilities are core professional documents for all the roles outlined – they are foundational for your career development and you have a responsibility to understand and apply them to your professional practice,’ he said.

The revised professional capabilities:

  • Strengthen the requirements for recognising and responding to the deteriorating patient.
  • Obliges practitioners to alert other health practitioners involved in the care of a patient when urgent or unexpected findings are identified.
  • Introduce new minimum capabilities for ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • Improve practitioner capabilities when using scheduled medicines.
  • Make cultural safety a key component of safe healthcare particularly with respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

‘World Radiography Day this year focusses on safety. The importance of safety in healthcare cannot be stressed enough, as practitioners provide services from diagnosing diseases, conditions, or injuries to therapeutic uses such as in radiotherapy for cancer patients. Good practice obliges practitioners to be aware of changes in practice, to stay current with contemporary models of care, and to reflect on and modify practice as appropriate. Practitioners can achieve this by meeting their professional capabilities, which puts patients the centre of care by ensuring safe care and acknowledging the need to enhance their cultural competence and cultural safety,’ he added.

The Board developed the revised capabilities after an extensive review and consultations with practitioners, employers, professional associations, education providers and health consumer organisations. The majority of responses to the consultation on the revised professional capabilities were positive.

Recognising that public safety is at the core of our work, the Board will carry out a review of the Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice to consider if there are any unintended consequences that have arisen 12 months after they come into effect. As part of the review the Board will consult with stakeholders including patient safety bodies and healthcare consumer bodies.

To find out more about the professional capabilities go to the Board’s website

For more information

  • Follow the conversation on social media, using the #MRPBA2019 hashtag.
  • For registration enquiries: 1300 419 495 (within Australia).
  • For media enquiries: (03) 8708 9200.
Page reviewed 8/11/2019