Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia - December 2023
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December 2023

Issue 36 - December 2023


From the Chair

Welcome to the summer edition of our newsletter, which is the last newsletter for 2023.

For those of you who have recently registered as a medical radiation practitioner for the first time, congratulations and welcome to the profession.

With the national focus still on health workforce, 2023 has been a big year and seems to have passed quickly. We have progressed a lot of regulatory work, and we will be looking to do the same in 2024.

Our Teaching On The Run workshops for clinical educators and student supervisors will be offered again next year. Program details for 2024 will be published soon.

The past few years have been challenging for medical radiation practitioners, not just in Australia but also globally. These challenges put ongoing pressure on the workforce while it provides high-quality care. On behalf of the National Board, thank you for all the good work you are doing.

A big thank you must go to those practitioners giving up time with their own families over the holiday period to provide care for patients and communities.

Season’s greetings and all the best for 2024.

Cara Miller
Chair, Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia


Board news

Symposium 2023 generates future-focused discussions

A big thank you to all those who attended Symposium 2023 in October. The program included a great line up of speakers and panellists, and across the day we had more than 250 people join us both in Melbourne and online.

With the focus on issues related to capacity, capability and collaboration, there was much to discuss. A highlight of the day was questions from the audience that prompted lively and topical discussions about the future of the medical radiation practice workforce.

The Board spent the day listening to the discussions occurring not just on the stage but also at the tables and during breaks. This feedback will form part of a report that will outline actions for the Board to consider, and how it can work with others to achieve some of the desired changes.

Results from the post-event survey were very positive and the Board is looking at how we might make this a more regular event. Each session was recorded, and these can be viewed on the Board website in the Events section of the News and consultations tab.

Basic life support and anaphylaxis management

The professional capabilities require all medical radiation practitioners to have and maintain capabilities for recognising and responding to acute physiological deterioration. Completion of Basic Life Support (BLS) or similar first aid training is fundamental to being able to appropriately recognise and respond to acute deterioration. Regularly refreshing these skills is also a professional obligation.

Anaphylaxis is an acute condition that must be managed promptly to ensure patient safety. Delays or failure to treat anaphylaxis causes significantly poorer outcomes for patients. As part of the obligations for recognising and responding to acute patient deterioration, medical radiation practitioners must be aware of the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and understand the management protocols.

The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) has published resources for anaphylaxis. ASCIA’s online learning courses (www.allergy.org.au/hp/hp-e-training) provide easy access to reliable health professional education which is free of charge to practitioners in Australia and New Zealand.

Professional associations such as the Australian Society of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy and the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine also run anaphylaxis recognition and management workshops.

Medical radiation practitioners should be familiar with and regularly review:

Important note: Medical radiation practitioners in Australia do not currently have authorisation to use or otherwise administer adrenaline.

Renew your registration online before it lapses

Medical radiation practitioners who did not renew their general or non-practising registration by 30 November must renew now in the late period before their registration expires on 31 December.

If you don’t renew before the end of the late period your registration will lapse, your details will be removed from the Register of practitioners, and you won’t be able to use the protected titles for the medical radiation profession.

If you submit your application during the one-month late period in December, you can continue practising while your application is assessed.

Look out for an email from Ahpra providing access to online renewal.

Fees for 2023–24

The registration fee for medical radiation practitioners has increased from $203 to $209 (3 per cent increase). This will cover the registration period from 1 December 2023 to 30 November 2024.

Keeping fees as low as possible while ensuring we can meet our regulatory obligations is an ongoing priority for the Board.

Got questions?

Read the renewal FAQs on the Ahpra website for helpful tips and information on what you need to do to renew.

We cover common questions on professional indemnity insurance, recency of practice, continuing professional development, and what to do if you have a change in your criminal history or health impairments that you need to tell us about.


Students and graduates

Graduate registration is open – apply now

Need help applying?

Check out our graduate video to help you get your application right.

You’ll find the video, plus helpful advice, tips for avoiding common causes of delay and downloadable information flyers, on the Graduate applications page of the Ahpra website.

A new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement and Support team (the support team) is also available for First Nations graduates who might need help with or have questions about their application for registration.

The support team is committed to helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates get registered promptly so you can start making vital contributions to safe healthcare and to your communities. If, after reading our helpful tips, you would still like help with your application for registration, please email the support team at [email protected].

Who can certify documents?

In addition to Justices of the Peace (JP), most registered health practitioners, public servants, teachers, lecturers and members of the legal profession can certify photographic ID documents. For the full list of authorised officers see the Certifying documents guide.

Make sure you provide correct photo ID

It's important that you provide correctly certified photo ID documents with your application as the wording required is specific:

I certify that this is a true copy of the original and the photograph is a true likeness of the person presenting the document as sighted by me.’

To get it right the first time, download the Certifying documents guide and take it with you to the authorised officer.

Meeting the registration standards

You may need to provide supporting documents with your application to prove that you meet the Medical Radiation Practice Board’s registration standards, including meeting the English language skills requirements. Make sure you provide all the documents we need with your application so we can assess it more quickly.

How long does it take to assess my application?

We can’t finalise your application until we receive your graduation results from your education provider.

If you’ve submitted everything needed to prove you’ve met the requirements for registration, we aim to finalise your application within two weeks of receiving your graduation results.

For more information, read the news item.


Registration news

Latest workforce data released

The Board’s quarterly registration data to 30 September 2023 has been published. At this date, there were 19,192 registered medical radiation practitioners, of whom 18,701 have general registration. This figure includes 15,088 diagnostic radiographers, 2,796 radiation therapists and 1,292 nuclear medicine technologists.

There are 13,215 female practitioners (68.9%) and 5,974 male practitioners (31.1%). Three practitioners identified as intersex or indeterminate (<0.1%). A total of 122 practitioners identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

For more data, including registration by principal place of practice and age, visit our Statistics page to read the report.


What’s new?

Work to eliminate racism from Australian healthcare recognised internationally

The Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation (CLEAR) serves and supports the international regulatory community. Its global membership promotes regulatory excellence to improve the quality and understanding of regulation to enhance public protection. At its annual educational conference in the United States, CLEAR presented an award to Ahpra’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Unit (HSU), highlighting its critical role in dismantling racist behaviours and systems in healthcare.

Established in 2021, the HSU ensures that Indigenous experts lead reforms to make regulatory processes culturally safe and free from racism, and that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are represented in decision-making. The HSU draws on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Group, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals, practitioners, peak bodies and race scholars to shape its transformative work.

Led by Gomeroi woman Jayde Fuller, the HSU drives Ahpra’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety Strategy 2020–2025 and its goal of eliminating racism from the health system by 2032. Ms Fuller told the conference: ‘Culturally safe healthcare for Indigenous people has been a commitment in our organisation for six years – but we've been protecting our communities for 65,000 years and regulators can learn a lot from our survival and ways of knowing, being and doing.’

‘Healthcare should not be harmful. We are taking a strategic approach to dismantling all forms of racism – systemic, institutional and interpersonal. This includes ownership and accountability by providers, practitioners and regulators for creating safe healthcare,’ Ms Fuller said.

The CLEAR award recognises the HSU’s role in driving world-first reform to embed cultural safety and the elimination of racism in healthcare into Australian legislation. The law reforms mean that if Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people receive care that is racist and unsafe and their complaint enters the regulatory system, cultural safety must be considered. As well, registered health practitioners are required to take steps to educate themselves on cultural safety in relation to the accessibility of their services.

The award also highlights the HSU’s work to:

  • include an agreed definition of cultural safety in the codes of conduct for more than 877,000 registered health practitioners
  • create a culturally safe notification process for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people making a complaint
  • implement cultural safety continual professional development (CPD) for all registered health practitioners.

For more information, read the news item.

New checklist launched to help practitioners manage complaints

A new Checklist for practitioners has been developed to help resolve feedback or complaints made directly to practitioners or the health service where you are working.

We know that receiving negative feedback or a complaint can be confronting and stressful and as well as this resource we have published a list of general support services.

You might find this checklist helpful when a complaint is first raised with you by a patient or client, and it may also be relevant to those who have a role in establishing and maintaining complaints systems and processes at a health service.

When feedback or complaints are managed well, they can result in improvements that increase patient, client and community confidence in you as a practitioner. They can also help prevent concerns escalating to an external complaint body or regulator.

The checklist was developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Ahpra and the 15 National Boards as part of a joint project with the commission, with work also underway on resources to help consumers navigate the various complaints options available.

The checklist, along with other resources covering a range of topics to support your practice, is available on Ahpra’s Resources page.

Cosmetic procedures in the spotlight one year on from surgery review

Cosmetic procedures, including Botox and other anti-wrinkle injections and fillers, will be under the spotlight in an expansion of Ahpra’s year-long crackdown on Australia’s cosmetic surgery industry. Stronger public safeguards are needed because of escalating consumer demand for non-surgical cosmetic procedures and more health practitioners seeking a career in the cosmetics industry.

One year on from the cosmetic surgery review, work is complete on most reforms with higher practice standards and new advertising rules for medical practitioners now in place. Further reforms will focus on the non-surgical cosmetic procedures industry with new guidelines coming for all health practitioners providing these services.

The planned overhauls are likely to place a stronger emphasis on informed consent and pre-procedure consultation, including a patient suitability assessment. There will also be a focus on prescribing and administering prescription-only cosmetic injectables.

Proposed new advertising guidelines are likely to focus on the use of ‘before and after’ images, claims about expertise and qualifications of practitioners, and affirm the ban on the use of testimonials. There will also be clear rules on the use of influencers and social media figures.

Public consultation on the proposed guidelines is now open and closes on 2 February 2024. Final guidelines will be released in the first half of next year.

Read more in the news item.

Win for patient safety with ‘surgeon’ now a protected title

Only specialist surgeons will be able to call themselves ‘surgeon’ under new legislation to restrict the use of the title by registered medical practitioners. The change means that a medical practitioner will only be able to use the title ‘surgeon’ if they are registered in one of the recognised specialties of surgery.

The amendment to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law legally protects the title ‘surgeon' from being used by any doctor without the necessary qualifications and training. Before this, any registered medical practitioner could call themselves a surgeon, even if they were not registered in a surgical specialty or had not completed specialist training in surgery.

The move supports the work of Ahpra and the Medical Board of Australia to clean up the cosmetic surgery industry, with only specialist doctors now able to call themselves a ‘cosmetic surgeon’, and complements the Medical Board’s introduction of an endorsement for cosmetic surgery. Both will help patients understand who is qualified and equip them to make informed choices.

Doctors who use the title illegally may face criminal and/or regulatory action.

Read more in the news item.

Listen to the latest podcasts

Ahpra’s Taking care podcast series covers a wide range of current issues in patient safety and healthcare in conversation with health experts and other people in our community. Listen and subscribe by searching for Taking care in your podcast player (for example Apple Podcasts or Spotify), or listen on our website.

The latest episode is ‘Coming to a land down under: Australia as a destination for health practitioners’. This episode examines the path overseas-qualified health workers must tread when wanting to work in Australia.


National Scheme newsletter

Click on the image below to read the National Scheme newsletter. You can subscribe on the newsletter webpage.

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Stay in touch with the Board

  • Visit the Medical Radiation Practice Board website for news about the profession, information on the National Scheme and for registration standards, codes, guidelines, policies and fact sheets.
  • Lodge an online enquiry form.
  • For registration enquiries call 1300 419 495 (from within Australia) or +61 3 9125 3010 (for overseas callers).
  • Address mail correspondence to Cara Miller, Chair, Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne VIC 3000.







 

 
 
Page reviewed 20/12/2023