About the Profession

The Profession

Medical Radiation Science practitioners are highly dedicated, knowledgeable, and competent health-care professionals. There are five (5) disciplines that make up diagnostic and therapeutic medical technologists in the province of Ontario.  These include; Radiographers, Radiation Therapists, Nuclear Medicine Technologists, Magnetic Resonance Technologists, and Sonographers.  Each profession is unique, yet integral to ensuring high quality, safe and effective health-care delivery.

Professional Attributes

A strong sense of responsibility and a high degree of integrity are necessary in each of our professional disciplines. Attention to detail, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills are of prime importance, combined with compassion, patient care, and empathy.  Our patients deserve nothing less.

Working with Medical Radiant Energies

Though most careers come with workplace safety considerations, working with radiation may be a major consideration for anyone contemplating a career in this field. Detailed and stringent guidelines have been established to ensure the safe use of medical radiation in order to avoid unintentional radiation exposure. MRTs are well educated in the safe and judicious use of medical radiant energies – keeping their own, as well as their patients exposure as low as reasonably achievable.

Getting Started

If you’d like to pursue a career in the Medical Radiation Sciences, training is available through accredited programs within the Province.  Each discipline requires certification to practice which is attained after writing and passing the appropriate entry-to-practice exam. 

Employment Opportunities

In Ontario, approximately 5,800 Medical Radiation Technologists (MRTs) and 3,926 Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (DMSs) are employed in hospitals, private clinics, research laboratories, industry, education and administration roles. Nationwide, there are approximately 11,000 MRTs. Wages and compensation are comparable with other allied healthcare professionals such as nurses and laboratory technologists. To be employed, MRTs and DMSs must be registered with the College of Medical Radiation and Imaging Technologists of Ontario (CMRITO).

The Future

New techniques and more highly sophisticated types of equipment are continually being introduced.  As health professionals, our challenge is to meet the rapid changes in technology and ensure that best practice in clinical advancements are being used to best meet the needs of our patients. 

The 5 Disciplines of Radiations Sciences

Radiological Technologist

The Radiological Technologist aids in the diagnosis of disease and injury by producing images which are read by a Radiologist. The Technologist may also be required to do procedures with mobile X-Ray equipment in the operating room, emergency departments, at the patient’s bedside or in the special care units.

Radiation Therapist

The Radiation Therapist is a key member of the cancer treatment team and is directly responsible for the administration of a prescribed dose of radiation. The Radiation Therapist must have the knowledge to interpret the radiation treatment prescription, work with specialized and hybrid equipment, and support and monitor the patient throughout the course of care. A Radiation Therapist may specialize in research or work towards advanced roles.

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

The Nuclear Medicine Technologist prepares and administers radiopharmaceuticals to the patient by means of injection, inhalation or ingestion. These radiopharmaceuticals are tracked and imaged by the Nuclear Medicine Technologist using specialized detectors and hybrid imaging technologies in order to detect abnormalities in the functioning of the body. This specialty also includes Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Molecular Imaging (MI). 

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (DMS)

Sonographers (DMS) are diagnostic imaging professionals who use high frequency sound waves generated by ultrasound machines to capture both static and moving images of organs, vessels and other internal structures. The images and technical findings collected by the sonographer are used by the Radiologist as they interpret the study and provide a diagnosis to the patient.  Sonographers work in a variety of clinical settings and complete a key role in the Imaging Healthcare team!  In 2018 thanks to the lobbying efforts of OAMRS sonography became regulated in Ontario. Sonographers now have protected title of DMS.  What is DMS?

  Magnetic   Resonance   Imaging   Technologist

The Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist produces images using magnetic fields and radio-frequency pulses to aid in the diagnosis of disease and injury. This specialty produces images with excellent soft tissue discrimination without the use of radiation, which has increased its usefulness and clinical popularity. MRI is a rapidly growing imaging modality that is replacing many invasive procedures in today's healthcare environment.

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Ontario Association of Medical Radiation Sciences (OAMRS)

Medical Imaging Ed is a division of OAMRS providing CPD and Sonography PLI across Canada. 
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