Nova Scotia College of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Professionals
The Nova Scotia Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers are seeking self-regulation along with members of the Nova Scotia Association of Medical Radiation Technologists. We will merge to form the "Nova Scotia College of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Professionals" when our regulations are approved by the Registry of Regulations. This page provides information on the Act and Regulations that will enable us to form the college.
The Act is divided into Sections that are numbered. Here are some highlights of sections that are unique to our Act and are pertinent to ultrasound.
Section 2 begins at (a) and ends at (kkk). This section is long because it contains all the definitions of terms that are found in our Act. Here you will find all our scopes of practice and definitions for each discipline. Ultrasound is one of 5 disciplines that this Act encompasses.
You will notice that there is also a definition for "medical imaging technologist". This is a general term that refers to all the disciplines except radiation therapy. This is needed because the term is alluded to in the title of the Act. There is also a defintion for the "practice of medical imaging technology". This lists the imaging disciplines and also includes research, education, consultation, management and information technology among other things. This covers instructors, applications specialists, managers and PACs administrators.
The key points in this Section are the functions of the College in 4 (a) - (i). You will note the first function of the College is to "serve and protect the public". During this whole process the Legislation Committee has strived to keep this first and foremost while maintaining a balance with the best interests of sonographers in Nova Scotia.
Another key feature of Section 3 is the Board. It is important to note that we have decided that there will be co-presidents at the time of proclamation of this Act. The co-presidents will be the presidents of NSSDMS and NSAMRT. Also other members of the Board will be the executive of NSSDMS and NSAMRT. This is a temporary measure until the first election is held. You will notice the Board membership will be specified in the by-laws. This was done to allow more flexibility with Board composition initially and to allow for changes as we see fit in the future. If we were to state the composition of the Board in the Act we could not make changes without going through this whole legal process again.
This is where we protect our titles and practice. This Section specifies that you must be licensed by the College before you can perform diagnostic ultrasound in Nova Scotia.
Section 21(2) allows the Board to devise a process where members of the college could perform some parts of other disciplines within the College. This will allow for blended technologies that are happening in Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Therapy. Also, we can devise a process here that will allow for the continued practice of mammography technologists performing breast ultrasound by attaining ARDMS registration in breast ultrasound.
21(6) is the Section that protects our titles in ultrasound. You will notice that we have not named cardiac or vascular specifically. This is because we have protected the general terms and the phrase "any derivation thereof" covers the use of various terms someone might use in conjunction with "sonographer".
This section of the Act covers what are termed "exemptions". You will see that we have named ultrasound of the eye and measurement of follicles/endometrial thickness here. These areas of ultrasound are very limited aspects within the scope of ultrasound and we felt that it was in the best interest of the public to allow the people performing these tasks to continue.
“Transitioning”is what is commonly known as “grand parenting”. We have determined that everyone who has CARDUP will automatically be accepted by the College. Next, everyone who as ARDMS and has been practicing for 12 months before proclamation of the Act will be accepted by the College. Also, everyone who has practiced diagnostic ultrasound for 5 years prior to proclamation but may not have any ultrasound credentials will be accepted by the College.
The following are the areas of the Regulations that we would like to draw your attention to.
The Regulations also begin with a list of definitions, however, you will notice that the list is much shorter than the list in the Act.
CARDUP is defined and “registration exam” is defined as the CARDUP certification or equivalent as determined by the Credentials Committee. You will note that the Credentials Committee is referred to frequently and that it will be one of the most important committees of the College.
This Section lists some of the information that must be provided to the College in order for the applicant to get on the Register. The College can ask for more than is listed here on the application forms if it deems it necessary.
This is a list of criteria for potential members from the time of proclamation forward. Members must have CARDUP. Also you will notice that proficiency in English is required and Marjorie says that this is in keeping with the way things are done in Nova Scotia. The College will conduct all its affairs in English and so the members must be proficient in English.
Applicants who are foreign trained can apply to the College under this Section. Again the Credentials Committee will determine whether the applicant is accepted by reviewing their training program, working history and asking for a competence assessment.
This is a list of criteria that is to be provided before a licence is granted. Proof of liability insurance is an important criteria. We advise that everyone continue to maintain their insurance through CSDMS as this insurance covers you from start to finish. A letter from your employer may be acceptable if it covers you for at least the minimum that the Board determines in the by-laws.
The registrar will keep a Specialists list. This if for any discipline, but especially for ultrasound as this is where it will be specified if you are a generalist, cardiac or vascular sonographer. Also, we can list other specialties here such as neurosonography and breast ultrasound.
This category of licence can be issued in cases of pandemics where it may be necessary to quickly issue licences to practice and there may not be enough time to go through the usual channels.
Submission to Health Professions Regulations Review Committee
NSSDMS has been working toward self-regulation of the profession since 2009. In 2010 we were working closely with Department of Health and Wellness. During that time we submitted a paper to the Health Professions Regulations Review Committee of the DOHW along with other documents. This paper can be accessed on the link below.
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