Avoiding “Alert Fatigue”

Advances in computerized technology provide health care professionals with enhanced capability to monitor a wide variety of patient conditions and, hopefully, prevent adverse events.  However, with that comes a multitude of alerts, alarms and – in the case of ventilators and cardiac monitors – a cacophony of noise and flashing lights.  This has led to […]

When care and values collide…

Earlier this summer there were several stories that appeared in the news about physicians who allegedly refused to provide certain non-emergency treatments (e.g., artificial contraception) on religious or moral grounds[1].  Consequently, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) undertook a review of its Physicians and the Ontario Human Rights Code policy and invited the […]

“But I could lose my license!”

It seems like with every day that passes, RTs are having new responsibilities added to their roles.   While most – including the CRTO – view this evolution of the profession as a positive thing, RTs sometimes express concerns about what could happen if they embark on a new endeavour and something goes wrong.  One comment […]

The RT role in Enhancing Patient Safety

At the recent CSRT conference, I had the pleasure of listening to Brent Kitchen an RRT from Saskatchewan speak about “Using Mistake Proofing to Prevent Harm”.  In his presentation, he referenced the Canadian Adverse Events Study, which found that approximately 7.5% of adult hospital admissions involve an adverse event “resulting in death, disability or prolonged […]

Providing Culturally Competent Care

In the healthcare setting, cultural competence refers to the ability to provide appropriate and effective medical care to members of various cultural groups. RTs provide care to patients/clients with diverse values, beliefs and behaviours. A practitioner therefore must become competent in providing equitable care though the process of gaining a congruent set of behaviours and […]

Maintaining Professional Boundaries

The therapeutic relationship between an RT and his/her patient/client is one of empathy, trust and respect. It is important to acknowledge that there exists within this relationship an inherent power imbalance.  The RT has access to specialized knowledge, privileged information that the patient/client does not have.  The RT also has the ability to advocate on […]

The RT Difference in End-of-Life Care

Lately, there has been a great deal of discussion in the news, in the courts and more recently in parliament, regarding “end-of-life”. Just last week, Manitoba Conservative MP Steven Fletcher tabled a private member’s bill that proposes the enabling of “assisted dying”. Mr. Fletcher, who was left a quadriplegic after a car accident, was interviewed […]

When Silence is Not Golden

Recently, a Toronto anesthesiologist had his certificate of registration revoked by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) and was criminally sentenced to 10 years in prison for assaulting a number of female patients.  Most of the offenses allegedly occurred in a busy hospital operating room while the patients where under anesthetic. I […]