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Med. Rad. Technologist

Medical Radiation Technologist

Medical Radiation Technologist is a regulated profession in most Canadian provinces. You need to be registered with the relevant provincial authority in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan so that you are allowed to practice and use the professional designation.

Although the profession is regulated in the remaining provinces and territories, employers may require proof of successful completion of the national certification exam and proof of registration with the provincial association.

The Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) is the national professional association and certifying body. CAMRT represents four disciplines:

  • radiological technology
  • magnetic resonance
  • nuclear medicine
  • radiation therapy.

To help internationally educated medical radiation technologists to decide to live and work in Canada, the CAMRT provides online tools and resources to assess your credentials and help you prepare. This includes tools to help assess if you’re likely to meet requirements to practice in Canada, and what the Canadian work environment is like.

Before you immigrate

There are steps that you can take to improve your chances of practicing your medical radiation technology profession in Canada:

  • Research how your international qualifications may be viewed in Canada and get a general sense of the Canadian labour market.
  • Contact the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists and find out about the procedure to follow, and the potential costs and time required to obtain a permit. As well, ask about the steps in the licensing process that you can take before and after you immigrate.
  • If you have completed your medical radiation technology education in a language other than English or French, contact the regulatory bodies mandated with regulating your profession in the province where you will settle. Find out about any specific language requirements to work as medical radiation technologist in Canada. If you received your professional training  in English or French, the training institution may have to confirm what language you received instruction and were assessed.
  • You need to have strong English or French (depending on your destination province) language competency and you may be tested. Even if you speak fluent English or French, it’s helpful to improve your language skills and enroll in language classes while you are in your home country and continue them after you move to Canada.
  • Gather and organize your official education, work and identity documents while still in your home country. Find out what documents you need to bring for employment purposes, or to continue education. Verify if the documents need to be translated. You may need to use a professional translation service in Canada.
  • Know the name of your job in Canada and make a list of potential employers.
  • Find out how to get a driver’s license in Canada and apply for it right after you land. It will be useful to have when you get a job, or even to search for a job.

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Skills Development as a Medical Radiation Technologist

Skills Development as a Medical Radiation Technologist

Canadian employers put a high emphasis on soft skills, which are personal attributes that enhance your interactions, job performance, and career prospects. Unlike your hard skills, you can apply your soft skills broadly.

Soft skills, such as good communication, problem-solving and analytical skills are important for medical radiation technologists.

As a medical radiation technologist, you are expected to be sensitive to the patient’s physical and psychological needs, pay attention to detail, and be able to work as part of a team. In addition, you are expected to be familiar with the machine and technology in order to offer good technical services.

If your hard skills will get you an interview, most probably it is your soft skills that will get you the job and enable you to keep it afterward.

Though not a must, upgrading your education and skills through a bridging program or other educational courses and workshops may be an important part of your journey to becoming a successful medical radiation technologist in Canada. You will constantly face changing technology and varied demands from patients, employers, government, and the general public. Therefore, it is important for you to participate in lifelong learning and demonstrate your professional growth.

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Skills upgrading

You may have strong technical skills, but often that is not enough to get a job or maintain it afterward. You may need more training or skills upgrading, especially with regards to your oral communication skills and critical thinking.

Having strong skills in one or both of Canada’s official languages – English or French – is extremely important for your future in Canada. Whether you choose to focus on learning or improving English or French will depend on which of the two languages most people speak in the area where you intend to live.

You may be eligible for Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program. Otherwise, you can find other free or affordable classes in English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) classes through the school boards or settlement agencies. There are even language courses to teach you professional terminology, such as job-specific language training and Occupation Specific Language Training (OSLT) in Ontario. And, if you already speak one of Canada’s two official languages at a high level, learning the other one is a good option, as it may offer you better employment opportunities.

Education

Many immigrants take further education after coming to Canada. Some even want to change careers or enhance their careers with a Ph.D. or MBA.

Bridging programs

Bridging programs are a good way to transition from your international experience and training to the Canadian workplace. Many colleges, universities, and immigrant-serving agencies offer bridging programs or workshops. You may be eligible for one. Do some research to find a program that’s suitable for you.

Michener Institute – Toronto
Access & Options for Internationally Educated Health Professionals
The program assists foreign-trained qualified health professionals in certification and registration within Canada. An individualized program will be developed to prepare internationally trained medical radiation technologists to write the CAMRT certification examination.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) – Edmonton
Medical Radiological Technology Bridging Program
The program provides tools to assess and enhance the practical readiness of internationally-educated medical radiological (x-ray) technologists for the Alberta workplace.

Canadian employers who often do not know how to assess education and work experience from other countries, may require or prefer you to have experience working in Canada. Lack of local market experience can pose a challenge for newcomers, but there are ways to overcome some of these challenges.

When an employer tells you that you have no “Canadian experience” often they mean that they’re not sure if you’re going to fit into their workplace. They are not sure that you are familiar with Canadian codes and standards of practice or that you have the communication skills, etiquette or inter-personal savvy to be an asset to their firm. Employers want friendly, assertive professionals with above average communication skills who will fit right in and over time become leaders.

You can overcome this barrier and acquire a good understanding of how a Canadian workplace operates by volunteering, meeting people, having a mentor, getting an internship or job shadowing.

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Volunteering

Volunteerism is an important part of Canadian society and lifestyle. It helps you settle in faster, make friends, practice skills and even it might lead you – in some cases – to a job at the organization where you are volunteering or somewhere else.

You will find tons of volunteering opportunities in nonprofit organizations and community centres where you can utilize your knowledge and expertise. Look for opportunities in the health sector, photography, technical work, lab work, or other jobs involving contact with people; it would be useful for you to mention them as your “Canadian experience” in your medical radiation technologist resume.

You can know about these opportunities by contacting your local volunteer centre or community organizations in your area. As well, you can ask your relatives, friends or colleagues for volunteer opportunities that suit your skills and interests. Regardless, you should consider volunteering in your community as it is an important tool that helps you practice your communication skills or learn some new technology skills.

Internship

Another good way to acquire Canadian experience is by having internships. Career Edge is an innovative internship program that allows you to apply for paid internships at Canada’s leading private, public or non-profit sector employers. The program regularly posts internship opportunities and offers paid internships of four, six, nine or 12 months for recent immigrants:

  • with fluency in English
  • with at least a Bachelor’s level education
  • with a minimum of three years international work experience

The program is run by Career Edge, a not-for-profit social enterprise that has managed over 9,200 paid internships across Canada since 1996.

Another opportunity is the Federal Internship for Newcomers (FIN) Program which provides recent immigrants with valuable temporary Canadian work experience and training opportunities with federal government departments and other public and private sector organizations. Interns are hired as casual employees for 90 working days, with the possibility of extending the internship an additional 90 working days.

Internships are offered in categories such as:

  • policy
  • administration
  • project management
  • computer science
  • communications and science.

A mentor will be provided for the duration of the internship.

Mentoring

It is important to find someone such as a practicing or retired medical radiation technologist or someone with a background in healthcare, who can coach or mentor you and share information about working in your profession in Canada.

Many professional associations or firms offer this type of “buddy” program, where a seasoned member guides a junior one. Contact the relevant associations in your area to know about the available mentorship opportunities.

As well, many bridging programs and immigrant-serving agencies have mentorship programs where they team up a newcomer with someone in their professional field. The Mentoring Partnership brings together recent skilled immigrants and established professionals in occupation-specific mentoring relationships. The program is managed by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council.

You can also look for mentoring opportunities online, by registering for sites such as MentorCity.

 

Job shadowing

Not exactly a mentorship or a volunteer opportunity, job shadowing is an interesting way to get some inside information on your industry in Canada, know about how the Canadian workplace operates and possibly make some good networking contacts. This can last anywhere from an hour to an entire day. Job shadowing is a great way to find out what an hour or a day on your job is like in Canada.

As in volunteering, identify 5-10 companies or organizations you wish to work for and try to use your network to approach medical radiation technologists – or other employees in a healthcare role – who work there. Contact them, explain that you are a newcomer and ask them if it’s possible to job shadow them for some time to get familiar with the local work culture.

Associations for Medical Radiation Technologist

The associations listed below provide additional information about licensure and certification and offer professional development, education, and networking opportunities.

National

Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT)
85 Albert Street, Suite 1000
Ottawa ON   K1P 6A4   Canada
Phone : 1-613-234-0012
Email : [email protected]

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Provincial regulatory bodies

Alberta

Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic & Therapeutic Technologists (ACMDTT)
800, 4445 Calgary Trail
Edmonton AB   T6H 5R7   Canada
Phone : 1-780-487-6130
Email : [email protected]

New Brunswick

New Brunswick Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (NBAMRT)
180, rue Noel
Moncton NB   E1C 8V7   Canada
Phone : 506-872-1297
Email : [email protected]

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (NSAMRT)
3205 Mayfield Ave.
Halifax NS   B3L 4B4    Canada
Phone : 902-434-6525
Email : [email protected]

Ontario

College of Medical Radiation Technologists of Ontario (CMRTO)
375 University Avenue, Suite 300
Toronto ON   M5G 2J5   Canada
Phone : 416-975-4353
Email : [email protected]

Quebec

Ordre des technologues en imagerie médicale, en radio-oncologie et en électrophysiologie médicale du Québec
6455 rue Jean-Talon Est
Bureau 401
Montréal QC   H1S 3E8   Canada
Phone : 514-351-0052
Email : [email protected]

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (SAMRT)
218 – 408 Broad Street
Regina SK   S4R 1X3   Canada
Phone : 306-525-9678
Email : [email protected]

Other

British Columbia

British Columbia Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (BCMRT)
102 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC   V6A 2R5   Canada
Phone : 604-682-8171
Email : [email protected]

Manitoba

Manitoba Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (MAMRT)
202 – 819 Sargent Avenue
Winnipeg MB   R3E 0B9   Canada
Phone : 204-774-5346
Email : [email protected]

Ontario

Ontario Association of Medical Radiation Sciences
415 A -175 Longwood Road South
Hamilton, ON  L8P 0A1   Canada
Phone: 289-674-0034

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (PEIAMRT)
61 Queen Elizabeth Dr.
Charlottetown PE   C1A 3A8   Canada
Email : [email protected]

Immigrant networks

Professional immigrant networks are organized, volunteer-run member-based associations or networks created by and for immigrant professionals that seek to:

  • create a forum to contribute to and enrich their respective communities
  • provide opportunities for their members to find meaningful employment and achieve their professional goals

Activities of these networks include networking events, mentoring, information sessions, professional development opportunities such as workshops, speaker events and training and connections to employment opportunities.

Nova Scotia

isans: Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia 
isans helps newcomer professionals with their full economic and social integration in the province of Nova Scotia.

Ontario


Professional Immigrant Networks (TRIEC)