UNDER THE SCOPE
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
The NSCMLT Board of Directors, committee members, and the office continue to work digitally for the safety of all and are committed to the public, stakeholders, and members to serve the public interest through policy. NSCMLT now provides the opportunity for the public and members to join our Board meetings for increased transparency. We welcome all to attend any upcoming Board meetings and the dates and time of these meetings are published on our website for your convenience. NSCMLT continues to move forward with its strategic plan, policy approval, and development, and we also continue to work on the MLT shortage, and workforce planning. Nationally we continue to work with our counterparts on the MLT competency profiles and initiatives.
As the pandemic continues to be a priority, NSCMLT continues to adapt its regulatory processes to support our members, laboratory services, and the public to ensure public safety. A call out for recently retired MLTs to help in the laboratory due to the high volume of testing was sent by NSCMLT. NSCMLT will continue to provide necessary guidance and resources to laboratory services who experience high testing volumes and the need to adapt to challenges.
Thank you to all our members for stepping up, adapting, and taking on new roles to ensure the turn around time for testing was and is at its best. The public’s expectations of us is high and you have demonstrated that MLTs are up for the challenge. We know the public can count on MLTs to use the best available evidence to keep patients safe.
Nicole Watson NSCMLT Chair
MEET YOUR BOARD MEMBER - Zabrina Isles
I have been working full-time as an MLT for over 12 years now. I am currently working in a small core lab in Digby. This is where I have spent the bulk of my career but I have had the opportunity to work in labs with different levels of service. I have worked Core lab in Bridgewater, which is a regional lab. My experience there involved phlebotomy as well as sample processing in Haematology, Chemistry, and Transfusion Medicine. I feel lucky to have spent some time in the Kentville lab working strictly in Microbiology. My position in Kentville did not involve any patient contact and, although I loved microbiology, I really did miss that part of the job. In Middleton, Annapolis, and currently in Digby I was (am) in the core lab again and, being a smaller center, I was (am) responsible for pre-analytical phases of the sample processing (including sending samples out to other sites) as well as Core lab sample processing. This type of work experience has given me the opportunity to see how all areas of the lab work together to deliver quality results and patient care.
Participating in work-related activities away from the lab bench has been important to me throughout the years. I have sat on JOHS committees, and attend CUPE meetings as regularly as my schedule allows. I try to attend seminars offered by NSHA, NSCMLT, and CSMLS as often as I can. Training new staff is one of the favorite parts of my job, and I will often offer to be a preceptor. I train new RNs and LPNs at our site in relation to what our lab offers and the Point of Care (POC) urinalysis machine currently in our ER. I have recently started working with the POC implementation team for our site here at DGH, and am looking forward to handling the onsite training of the RN and LPN staff that will be working with the new POC equipment. Training and collaboration with other departments in our hospital is important to me. It gives me an insight into their workflow and lets us inform them on the lab workflow. It also helps build rapport with the actual individuals that work in other departments. I feel that the more departments can share information, the better we can work together to provide the best care possible for our patients.
Outside of NSHA, I have had some experience with committee work over the years. I have volunteered with various town festival committees and was a member of my towns' Water Commission for 2 years. I enjoy keeping in touch with my community, and these types of organizations are a great way to do that.
At the 12 year mark in my career, I find myself feeling confident in my abilities as an MLT, and am starting to look for ways to grow professionally. Working in multiple labs has put me in a variety of situations over the years. From large labs, with big teams to small labs where I am often the only tech on-site and on call for emergencies, I have experienced how varied each MLT position can be. I feel that with 12 years of experience I am ready to offer a voice that can help our profession grow and develop as things are changing and moving forward.
2021 BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS TO DATE:
Policies - Approved: BRD.005 Board and Committee Honorarium, FIN.009 Membership fee adjustment, PS.003 POCT, PS.004 Therapeutic phlebotomy, PGL.002 Adding histology and or molecular competencies, PS.006 Responsible use of social media, PS.007 Treatment of members and applicants, PGL.003 Duty to report unprofessionalism in the workplace, PGL.004 Virtual/Remote practice guidelines.
- Reviewed and approved the operating 2022 budget to bring to the annual meeting.
- Presentation for Board members on financial management - how to read an income statement and balance statement.
- Discussed license fee structure and implemented REG.024 NSCMLT Fee Structure.
- Discussed and approved changes and enhancements to continuing competencies (TeKnowledge.ns).
- Approved a list of continuing education resources.
- Approved the request of new applicants to provide a criminal record and vulnerable sector check as proof of good character.
- Retired position statement on molecular duties as no longer applicable to members.
- Approved the addition of declaration statements to all registration applications on safe practice and privacy.
- Approved the implementation of a jurisprudence exam for 2022 for new applicants. This will aid the applicants to have an understanding of the regulation of the MLT profession in NS and the MLT accountability.
- NSCMLT 2022 Fees will remain the same (Practising $375.00, Non-Practising $175.00, Retired $25.00).
- Annual Meeting May 29, 2021.
PROVISION OF INFORMATION ON COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has put unprecedented strain on our health system, and health care professionals have been at the forefront of that response for over a year. Vaccination efforts continue through eligibility criteria set by government in accordance with the best evidence and available vaccine supply.
Health professionals hold positions of leadership and trust within the health system and the community. It is critical that health care professionals provide accurate information about COVID-19.
Professional responsibilities of a regulated health professional during this pandemic include:
● Honesty in disclosing any symptoms, risks factors, and COVID-19 exposure, and taking appropriate action to ensure others are not put at risk.
● Remaining aware of and adhering to public health guidance on PPE and infection control.
● Providing information about COVID, vaccination, and infection control measures in your practice, and in any public domain, including on social media, that is consistent with public health guidance and evidence.
REGULATORY CASE STUDY
FEATURE ARTICLE: Procedural Ruling
Most procedural rulings do not have a significant impact for regulators. However, Torgerson v. Health Professions Appeal and Review Board, 2021 ONSC 1185 (CanLII), https://canlii.ca/t/jd9hv may be an exception.
In that case a physician was seeking judicial review of a decision cautioning her and requiring her to complete some remedial training. The initial decision was made by the regulator’s complaints screening committee and was upheld by an independent appeal and review board.
A summary of the decision was published on the public register of the regulator, as required by the legislation. The physician challenged the decision as amounting to a sanction because of its publication. The physician sought to add the published summary in the record before the Court even though it had not been part of the record of decision by either the screening committee or the board. The Court conceded that there was a strong presumption that judicial review should be based solely on the record of the body being reviewed. However, it stated that an exception applied where important contextual information could assist the reviewing Court. The Court allowed the published summary to be added to the record, subject to reconsideration by the Court panel actually hearing the application. This ruling emphasizes the significance of published summaries of decisions.
A second issue was whether the portion of the record setting out the past complaints history against the practitioner should be sealed. During the proceedings before the board that portion of the record had not been shared with the complainant because of its sensitivity. The Court agreed to seal that portion of the record, similarly subject to reconsideration by the panel hearing the judicial review application itself. Again, this procedural ruling recognizes the sensitivity of this type of information.
Of course, it will likely be the decision of the panel hearing the application for judicial review on the merits that will be of most interest to regulators
By: by Erica Richler March 29 2021
FEATURE ARTICLE: Duty to "Cooperate Fully"
Many regulators require practitioners to participate in professional development and quality improvement activities. This requirement often comes with a duty to cooperate with the program. In Mirolo v. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2021 NLSC 12 (CanLII), https://canlii.ca/t/jcwck the practitioner was disciplined for failing to “cooperate fully” with the regulator’s peer assessment program. The regulator attempted to set up two meetings with a panel of peers. In the first instance, the practitioner raised a number of objections to the proposed meeting including assertions that the panel did not constitute true peers. As a result the regulator, realizing the objections could not be addressed in time, cancelled the meeting rather than inconvenience the panel of peers. For the second meeting the practitioner objected to its timing given his schedule included a planned meeting with a client. After the practitioner refused certain accommodations, that meeting was also cancelled.
The Court upheld the finding of professional misconduct for failing to cooperate fully. The practitioner threw up barriers to the meeting rather than make good faith efforts to cooperate with the peer panel. The regulator’s cancellation of the meetings in the face of the practitioner’s response in order to spare the peer panel from wasted time did not justify the practitioner’s non-cooperation.
However, the Court returned the case to the tribunal to reconsider the sanction. The absence of reasons to explain why a fine and costs order ought to be made and their amounts ($5,000 and 10,000 respectively) prevented the Court from assessing their appropriateness.
By: Bernie LeBlanc March 15 2021
WHATS IN IT FOR ME
Recent updates on your NSCMLT website:
A new menu title “MLT Resources” has been added which replaces the previous Professional Development menu tab. Additional to what was previously here you will find Administrative Policies, Position Statements, new Practice Guidelines and a list of current sources of continuing education and professional development.
NSCMLT is endorsing Choosing Wisely Canada as a national voice for reducing unnecessary tests, treatments, and procedures that do not add value for patients, potentially expose patients to harm, lead to more testing to investigate false positives, contribute to unwarranted stress for patients and their families, and consume precious time and resources. You can find a link to the Choosing Wisely Canada site under the Public Protection menu.
For an interesting quick read, have a look at the revised “The Different Roles of NSCMLT, CSMLS, the Union and the MLT” under MLT Resources. NSCMLT & CSMLS Roles
As a Medical Laboratory Technologist professional there is no time like the present to review your MLT Scope of Practice, Standards of Practice, and Code of Ethics under https://nscmlt.org/public-protection . As you review these, please submit any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Additional resources for TeKnowledge.ns can be found on the website under Continuing Competencies in the MLT Resources menu.
GOOD TO KNOW: The ? TECH SUPPORT link that appears at the top of your screen in your member portal is for IT support and IT issues when filling out forms electronically. If you have a question regarding TeKnowledge.ns credits or your application etc please contact email@example.com.
NSMLT Registration Changes
The following general requirements for registration were approved:
Evidence of English language requirement
Proof of good character (criminal record check & vulnerable sector
check) and declaration statements added to all registration applications on safe practice and privacy
Jurisprudence exam (2022) for initial applicants
Building a Network for MLTs
The Professional Practice Committee (PPC) and the Public Safety Committee (PSC) provide MLTs with a voice and the ability to contribute their expertise in effective MLT regulation, MLT practice, public safety, and quality of care. The committees provide recommendations and feedback to the NSCMLT Board. These committees also have representation from the public and gives the public an opportunity to have a voice in how NSCMLT can best protect them. NSCMLT is eager to listen and learn from its members and the public.
NEW! Practice Guidelines for Virtual/Remote Practice
To view these guidelines please visit the NSCMLT website. https://nscmlt.org/images/Policies/PGL004v1_Virtual_MLT_Practice.pdf
Did you know
Dalhousie Faculty Wellness Program offers
Everybody is welcome to join! Each session offers short mindfulness practices to help participants unwind, revitalize, and to learn ways to find calm in the midst of the pandemic. The program is open to all healthcare providers, trainees, hospital workers, leaders, and researchers.
And we are writing to ask that you please let faculty, students, and staff in your university-affiliated hospital know about Pause 4 Providers - so that others in your community of practice may benefit.
Read more about Pause 4 Providers as featured on the Royal College newsroom website.
Attached is our updated program flyer for circulation.
Please visit our website www.pause4providers.com for program details and the zoom link. For further information, firstname.lastname@example.org.
NSCMLT Online Educational Event October 23 2021 Tentative time: 9:00am - 12:00 pm
Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Strang.
Stay tuned for further updates.
This educational event will earn you TeKnowledge.ns credits!
The NSCMLT 2021 ANNUAL MEETING
Join our annual meeting online. We encourage all NSCMLT members to attend the NSCMLT annual meeting.
MAY 29 2021 at 10:00 - 11:00 am.
All attending MLTs will receive 1 hour of credits towards their continuing education.
Please watch your emails for a link to join the annual meeting.
Participate in #CleanYourHandsDay May 5, 2021
For Clean Your Hands Day this May 5, we want to thank everyone who’s making a difference by following public health measures, including cleaning their hands.
We’ve cleaned our hands, stayed home, provided care, worn masks, practised physical distancing and now we’re getting vaccinated too. Together, our efforts have saved lives, protected those who are vulnerable and supported friends, families and neighbours in our communities.
This May 5 and every day, join us in celebrating everyone who is making a difference by following local public health guidance.
Access your free Communications Toolkit full of information on how to participate in the campaign. It includes downloadable images, drafted social media messages, and a drafted newsletter article.
Visit HandHygiene.ca to learn more about Clean Your Hands Day and to access and share hand hygiene resources to keep yourself and others safe.