RAINS and ASMIRT Pharmacology Course


RAINS and ASMIRT Pharmacology Course

A new course developed by RAINS and ASMIRT for nuclear medicine professionals is now taking registrations. Geoff Currie, the President of RAINS, discusses the history of the Alliance, how the course works with MRPBA Professional capabilities and the benefits for the profession.

RAINS (Rural Alliance In Nuclear Scintigraphy) formed in 2007 to meet the demands for better representation and continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities for those nuclear medicine professionals that are geographically or professional isolated. Membership has grown to include mostly nuclear medicine scientists and technologists in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ). RAINS have been proactive in developing ongoing CPD activities and training programs to meet industry demand, with now more than 50% of the ANZ workforce having completed the RAINS diagnostic CT licencing course.

RAINS members have identified issues for nuclear medicine and radiography relating to demarcation with other health professionals regarding administration of medications and, by extension, contrast or radiopharmaceuticals. In a large part, the argument that Medical Radiation Scientists (MRSs) do not formally study pharmacology at university, justifies the premise they should not be administering (including contrast and radiopharmaceuticals). Beyond contrast and radiopharmaceuticals, MRSs may be involved in interventional medication for a study (beta blockers in cCT, lasix or captopril renal scans etc), cessation medications that might interfere with scanning, emergency response medications (crash cart), or over the counter medications (eg. paracetamol). These activities fit within the defined scope of practice of the MRS.

Ahpra and MRPBA identify capabilities associated with the scope of practice of an MRS that includes domain 1.8; Apply knowledge of safe and effective use of medicines:

  • Apply the principles of safe and effective use of medicines to practice.
  • Recognise the risks, precautions and contraindications of the use of medicines, informed by the patient’s/client’s current pathology status.
  • Apply knowledge of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and the potential range of reactions to medicines.
  • Safely and effectively deliver medicine to patients/clients, in accordance with procedures.
  • Actively monitor the effects of medication and manage adverse reactions to medicines, in accordance with protocols.

These capabilities are the minimum standard for clinical practice.

The new capabilities came into effect on 1 March 2020 and the MRPBA and Ahpra specifically advised (October 2020) that practitioners:

  • read through the professional capabilities for medical radiation practice,
  • identify any areas where they may not meet the minimum requirements, and
  • establish and implement a plan for CPD that addresses those gaps.

To this end, RAINS and ASMIRT have partnered to provide a pharmacology course that allows MRSs to develop both CPD (minimum) and capability (optimal) in this domain. This is a significant step in recognising the scope of practice around medicines, contrast and radiopharmaceuticals. The vision of ASMIRT and RAINS to come together and provide a solution is very important as an opportunity for all members. The course offers two levels of pharmacology training:

  • a full course option with certificate of completion
  • a CPD only option without the textbook, exam and certificate

In 2021 the course is entirely virtual due to COVID-19, which creates flexibility and cost reductions, ASMIRT members receive reduced pricing. The course has run successfully for nuclear medicine over the last few years that included a face-to-face component.

To participate, complete the registration form and return via email.

For more details email Geoff Currie – rainsnucmed@gmail.com