What is a Medical Imaging Technologist (MIT)?

Medical Imaging Technologists (MITs, previously known as Medical Radiation Technologists, MRTs, or radiographers) are qualified healthcare professionals who use ionising radiation or magnetic fields to produce diagnostic images of the body to help doctors diagnose and treat illness and injury.

MITs practice in plain films (X-ray), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), mammography, angiography, or nuclear medicine (including SPECT and PET). Around 80% of all hospital patients will be imaged by an MIT during their diagnosis and treatment.

The work of MITs is essential to the diagnosis and treatment of such conditions as strokes, cancer, pneumonia and neurological diseases including Parkinson’s, as well as mental health patients, surgical, medical and ED patients.

MITs deal with patients of all types and ages, with differing requirements and a variety of conditions and injuries. MITs require a combination of intelligence, technical skill and compassion to practice their profession which is in high demand, both in New Zealand and overseas.

MITs must perform a prompt and holistic assessment of the patient’s needs and work within a multi- disciplinary team to implement the most appropriate technology to aid in diagnosis and treatment. They are often required in operating theatres to aid in trauma, neurology and paediatric surgeries and for the insertion of stents to widen blood vessels. They also commonly help with orthopaedic surgical procedures, such as in the pinning and plating of fractured bones.

To qualify as a MIT, you must hold a Bachelor of Health Science (Medical Imaging) degree or equivalent and must be registered with the Medical Radiation Technologists Board (MRTB) to hold a current practising licence, which requires continual professional development to an internationally recognised standard.

Radiography is a fast moving and continually changing profession. Modern developments in digital imaging technology, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and other specialised imaging techniques and technology have resulted in MITs extending their knowledge and skills far beyond the production of X-rays.

Most MITs train to work within and across specialist medical imaging fields (modalities), such as:

Computerised Tomography (CT) is an imaging technique which produces cross-sectional images of the body using conventional X-rays. Instead of a single flat x-ray detector, multiple detectors spin around the patient to produce 3D images allowing small details or abnormalities to be detected rapidly.

medical imaging technologists

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses the magnetic properties of hydrogen to produce high resolution 3D images without the use of ionising radiation. It is of particular value in imaging the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). It is also used to image joints, showing soft tissue detail as well as bone abnormalities.

Mammographers perform x-rays of the breast (Mammography), which can show changes up to two years before a lump can be felt. This early detection of small breast cancers is important in enabling early treatment.

Nuclear Medicine (or Molecular Imaging) is a type of imaging that uses radioactive tracers absorbed by the body to show organ and cell function. MI can be used to image any organ, and is commonly used for cancer staging, heart, and kidney and lung diseases.

medical imaging technologists

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FAQs for MITs Employed on the DHB MECA

Annual Leave FAQs

Clause 15.0 (pages 22 to 26 of your MECA).

Starting out, you are entitled to 20 days of annual leave per annum. After 5 years of continuous service you are entitled to an additional 5 days of leave per annum.

  • Shift workers may be entitled to up to an additional 5 days of annual leave. You can figure out how much extra annual leave you are entitled to as a shift worker by applying clause 15.7.
  • For every 230 hours spent on call you are entitled to an additional day of annual leave, up to a maximum of 5 additional days.
  • After 10 years of continuous service you are rewarded with a bonus two weeks of long service leave and an additional bonus week of long service leave every 5 years thereafter.

You must apply for leave in writing (note: it is important to keep a record of your request and evidence if possible of the date the form was submitted). The DHB must respond to your application within 14 days, in writing, either approving or declining your request. Leave cannot be approved subject to conditions e.g. leave approved subject to you keeping your current shift.

Once leave is approved it should only be revoked in exceptional circumstances. Your approved leave should remain intact even if you change shifts or relocate to another site or DHB.

There will be certain times during the year when it may not be possible for everyone to get the leave they have requested (Easter, the Christmas period, etc.). For the rest of the year if the DHB has adequate numbers of staff, or is prepared to find temporary staff, then declining leave due to lack of cover would not seem reasonable.

If you have been told ‘lack of cover’ is the reason your request has been declined ask:

  • What steps have the DHB taken to source cover?
  • How many others are taking leave at this time?
  • Has the DHB approached temporary/part-time workers etc.?
  • Has the DHB made efforts to rearrange workload?

If you still have not had your leave approved, then contact your local APEX delegate.

Expenses FAQs

Clauses 11 (Expenses), 12 (Meal Allowance), 23 (Uniforms), 24 (Practicing Certificate costs & NZIMRT, or equivalent professional organisation, fees).

If you are instructed to use your own vehicle on employer business you will be paid mileage at the IRD rate. From August 2018 this rate is 76 cents per km for the first 14,000 kms.

If you are instructed to leave and return to your normal place of work on the same day on employer business, you will be reimbursed for actual and reasonable expenses.

In all other circumstances, with the prior approval of the employer, you must be reimbursed for all actual and reasonable expenses incurred while on the business of the employer.

If you are required by your employer to travel and stay away from your normal place of work, you can claim reimbursement of your accommodation costs on an actual and reasonable basis on presentation of receipts. You will also receive an allowance of at least $62.40 per day or part day to cover incidental costs, including meals. For example, if you make an over-night trip and return on the following day you are entitled to no less than $62.40 x 2.

If you are a shift worker working a qualifying shift or more and you are required to work more than an hour beyond the end of any shift (including an ordinary day, but not counting meal breaks) you are entitled to a meal allowance of $11 or to be provided with a meal.

If you are required by your employer to wear a uniform they have to provide you with:

  • If you work 35-40 hours per week – 7 items per year.
  • If you work 25-34 hours per week – 5 items per year.
  • If you work 17-24 hours per week – 4 items per year.
  • If you work up to 16 hours per week – 3 items per year.

Alternatively, you are entitled to a uniform allowance of $11 per week.

Yes. If you are required by law to hold an annual practicing certificate, license, or equivalent then the employer will refund you the cost of obtaining it. The employer will also pay your NZIMRT (or equivalent) annual fees up to $275 p.a. on production of receipts.

Public Holiday FAQs

Yes, if you would usually be expected to work on that day you have to comply. This includes days where a public holiday has been transferred to another day (‘Mondayised’).

If you firmly believe that there is no good reason for you to have to come in to work on that day and your employer can maintain essential services without you, then you may wish to email your employer in advance outlining your reasons and Cc in mrt@apex.org.nz.

If you work, you will be paid double-time for each hour worked and get a day in lieu.

If you are on call but aren’t called in to work, you still get a day in lieu.

If you work a night shift that crosses over into a public holiday you will be paid double-time for the hours worked after midnight and also get a day in lieu.

Where any of Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, 2 January, Waitangi day and Anzac Day, fall on either a Saturday or a Sunday:

If you usually work weekdays but are on call and are called in: You will get paid at your usual weekend rate of pay. The public holiday will be transferred to the following Monday and/or Tuesday as required by s 44B of the Holidays Act.

If it is not a working day for you: The public holiday will be transferred to the following Monday and/or Tuesday as required by s 44B of the Holidays Act. You will therefore not be paid for the Saturday and/or Sunday.

 If it would usually be a working day for you: You can take the day off as a public holiday. If you then have to work on a transferred holiday day you will get extra pay and allowances. Reach out to us for guidance in this case.

For full-time employees, where the observance of the holiday has been transferred to a weekday on which you are rostered off anyway, you get 1 day in lieu but no extra pay.

Fixed hours part-time employees only get a day in lieu if they would otherwise have worked.

Non-fixed hours part-time employees get a day in lieu if they have worked that day of the week more than 40% of the time over the last three months.

If you are on sick leave on pay or special leave on pay, you remain entitled to the public holiday above and beyond your existing entitlement to paid leave.

If you are on leave without pay you are only entitled to payment for the public holiday if you worked in the fortnight ending on the day on which the public holiday is observed.

If you are on leave on reduced pay, you are entitled to be paid at the relevant daily pay.

Rostering FAQs

Ordinary hours of work shall be 80 per fortnight, and not more than 8 hours per day. Except that the employer and employee may by mutual agreement work up to 10 hours per day. Such an agreement must be recorded in writing and must involve the prior consultation with APEX.

Each daily duty shall be continuous except for meal and rest breaks.

An employee shall be entitled to either 2 periods of 2 consecutive days off each fortnight, or by mutual agreement 3 consecutive days off (inclusive of a weekend) and one further day off during the fortnight.

You should always be notified of your roster 12 weeks in advance.

Under the MECA, the DHBs are required to notify staff of their rosters not less than 28 days prior to the commencement of the roster and to show duties for a minimum eight week period.

If the cumulative number of hours worked over the weekend is greater than 14, you are entitled to the subsequent Monday as a paid day off. To facilitate staffing, this day may be moved to the Tuesday after the weekend worked, by agreement.

For the sake of clarity:

  • “Hours worked” means the hours from the beginning of a call back when the employee receives the call, to the end of that call back when the employee returns home, to a maximum of 20 minutes travelling time each way.
  • This provision only applies where an employee is rostered to work for 12 consecutive days counting the weekend days on call.
  • By default, this provision only applies to employees who work 0.9 FTE or greater (35 hours per week or greater) and those employees grand-parented as full time employees.
  • For those part time employees working less than 0.9 FTE (less than 35 hours per week), this clause will apply where reasonable grounds on the basis of health and safety arise.
  • For the purposes of this provision the weekend shall comprise the 48 hour period commencing at midnight Friday/Saturday.

Under the MECA you have the right to change duties with one another by mutual arrangement and with the prior approval of the employer, which cannot be unreasonably withheld. Typically you must change with an employee of equivalent skills.

If you change duties due to service demands or at the employer’s instruction within 24 hours of the duty being worked, all hours worked on the swapped duty are to be paid as overtime.

If you work a night shift then you are entitled to a sleep day off to recover. If you work two or more night duties in a row, you are entitled to take a sleep day plus one further day off.

A sleep day is a full 24 hour period from the end of your night duty and cannot be a rostered day off so it effectively counts as a paid day’s duty for rostering purposes.

Continuing Professional Development and Training FAQs

No. The DHBs are required to provide all actual and reasonable costs for qualifications, training courses and seminars which they require you to attend. Attendance at such training is considered work so hours spent in such training shall also be paid. This covers qualifications such as PGDip’s in CT, Angiography, etc.

The MECA recognises that MRTs will need to attend national and international conferences in order to maintain their ongoing technical/scientific competence as the field develops.

The parties agree that they want professional development that delivers mutual benefit and is valued as work time.

MRTs are entitled to have 2 paid days per year set aside for CPD. In addition, you are entitled to a refund of any actual and reasonable expenses incurred in attending or completing CPD out of each DHB’s CPD pool, which is set at a base level of $600 per MRT.

If you attend a course of study or a conference, you have to give back to your colleagues by present formal feedback via a presentation or practical teaching sessions as discussed and agreed with your manager.

A minimum of 5 days approved education leave each year, accumulative to three years. Compulsory requirements are not included in this allocation.

Reimbursement for all travel, accommodation, fees and expenses incurred in CPD to a maximum of $2,500 per annum as per the following provisions.

This entitlement may be accumulated to a maximum of $7,500 over a three year period.

Where an employee also undertakes ordinary hours work in the private sector in the specific field of work also performed in public, the sum of $2,500 shall be prorated down equivalent to the hours worked in that specific field in private (e.g. if working 2/10th in private general MRI and Nuclear Medicine, reimbursement shall be to a maximum of $2,000).

Parental Leave FAQs

Clause 19.0 (Pages 31-34 of your MECA).

Your DHB must engage with you in good faith to negotiate your hours and conditions of work in exchange for a reduction in salary. This is to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the expecting mother’s unique needs and medical circumstances.

The point in your pregnancy from which an allowance takes effect is also up for negotiation.

However, as rules of thumb, common allowances include: no rostered night shifts from 28 weeks, no days longer than 10 hours from 32 weeks, and no acute workloads from 36 weeks.

Your best bet is to signal your intention to negotiate a reduction in your workload to your employer as soon as you can. Then, ask for a meeting where you can present your case for reduced work preferably alongside supporting medical evidence. As always, if you are facing difficulties in negotiating for allowances with your employer we are here to help.

You are not required to exhaust your accrued annual leave prior to taking annual leave. However, we highly recommend that you aim to do so. We also recommend that when you return to work you wait as long as practicably possible before taking any annual leave.

Put simply, because you will get paid a lot less for annual leave taken soon after parental leave.

Standard annual leave is paid at the greater of either your ordinary weekly pay or your average earnings over the previous 12 months. However, annual leave accrued while you are on parental leaveis always paid out at your average earnings over the previous 12 months.

While you are on parental leave you are not working, so your ‘average’ will decrease. Therefore, even though you will still accrue annual leave whilst on parental leave, the leave you take in the first 12 months after you return from parental leave may be paid at a lower rate.

From an employment perspective, parental leave is unpaid leave (it does not constitute sick leave). However, you are entitled to payments while on parental leave under legislation (the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987).

If you reduce your hours of work during your pregnancy, you are entitled to statutory parental leave payments based on the FTE you were working immediately prior to any reduction.

You are entitled to take up to 12 months’ leave if you have had at least one year’s service at the time of commencing the leave, or, leave of up to 6 months if you have less than one year’s service. Moving DHBs is considered continuous for this, as long as you do not break service for more than a month between moves.

So, if you have been employed at Canterbury DHB and you move up to Auckland DHB, as long as you are not away from work (excluding approved leave) for more than a month between moves, then it still counts as continuous service for leave purposes.

You need to give at least one month’s written notice of your intention to take parental leave. It is best to give as much notice as possible, bearing in mind that babies are not always born on their due dates. This application will need to be supported by a certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner or midwife, or, in the case of adoption of children under 5 years of age, evidence of an approved adoption placement.

When you return from parental leave you are entitled to resume work in the same or similar position that you had at the time you commenced parental leave. This means equivalent salary and designation in the same or close locality comparable with those of the position previously occupied. Annual salary increments continue to apply in the same way as if you had not taken parental leave (i.e. you continue to move automatically up the salary scale).

Having being granted parental leave you will need to notify the employer in writing of your intention to return to work (or to resign) at least one month prior to parental leave expiring.

If you reduced your hours during your pregnancy, you are entitled to return to work at the FTE you were working prior to any pregnancy-related reductions.

MRTAC

2018 – CPD Calendar of Events 2018.
2018 Lightbox CPD Calendar.
10/2014 – BOPDHB Tauranga Hospital Review of MRT Roster and Moving MRTs to a 40 Hour Week.
Dunedin – Efficiency Gains From Implementing a 40 Hour Week.

Schedule 5 Partnership Agreement

Guidelines to Best Rostering Practices.
Best Practice Lead Aprons.

Medical Imaging Technologists - Delegates:

Name Location Employer
Shanton D’Cruz Starship Auckland
Amy Moynihan Tauranga Bay Of Plenty
Aimee Herbert Christchurch Canterbury
James Moynihan Christchurch Canterbury
Shinea Kelly Wellington (Capital & Coast) Capital & Coast and Hutt
Jackie Griffiths Wellington (Capital & Coast) Capital & Coast and Hutt
Roman Khrapov Middlemore Counties Manukau
Suzanne Clare Taranaki Fulford Radiology
Sheena Hewitt Hastings Hawke's Bay
Robyn Slater Hutt (Hutt Valley) Capital & Coast and Hutt
Lauren Annear-Henderson Palmerston North Midcentral
Dalzell Hamilton Palmerston North Midcentral
Margaret Bensemann Nelson Nelson / Marlborough
Jaklyn Nicholl Wairau Nelson / Marlborough
Beverly Jellyman Whangarei Northland
Brenda Braddick Timaru Hospital South Canterbury
Elliot Bokser Dunedin Southern
Helena Cutler Gisborne Tairawhiti
Mary Bull Tokoroa Waikato
Kathy Seeney Waikato Waikato
Carlie Hogan North Shore Waitemata
Paul Hanson Waitakere Waitemata
Vanessa Leman Waitakere Waitemata
Jeremy Ballingall Grey Hospital West Coast
Kamela Moodley Manukau Superclinic Counties Manukau
Sarah George Auckland Auckland
Mary Haslam Auckland Auckland
Geraint Davies Tauranga Bay Of Plenty
Masson Clark Tauranga Bay Of Plenty
David Kirk Bay Radiology Bay Radiology Ltd
Lauren Dix Bay Radiology Bay Radiology Ltd
Sarah Webb Bay Radiology Bay Radiology Ltd
Kylie Richardson Ashburton Canterbury
Oliver Hindson Christchurch Canterbury
Christine Douthett Hastings Hawke's Bay
Ross Longdon Hastings Hawke's Bay
Victoria Middleton Rotorua Lakes
Amy Robertson Palmerston North Midcentral
Hannah Sleep Palmerston North Midcentral
Victoria Clarke Wairau Nelson / Marlborough
Jennifer Waldegrave Whangarei Northland
Lynette Williams Pacific Radiology Pacific Radiology
Jolene Hawkey Timaru Hospital South Canterbury
Caitlin Hodges Southland Southern
Elisabeth Key Lakes District Southern
Flame Callanan-Sullivan Dunedin Southern
Jennifer Hayes Southland Southern
Sarah Beer Southland Southern
Shahn Smith Southland Southern
Cherie Hale Gisborne Tairawhiti
Johanna Wito Whangarei TRG Group
Dianne Radovancich Waikato Waikato
Ria Watts Waikato Waikato
Robyn Mills Oamaru Waitaki Trust
Susan Perniskie Oamaru Waitaki Trust
Tracy O'Sullivan Oamaru Waitaki Trust
Laura Johannsen North Shore Waitemata
Claire Calver Whanganui Whanganui
Jodie Boden-Cave Whanganui Whanganui
Lynnette Wilson Masterton Wairarapa
Roxane Reimers Whakatane Bay Of Plenty
Simon Povey Wellington Capital & Coast

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