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Zachariah Fissel

Clinical Training 1
Julie Yasgar
08/01/2016
ASRT Code of Ethics Paper
As the largest radiologic technology organizations in the entire world, it is very important
for the ASRT to provide a Code of Ethics for members of the radiologic technology profession to
work and live by. The five that apply directly to radiation therapy, give great insight on how
radiation therapists need to do their job the best they can. These set of ideologies have had a
great deal of thought put into them and do a great job of communicating what it takes to be a
great radiation therapist. These five ethical statements not only make a difference in the patients
experience, but also can improve the work environment. The ASRT Radiation Therapy Code of
Ethics can be easily interpreted by professionals, applied in a clinical setting, and also improve
many aspects of patient care.
The first statement in the ASRT Radiation Therapy Code of Ethics is that The radiation
therapist advances the principal objective of the profession to provide services to humanity with
full respect for the dignity of mankind (1998). This can be interpreted to a more simple meaning
which I believe is that everyone needs to be treated like a human being and no matter the
circumstances, maintaining a patients dignity is of utmost importance. I see this go on every
single day in clinical training. The radiation therapists I work with do a great job of always
making sure that they maintain some sort of modesty for the patients, even with extremely
invasive or uncomfortable procedures. Making sure body parts that arent normally exposed keep
covered as much as possible. Even during treatment, if a cloth falls off a person that was
covering up something private, treatment will be paused so someone can go back in to cover
them up. Making little efforts such as these to keep patients covered really reflects how much the
radiation therapist cares, which in turn, makes the patient respect and trust their radiation

therapist even more. This helps create a wonderful and trusting relationship between the patient
and the staff.
The second statement in the ASRT Code of Ethics is that The radiation therapist delivers
patient care and service unrestricted by concerns of personal attributes or the nature of the
disease or illness, and without discrimination on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion or
socioeconomic status (1998). Having personal opinions about certain things or groups of people
is OK to have, but all those biases and opinions need to be left at the door when a radiation
therapist walks into work each morning. When working in healthcare, it is the responsibility of
the radiation therapists to treat each person with just as much respect and compassion as they
would with anyone else. This is applicable in clinical training since we see people from all walks
of life come through our doors seeking help for life-threatening diseases. From what I have seen,
all patients are treated lovingly, fair, and like a human being regardless of their background. I
know I am lucky to do my clinical training in a part of the country that is so open and accepting
of all people.
The next statement from the ASRT Code of Ethics is that The radiation therapist
assesses situations; exercises care, discretion and judgment; assumes responsibility for
professional decisions and acts in the best interest of the patient (1998). There are times where
split second decisions need to be made about a patients treatment. I have seen radiation
therapists have to make these decisions under a lot of stress, but things have always seemed to
turn out for the best. When asking them how they came to the conclusion that they had come to,
they explained to me how and why the benefits outweighed the risks. Honing in on this skill has
made many radiation therapists better at their job. These problem solving and decision making
skills cannot only be used in a working environment, but also out in ones everyday life.
One of the more obvious statements from the ASRT Code of Ethics is that The radiation
therapist adheres to the tenets and domains of the scope of practice for radiation therapists

(1998). This is important to adhere to so one can be the best at their job as they can possibly be,
but also for legal reasons. Examples were given to me about when something is technically a
nursing duty and when it is not. If something is out of ones scope of practice and something
goes wrong, the healthcare worker can be held responsible and have legal actions taken against
them. Making sure that everyone is doing their job to the best of their ability, while maintaining
the integrity of their domain, ensures that everything can run smoothly in a clinical setting.
The last statement in the ASRT code of Ethics states that The radiation therapist actively
engages in lifelong learning to maintain, improve and enhance professional competence and
knowledge (1998). Education is such a key aspect in healthcare. Things are constantly changing
and advancing. Without further educating oneself, you can fall behind in your field very quickly.
I think this is especially pertinent to oncology, since there is constantly new information and
techniques of care that come about. I see this in clinical training all the time. Even since I started
a few months ago, we have moved towards different immobilization techniques along with
collaborating with urology to implant biodegradable spacers in prostate patients to push the
rectum out of the beams path. Being educated can also help you beyond your professional life.
Keeping up to date with things that pertain to your life keeps your mind more actively involved
with what is going on in your surroundings.
When looking over all the statements that make up the ASRT Code of Ethics, I cannot pin
point one that is more important than another. If I can encompass all of these in my professional
and personal life, I know I can be the best employee and person I can be. I am glad to have
learned that being conscious of our patients dignity, respecting our patients true self, always
acting in their best interest, staying true to our profession and all it entails, and constantly trying
to educate ourselves, is the best way we can provide cutting edge and overall phenomenal care
for these patients who need it the most.

References
Radiation Therapist Code of Ethics - ASRT. (1998, July). Retrieved August 3, 2016, from
https://www.asrt.org/docs/default-source/practice-standards/rtcodeofethics.pdf