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[en] Building on the energy and excitement of Washington DC in a presidential election year, AAPM will host its own Presidential Debate to better understand the views of the AAPM membership! Past presidents of the AAPM, Drs. Bayouth, Hazle, Herman, and Seibert, will debate hot topics in medical physics including issues facing education, professional practice, and the advancement of science. The moderators, Drs. Brock and Stern, will also draw in topics from Point-Counterpoint articles from the Medical Physics Journals. Wrapping up the debate, the audience will have the opportunity to question the candidates in a town hall format. At the conclusion of this lively debate, the winner will be decided by the audience, so bring your Audience Response Units! Be part of Medical Physics - Decision 2016! Learning Objectives: Understand AAPM members’ views and opinions on issues facing medical physics education Learn AAPM members’ views and opinions on issues facing professional practice Identify AAPM members’ view and opinions on issues facing the advancement of science in medical physics J. Bayouth, Funding support from NCI;Scientific Advisory Board member - ViewRay
[en] The report is intended to offer practical advice to assist in the development, improvement or evaluation of a progressive safety culture as outlined in the publication 75-INSAG-4. (P.A.)
[en] Purpose: The aim of this study was to establish a model of competence for newly qualified diagnostic radiographers which incorporated the notion of ‘fitness’ from the perspective of a number of key stakeholders. The research is published in two parts. Part 1, published in the last issue, described the background to the study, its methods and the results. Part 2 discusses the findings and considers the implications for professional practice and research. Methods: An expert panel was surveyed using the Delphi technique. The panel was asked to provide a statement that described the primary role of diagnostic radiographers and also to state the associated roles and responsibilities which would be expected of a new qualifier in their first post. In view of the lack of clarity concerning the expectations of new radiographers, a clear interpretation was needed on the term ‘first post’. In addition, the panel was asked to predict changes in the provision of health care and in society which may have an impact on the future role of radiographers. Results: A primary role statement was developed which placed more emphasis on the needs of the patient than on technology. The associated roles and responsibilities were named statements of competence and were organized into nine categories. Variations were noted in the interpretation of the term ‘first post’, with the majority of the panel agreeing that qualification and competence were not synonymous. The panel returned a wide range of predictions concerning the future role of radiographers, which, by the final round had been condensed to 33 statements. Conclusion: A model of competence was developed incorporating a range of knowledge, skills and attributes which could be used as a starting point for making judgements on the scope of practice: the range of roles and duties from which the competence of the newly qualified can be inferred. More than 50% of the competences could be classified as multiprofessional, lending support for the need to develop a curriculum which integrates the needs of a number of professional disciplines. The research highlighted that there are unclear boundaries around the area of qualification, in which new qualifiers continue to be supported. Regarding the future role, the panel predicted that changes in technology would have the most important impact and that the scope of practice for radiographers will continue to expand.
[en] This article explores some of the key issues that characterise the culture of the radiography profession as experienced and reported in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. It raises many questions for professionals concerned about the future of the profession to consider, arguing that if these issues remain unchallenged they may limit both ongoing professional development of individuals and the profession as a whole. The authors conclude that a multi-faceted approach is needed that includes a reconceptualisation of our formal education programmes to include an increased emphasis on critical reflection; an attempt to change the workplace culture through targeted professional development and effective leadership; and the commitment by radiographers to finding a new focus and sense of professionalism.
[en] Statutory agents have stipulated that research activity is a fundamental component of the healthcare professional's activity. Whilst the College of Radiographers have emphasised the importance of imaging personnel embracing this research ethos, there is little available data on the level of research activity within sonographic practice or on the factors that influence a sonographer's involvement in research activities. This work attempts to address these deficiencies. A questionnaire was sent to 300 UK-based sonographers of whom 218 responded (72%). The questionnaire was specifically designed to establish the level of involvement in research, the utilisation of research findings, attitudes towards research and perceived barriers to active research involvement. Responses were analysed investigating any correlations with the population demographics. The data collected showed the majority of sonographers (89%) were enthusiastic about research but with only 33% and 60% currently or previously performing research, respectively, and 73% using research findings to modify their clinical practice. Certain barriers to an active research involvement were shown, with 63%, 55% and 40% citing lack of time, education and collegial support, respectively. A range of statistical findings were linked to particular sonographer groups. The importance of good organisational structures and effective support from fellow health professionals was highlighted. The results confirm sonographers' appreciation of the benefits of research and it is suggested that if this enthusiasm is translated into effective research strategies, research output from ultrasound and other clinical departments should be enhanced.
[en] Over recent years the professional role of the radiologist has been evolved due to the increasing involvement in the clinical management of the patient. Radiologists have thus been increasingly charged by new duties and liabilities, exposing them to higher risks of legal claims made against them. Malpractice lawsuits in radiology are commonly related to inappropriate medical care or to the poor physician-patient relationship. In the present paper, we provide overview of the basic principles of the medical malpractice law and the main legal issues and causes of legal actions against diagnostic and interventional radiologists. We also address some issues to help radiologists to reduce risks and consequences of malpractice lawsuits. These include (1) following the standard of care to the best of their ability, (2) cautious use of off-label devices, (3) better communication skills among health care workers and with the patient, and (4) ensuring being covered by adequate malpractice insurance. Lastly, we described definitions of some medicolegal terms and concepts that are thought to be useful for radiologists to know.
[en] This research analyses the interest that medical radiation science (MRS) students have about their academic and professional world when they are given the independence to freely choose a topic to research. The research setting includes students of three different MRS degrees who have had, up until the point that this research was carried out, more common learning than degree specific learning. To analyse student interest, a thematic analysis of the self selected topics to be researched for a group work project was undertaken. The results indicate that there are statistically significant differences in interest between students of the three MRS degrees, with students within a degree sharing a strong single unifying common interest in their academic or professional world.
[en] Radiological departments are changing rapidly due to the implementation of digital images and PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication Systems). The introduction of new technology seems to dissolve boundaries between the professions in the work environment where the technology is introduced. This process tends to change the organization and its routines. The aim of this qualitative study is to explore changes in radiographers' work with regard to skills, work practice and technology. The study used open-ended interviews to explore the radiographers' perceptions of such changes, and to identify problems and solutions pertaining to work practice. Inspiration is taken from grounded theory to explain the changes in work that were found. Respondents were selected from a total of 133 potential participants as a theoretical or purposive sample. The changing trends within the professional role indicated that radiographers, as image producers, shifted their focus from the ability to set the optimal exposure parameters in order to obtain the optimal image for diagnosis to become expert in exposure parameters, projection techniques and diagnostic practice, having multifaceted skills, as being the jack of all trades. When implementing PACS there was an obvious change in image production. At the start there were visions of new routines, and therefore the radiographers became early adopters to the new technology; in practice the organization was stacked in old routines, as the routines were inflexible and PACS work was pushed into old work routines. Although inflexible, this does not mean that they cannot change, and obviously in 2006 new routines had been implemented making it possible for the radiographers in finding new ways for collaborating with colleagues. The new technology immediately created a vision of improved service to the clinicians. In order to optimize the service the radiographers developed an insight into the need for a more comprehensive change in work using a new PACS technology and digital workflow. Using PACS technology, together with an adjustment to the new system workflow, the experience among radiographers was that the production of images increased and as a result the stress in work increased as well. Using PACS technology, medical staff had little control over the organization of image production and its workflow, so that radiographers experienced PACS as a more technical deterministic system allowing small human control in the organization of work.
[en] Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the experiences of diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers as they mentored trainee assistant practitioners undertaking an educational programme. The evaluation study describes the challenges and benefits the radiographers experienced as mentors as well as giving their insights into the introduction of assistant practitioners in their departments. Method: The mentors' opinions were sought by a questionnaire which formed part of the evaluation of the respective diagnostic imaging and therapeutic educational programmes run by two colleges. Results: The response rate was 54% (22/41). Mentors described personal and professional benefits for themselves from undertaking this role. Although mentoring had provided a number of challenges including an increase in workload, the experience had also enhanced their teaching and mentoring skills and contributed to their Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Whilst the role was more time consuming than initially expected this had not impacted generally on their ability to undertake CPD or deliver patient care. In relation to the wider impact of the programmes some negative impact was reported on the speed of service delivery but not on the quality of practice. Mentors felt that the programmes had a positive effect on teamworking and had been beneficial for patient care. Some difficulties were noted in balancing the mentoring of trainee assistant practitioners and radiography undergraduates. Conclusion: The mentors strongly endorsed the educational programmes and their roles and responsibilities in their delivery. Protected time to carry out mentoring duties and establishing good communication with the colleges providing the theoretical teaching were identified as means of further improving the mentoring process.