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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] 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 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] This didactic text is devoted to the protection of patients against unnecessary exposure to ionising radiation. It is organised in a questions-and-answers format. There are obvious benefits to health from medical uses of radiation, in x-ray diagnostics, interventional radiology, nuclear medicine, and radiotherapy. However, there are well-established risks from high doses of radiation (radiotherapy, interventional radiology), particularly if improperly applied, and possible deleterious effects from small radiation doses (such as those used in diagnostics). Appropriate use of large doses in radiotherapy prevents serious harm, but even low doses carry a risk that cannot be eliminated entirely. Diagnostic use of radiation requires therefore such methodology that would secure high diagnostic gains while minimising the possible harm. For assessment of the risk, a quantitative measure of exposure is a necessary prerequisite. Therefore, dosimetric quantities are explained and defined (absorbed dose, effective dose). Basic facts are presented on mechanisms of action of ionising radiations on living matter. Undesired deleterious effects in man are categorised into two categories. The first one comprises sequelae resulting from massive cell killing (the so-called deterministic effects), requiring a high dose for their manifestation (exceeding the threshold dose). The second category includes those effects originating from mutational changes in the cellular DNA. These may eventually lead to development of radiation-induced cancer and to hereditary changes, transmitted to descendants of exposed individuals after irradiation of their gonads. Data on the magnitude of threshold doses for cell killing effects are presented. On the basis of experimental, clinical, and epidemiological evidence, assessment is also given of the probability with which cancers and hereditary mutations may be induced by doses of various magnitudes, most likely without a threshold dose (below which no effect would obtain). The text provides ample information on opportunities to minimise doses, and therefore the risk from diagnostic uses of radiation. This objective may be reached by avoiding unnecessary (unjustified) examinations, and by optimising the procedures applied both from the standpoint of diagnostic quality and in terms of reduction of the excessive doses to patients. Optimisation of patient protection in radiotherapy must depend on maintaining sufficiently high doses to irradiated tumours, securing a high cure rate, while protecting the healthy tissues to the largest extent possible. Problems related to special protection of the embryo and fetus in the course of diagnostic and therapeutic uses of radiation are presented and practical solutions are recommended. This issue of the Annals of the ICRP also includes a brief report concerning Diagnostic Reference Levels in medical imaging: Review and additional advice
[en] The 2012 Radiation Oncology Workforce survey was conducted to assess the current state of the entire workforce, predict its future needs and concerns, and evaluate quality improvement and safety within the field. This article describes the dosimetrist segment results. The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Workforce Subcommittee, in conjunction with other specialty societies, conducted an online survey targeting all segments of the radiation oncology treatment team. The data from the dosimetrist respondents are presented in this article. Of the 2573 dosimetrists who were surveyed, 890 responded, which resulted in a 35% segment response rate. Most respondents were women (67%), whereas only a third were men (33%). More than half of the medical dosimetrists were older than 45 years (69.2%), whereas the 45 to 54 years age group represented the highest percentage of respondents (37%). Most medical dosimetrists stated that their workload was appropriate (52%), with respondents working a reported average of 41.7 ± 4 hours per week. Overall, 86% of medical dosimetrists indicated that they were satisfied with their career, and 69% were satisfied in their current position. Overall, 61% of respondents felt that there was an oversupply of medical dosimetrists in the field, 14% reported that supply and demand was balanced, and the remaining 25% felt that there was an undersupply. The medical dosimetrists' greatest concerns included documentation/paperwork (78%), uninsured patients (80%), and insufficient reimbursement rates (87%). This survey provided an insight into the dosimetrist perspective of the radiation oncology workforce. Though an overwhelming majority has conveyed satisfaction concerning their career, the study allowed a spotlight to be placed on the profession's current concerns, such as insufficient reimbursement rates and possible oversupply of dosimetrists within the field
[en] The survey includes degrees granted between July 1, 2001 and June 30, 2002. Enrollment information refers to the fall term 2002. Thirty-six academic programs at 35 different institutions were in the survey universe and all responded (100% response rate). Several of these programs did not have any degrees awarded during the time period. Five programs included in the 2001 survey were either discontinued or out-of-scope and not included in 2002 survey
[en] Radiographer's roles have evolved with their scope broadening over the last 20 years culminating in the development of advanced and consultant posts. Yet one development has not been embraced, despite being inherent in medicine and a common extension of nurse and other allied health professionals' roles, is that of clinical assessment. This article explores the evolving role of the radiographer and discusses whether this should include skills in clinical history taking and physical examination. Issues for education and development will be addressed together with examples of current and potential roles