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Period of updating skills and knowledge

Author: Christina Freeman

Supervised Practice

Returners need to find a clinical department willing to take them on for a period of supervised practice. The returner and service manager need to decide how best to facilitate the required experience, in order that the returner can meet the necessary standards. This will involve providing clinical experience across the range of services. Occasionally, returners express a wish to return to a specific area of practice (for example, mammography). If this is the case, then it is reasonable that a period of supervised practice be focused on that specific area, but it is preferable to include at least some time in general radiography, so that there is an opportunity to gain insight into the broad scope of practice of the profession.

Returners need to keep a daily log of activities and should agree a system with their supervisor. The daily log should include date, patient identification, examination and name of supervisor. Other information may also be deemed relevant. There should also be opportunity for recording reflections.

The returner and the service manager also need to consider a system whereby competency can be signed off. This summary should include all aspects of the profession as set out in the HCPC Standards of proficiency: Radiographers.

There may be opportunities for you to attend study days and meetings run by your clinical department, hospital and/or local radiography education provider and, if so, you can count these towards your period of academic updating.

Updating knowledge (academic component)

There is currently a shortage of return to practice courses, although courses are approved, they are not running because of lack of demand. If you are a therapy radiographer, you should contact Gillian Thompson, Radiotherapy and Oncology, Sheffield Hallam University. You can contact her by email at G.Thompson@shu.ac.uk and/or see information at http://www.shu.ac.uk/prospectus/course/328/.

Returners who have an interest in mammography will be interested to hear that the Jarvis Breast Centre offers a 60-day course, accredited by The University of Surrey, in collaboration with the local learning and development team – The learning Enterprise. This course is targeted at radiographers, resident in Surrey, who wish to return to the HCPC register after more than five years away and would specifically be interested in Mammography. A small bursary might be available to those who qualify.

In the absence of formal courses, returners have to devise their own programmes of study and keep a record of your private study to include date, times, activity (be specific; include name of article read and proper reference) and summary of what you have learned. 

Imaging and radiotherapy departments will have resources for staff and copies of all local policies and procedures.

a) Journals: The main journals for Radiographers are Synergy News, Synergy and Radiography, all of which are a benefit to members of The Society of Radiographers. To gain access to these you must be a member. The Society of Radiographers offers three months' free membership to Returners. Contact Joel Wilkins, Membership Services, on 020 7740 7228 or email joelw@sor.org to claim your three months' free membership. 

b) The World Wide Web: There is a vast amount of information out there, some good, some not so good and information gleaned from the internet needs to be treated with some caution. The members section of the website of the Society of Radiographers www.sor.org has a lot of information, including all of our professional documents and advice. You have to have a membership number to access the members section of the website.

Recommended websites as follows: 

http://www.connectingforhealth.nhs.uk 
http://www.dh.gov.uk 
http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk 
http://www.hpa.org.uk
www.e-radiography.net 
www.mritutor.org 
www.ctisus.com (CT) 
www.nice.org.uk 
www.xray2000.co.uk

c) Books: Your nearest radiography education provider may allow you access to library facilities. Also, your local lending library would be able to borrow books for you. The clinical department will also have some textbooks and journals. See suggested booklist in downloads at bottom of this page.

d) Study days, conferences and meetings: Attendance at events can count towards your period of updating skills and knowledge. You should write a report describing what you learned from the event.

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