Student development: Could radiographers do more?
Should some radiographers make more of an effort to assist students in their learning and promote student development whilst on clinical placement?
This was the issue raised by student Donna O'Doherty who presented a motion on behalf of the Midlands region to more than 180 delegates at this year's Annual Delegates Conference (ADC) in Brighton.
Stated Donna: "As students, we experience varying levels of radiographer interest as to our learning and development within the clinical environment. It's apparent that some staff members have little to no interest in aiding students with their development, which can lead to them feeling deflated, intimidated and even bullied."
As a student representative, Donna hears many stories from students of being belittled or excluded by radiographers. Donna continued: "Recently, a student reported to being physically pushed aside when attempting to aid with the setup of a patient. With no reason given and none being apparent, this behaviour is actively obstructing the student's development
"While we appreciate that it's not always possible to aid with the patient positioning, the student could be informed of this rather than being pushed to one side. Even something as simple as ignoring the student at the beginning of the shift but acknowledging the rest of the team can leave the student feeling uneasy and affect their learning."
Seconding the motion was Queen Margaret University student Lyn Fotheringham, who added: "I have been told from an academic lecturer and some other students that some radiographers 'do not do' students. There are also stories of some students leaving the course because they do not want to become a radiographer because of the way they have been personally treated."
Both noted this behaviour is not true of all radiographers, but argued that some need to be more aware of their behaviour and how it affects students' development.
The motion called on UK Council to actively promote a culture among staff for raising awareness of their role in student development. The motion was carried.
What have your experiences been of clinical placement? Are the majority of radiographers helpful and encouraging? Or have you experienced obstructive or unsupportive behaviour? Email the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org.