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Tuesday, May 28, 2013, Issue 65

Student development: Some radiographers could do better

How would you score the radiographers in your department when it comes to helping you learn on placement?

This was the isuse raised last month at the Annual Delegates Conference (ADC) in Brighton, and reported on in the April edition of StudentTalk.

Student Donna O'Doherty presented a motion at ADC, explaining: "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."

The motion presented by Donna was carried, which means that the Society's UK Council will look into the issue.

Since our last report, you've been sharing your views. On the whole, radiographers are supportive of students but there is some room for improvement.

Here's what you had to say:

Gemma Burton

Whilst the vast majority of the radiographers I have worked with have been very supportive and encouraging to students, there are the odd few who, as Lyn Fotheringham put it, 'don't do students'.

It can be a bit off-putting when there is someone who consistently refuses to learn your name, even when you work alongside them every day for a week or more or refuse to engage in conversation with you. I know of other students who have had radiographers, who, when asked to check the positioning of the patient before x-ray exposure occurs, completely re-position the patient to exactly the same position that the student had the patient in.

Whilst I understand the need for student positioning to be checked to avoid unnecessary exposure to ionising radiation for the patient, it doesn't facilitate active learning if you are never allowed to see what your positioning looks like on a radiograph. Could it be that it requires a certain amount of personal confidence to relinquish a degree of control to the student and could this be addressed through training on teaching students?

Overall, I think the essential factor in all of this is communication which, as healthcare professionals, should be at the top of everything that we do. If a radiographer is not confident/happy enough to monitor a student's progress, then there needs to be open communication about this with the student, the University liaison and their own employer, rather than the radiographer either ignoring or, in the case that Donna O'Doherty brought up, pushing the student to one side. After all, as radiographers and healthcare professionals, we wouldn't ignore or push our patients to one side!

Marium Rasheed

As a student, at times it has been very difficult to be able to get an input into everything, I understand it's a learning process, but there are certain members of staff who tend to put up a barrier to the practical aspect of learning, whether intentional or unintentional.

Name and email address supplied

I couldn't believe this report. Following incidences that I've seen in my department I am currently just finishing off my research proposal looking into the clinical learning environment. I too am a student rep; your report was very interesting (not to mention just in time to be added into my proposal!)

Personally there are staff who do put me off and I perform below my capabilities when working with them, compared to staff who are more positive towards me.

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