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10.9 Case Study 7 Lorraine Whyte

Practice Education Radiographer (Radiotherapy)

Career Pathway 

I went to college for a year, then gained entry to Glasgow Caledonian University  aged  29.  I studied the four year undergraduate programme BSc (Hons)Radiography (Therapeutic) and undertook my clinical placements at the Beatson Oncology Centre.  On graduation in 2002 I worked as a  Radiographer for 3 – 4 years and also worked as the colorectal on-treatment review radiographer for one day per week.  During this time I also completed the appropriate MSc module that accompanied this role.  I was then appointed to a senior position and continued working for a MSc. In 2009 I was offered acting up as a Band 7 which continued for 2 years until I secured a permanent Band 7 in 2011.  In February 2012 I began my post as Practice Education Radiographer.  

Case presentation; context, role, and how service is delivered differently because of the role

This is an entirely new role within the Beatson and is funded by the Beatson Charity Fund.  In preparation for this role I achieved Practice Educator Accreditation from the SCoR using the experiential route.  This role came about due to working in my own time as the SOR union learning rep and began with small CPD workshops which became hugely successful and highlighted the need for someone to have dedicated time to continue this role.  

I have responsibility for the development, delivery and evaluation of the Therapy Radiography core and continuous professional development programmes:

  • Planning, development and implementation of educational projects and initiatives
  • Focus on patient and person centred care, grounded in life long learning and evidence-based practice
  • Set within national, organisational and directorate objectives, guidelines and policies.

I am also responsible for development, implementation and maintenance of a robust system of training records for all members of staff, in accordance with local and national guidelines and in compliance with the requirements of the Society and College of Radiographers for Continuous Professional Development, with the Health Professions Council (HPC) for professional registration and regulation, and with legal requirements of the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations (IR(ME)R)

I provide evidence-based expert knowledge and advice to therapy radiographers, radiotherapy assistants and returners-to-practice within the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre (BWoSCC) and assist in the dissemination of research findings. I also mentor and supervise staff when necessary.

I also have a leadership role within the BWoSCC and facilitate the clinical, practice, professional and educational development of approximately 130 staff, consisting of Therapy Radiographers, Assistant Practitioners, Radiotherapy Assistants, one Modern Apprentice and the Mould Room Clinical Technologists. In addition, I assist in the retraining of staff returning to practice following a career break. I am also involved in the induction of new graduates and in the design and delivery of such training as is necessary to ensure that all radiography staff attain competencies in all new developments.

 

Outcome and/or future plans

We have a satellite radiotherapy centre opening up in 2015 and I hope to gain more funding from the Beatson Charity Fund so I can spend a day a week there to look after the education and training needs of staff employed there.

Conclusion

Strategic planning for future developments emphasises the need to build a secure future through investment in the cancer workforce. There is a strong requirement for future developments to be research based and a need to transfer such research findings into evidence-based practice throughout Radiotherapy. This can only be achieved through a robust programme of radiographer education and training and I believe that since the introduction of this role this has become a reality and benefits not only staff, but embodies safe, legal, effective, patient centred care.

Lorraine Whyte

 

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