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The Assistant Practitioner

The definition of the assistant practitioner appears in the Skill Mix document1 as follows:

‘'’An Assistant Practitioner performs protocol-limited clinical tasks under the direction and supervision of a state registered practitioner.’’
(It should be noted that, at the time of publication, the term ‘’state registered’’ was still valid).

The Society and College of Radiographers’ policy regarding the practice of assistant practitioners was published in the document “Educational and Professional Development: Moving Ahead”2. Assistant practitioners, like general support staff, are likely to be from diverse backgrounds but they will differ from the general support workforce in that, as part of their duties, they will perform limited clinical imaging examinations or treatment procedures in concert with, and under the supervision of, registered radiographers. The range of such examinations or treatments will vary in accordance with locally identified need but is likely to be confined to standard examinations or treatments carried out on adult patients who are conscious, co-operative and communicative, and conducted in accordance with locally agreed protocols.

This guidance document is intended to support service managers, radiographers and assistant practitioners by stating clearly the rationale for the Scope of Practice of Assistant Practitioners in all aspects of imaging and radiotherapy and clarifying the responsibilities of all concerned. Service managers may wish to use this document to create local guidelines which best suit their own service needs.
It is intended that the Scope of Practice for the entire radiography workforce continues to be kept under review and research evidence used to support future developments in the Scope of Practice, such that services to patients continue to be improved.


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