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‘A day in the life’ project will improve radiography education

14 September, 2012
Dictionary entry for communication

A new report has evaluated a project to prepare radiographers for the workplace and enable students to develop a better understanding of the needs of service users.

The Ryan Harper Legacy: ‘A day in the life of…’ experience influencing allied health professions future practice’ has been published by the NHS Education for Scotland Allied Health Professions (AHP) Practice Education Facilitation (PEF) Programme.

In 2009, NHS Education for Scotland commissioned the Robert Gordon University preregistration radiography programme and PAMIS (Promoting A More Inclusive Scotland,) to develop ‘a day in the life of…’ experience.

This experience has become known as the Ryan Harper Legacy, in memory of one of the participants who died shortly after the project finished.

In the pilot project, six undergraduate Diagnostic Radiography students spent at least 12 hours in total with a patient with profound and multiple learning disabilities to enable them to experience a typical day in the life of the patients, their family and carers.

Both the students and participating families found the project beneficial. The students felt the experience had enhanced their empathy and sensitivity towards their patients and improved their communication skills.

Ian Henderson, Radiography subject lead at RGU, commented: “We have embedded this into our undergraduate programme following the pilot. The students found it to be an extremely valuable experience that particularly highlighted the difficulties faced in trying to understand the specific needs and anxieties of patients with a range of conditions. They became aware of aspects of these patients needs that they could never have envisaged otherwise and we believe/hope it has made them more aware and empathetic in the more general sense.

“We have now run this for a couple of year groups with very good feedback from those involved. It has to be acknowledged that it takes a bit of organisation, and care with the briefing and governance, however I believe it is well worth it.”

Click here to download a copy of the report.

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