At this time of year radiography departments up and down the country will be ready to welcome new student radiographers to their ranks on placement.
The Society of Radiographers has a number of useful resources and tips for managers to make sure that the transition is as smooth as possible.
Below, Louise Coleman, Professional Officer for Education and Accreditation at the SCoR, guides you through the main challenges.
What are students expectations and fears?
Students on placement will have a number of different concerns and motivations to your full-time members of staff.
Last year, the SCoR surveyed radiography students and recently qualified radiographers to gather information about their motivations, finances and experiences, among other things, taking in over 600 responses.
The responses have been collated, analysed and published in a single document on the SoR document library, and will give you some excellent background information to get you fully up to speed before students arrive at your department.
Click here to read the document.
How can radiographers keep students engaged on placement?
Making sure there is a stream of new radiographers coming through is key to the continued growth of the profession.
However, the issue of attrition from training placements for therapeutic radiographers in particular has been a challenge for some years.
Research carried out by the SCoR found that dissatisfaction with practice placements was the most frequently reported reason why students did not complete their programme.
Help is at hand, however, as the SCoR document Improving retention of the radiotherapy workforce - the role of practice placements in student attrition from pre-registration programmes in England, provides evidence-based recommendations on how best to ensure maximum retention.
How do I tackle concerns about bullying?
Bullying in the workplace is still cited as a problem for students and newly qualified radiographers.
The SCoR is currently in the process of surveying students to find out the extent of the problem (click here for more information), but there is also guidance available for students who are worried about bullying here, which you could share with them when they come to the department.
Your department can also sign up to the SCoR 'Stamp Out Bullying!' pledge, which aims to raise awareness about the problem of bullying.
You can find more information and see a full list of departments who have signed the pledge so far here.
Can I get any financial support?
Yes. If you're in England, your department could be missing out on as much as £55,000, as Health Education England pays Local Education and Training Board commissioned placement providers £3175 per student x Market Forces Factor for a full year’s placement.
You can find out more about this scheme by clicking here.
Is there a way to have my practice educators' teaching accredited?
Yes. The SCoR has developed the Practice Educator Accreditation Scheme, which allows those involved in pratice-based learning to be recognised through a national accreditation system.
The role of the practice educator is crucial to the continuous development of the clinical imaging and oncology workforce, so click here to find out more about getting accredited.