University of Leeds (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 4515-4523
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Radiography as a practice-based profession where clinical education is an integral element within the radiography degree (Price et al 2000). It provides radiography students with opportunities to apply their learning to practice and develop the expected skills of a graduate radiographer. Literature suggests that the transition to the clinical environment has associated problems for healthcare students, including stress due to the new learning environment and not knowing what is expected of them (Prince et al 2005), being unfamiliar with procedures and other healthcare professionals (Andrews et al 2006), and facing situations that can be challenging and unpredictable (Chesser-Smyth 2005). It is noted that the first clinical placement can be the point of confirmation whether the student has made the correct choice regarding their chosen career (Yong 1996 in Chesser-Smyth 2005)

Anecdotal evidence suggests that it is common for first year radiography students to be apprehensive about their first clinical placement in the imaging department. It can be an intimidating and unfamiliar environment where the student has to become accustomed to technology, the clinical environment, diversity of patients and established imaging teams. They can be unsure of their place in the imaging team and what is expected of them.

In order to address this, induction workshops were designed to prepare first-year radiography students for their first clinical placement in the imaging department during in Semester 1. The induction workshops were designed using a delivery of blended learning and delivered over 1½ days:

• A 1-day workshop was held in the university setting covering key themes such as infection control in the imaging department, professionalism and uniforms, basic patient monitoring such as blood pressure and pulse, an e-tour of the imaging room on a mobile gadget, expectations of students on placement and ‘Top Tips’ on how to survive their first placement
• A ½ day practical workshop based in the clinical skills room to cover basic radiographic techniques, the control panel and an insight to the patient experience
• An e-book was developed to facilitate learning and student engagement during the workshops and subsequent clinical placements.

The 1-day and ½-day workshops were evaluated at the end of each session and were very well received. This was followed up after completion of their first 3-week clinical placement to gain further insight as to whether the workshops had helped the students to feel well-prepared and settle in smoothly. The majority of students indicated that they had been given the confidence to become an active member of the imaging team, to get involved in imaging examinations and had a good idea of what was expected of them. The key theme that emerged for improvement was their apparent lack of underpinning knowledge of radiographic technique. This was symptomatic of recent changes in the delivery of the radiography degree where the radiography technique module was moved from semester 1 to semester 2. This has already been addressed for the next academic year.