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Learning from patients - an example of service user involvment in radiotherapy education [Abstract]

Williamson, Keren, Pope, Emma Louise, Mundy, Lynn Alison and White, Erica 2009. Learning from patients - an example of service user involvment in radiotherapy education [Abstract]. Clinical Oncology 21 (3) , p. 253. 10.1016/j.clon.2009.01.001

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Abstract

Background One of the key professional standards for therapeutic radiography relates to the integration of theory with practice to ensure the physical and psychosocial well-being of patients with cancer (SCoR, 2003; QAA, 2001; HPC 2007). A recent NRAG report (2005) supports this and presents information from patient advocates stating that patients want improved psychological and emotional support before, during and after radiotherapy treatment. This study aimed to explore how, through service user involvement, radiotherapy education can effectively address patient needs and meet these professional standards. Method This study utilised a social constructionist methodology, namely the professionalizing type of action research (Hart & Bond, 1995). Within this context, 13 final year radiotherapy students at Cardiff University were introduced to concepts and theories related to the physical, social and psychological care of patients and tasked with composing and justifying a series of questions which were put to a panel of cancer survivors. Outcomes Student reflections and evaluations reported positive outcomes from the learning activity in relation to acquiring a better understanding of the needs of their patients. Issues raised by cancer survivors were acknowledged, with students stating an intention to change practice as a consequence of this new knowledge. The biggest impact on understanding was seen in relation to the needs of patient carers; ‘I never give the carer a thought, In fact, I don’t think many radiographers do!’ . Conclusion Higher education institutions are obliged to ensure that graduate therapeutic radiographers are equipped with the skills for autonomous practice, probity and empathy with the psychosocial and emotional needs of the cancer patient. This example illustrates how through the engagement of service users in the academic learning environment, strategies can be developed to provide the future cancer workforce with the skills required for the development of professional practice and improvement of service provision.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0936-6555
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:59
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/30138

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