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A new approach to skills development - distance learning with a difference

Williamson, Keren and Pope, Emma Louise 2013. A new approach to skills development - distance learning with a difference. Imaging & Therapy Practice 2013 (Jan) , pp. 19-21.

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INTRODUCTION 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 This is underpinned by the Society and College of Radiographers’ learning and development framework which makes particular reference to radiographers gaining knowledge of the psychological, sociological and cultural impact of cancer on patients and their families and carers. At Cardiff University, service users have been involved in supporting radiotherapy students’ education for a number of years Service users participate by acting as advocates for patients and carers in a ‘question and answer’ session with the intention of informing and promoting students’ understanding of their experiences and their needs in terms of psychosocial support. Although the sessions were evaluated positively and deemed to be of value to both students and service users, barriers to the efficacy of the learning activity were highlighted. METHOD & MATERIALS In a bid to overcome some of these barriers, it was suggested to take the ‘classroom to the service users’ using a web link and video conferencing facility. FINDINGS/CONCLUSION Higher Education Institutions must ensure that graduate therapeutic radiographers are equipped with the skills required for autonomous practice, probity and empathy with the psychosocial and emotional needs of cancer patients. Service user involvement in learning activities provides the opportunity for a unique insight into the patient’s journey and enables an understanding of how individual patients define their needs. The use of technology in this context enables both service users and educators to overcome barriers to engagement. However, from this project, it would appear that the best outcomes would be achieved with a smaller group of students and fewer service users so that visual interaction is more intimate. Consideration must be given to the emotional impact of such activities on both service users and students with careful preparation, facilitation and follow up essential to the continued well being of participants. Students need time to assimilate the information and time and safe space to reflect on and discuss the impact of their new found knowledge. The invaluable input of service users needs to be acknowledged and appreciation for their participation demonstrated. They also need to be offered support and given the opportunity to reflect on the impact of revisiting sometimes painful experiences.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Publisher: Society & College of Radiographers
ISSN: 1360-5518
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:09

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