An investigation of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Diagnostic/Therapeutic Radiographers and radiography service provision in Northern Ireland

Mc Fadden, S. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

Description

Purpose:
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on healthcare services since March 2020. The pandemic resulted in Diagnostic
Radiography and Radiotherapy services having to adapt working practices to protect patients and staff while maintaining
high-quality services. The study explored the impact of COVID-19 on Diagnostic and Therapeutic Radiographers and
service provision in Northern Ireland (NI).
Methods and Materials
A mixed methods approach was used. A Qualtrics® survey was promoted via social media platforms (Twitter® and
Facebook®). Managers across NI were invited to participate in online interviews using Microsoft Teams®. Information was
gathered on the demographic characteristics of the radiographers, individual experience and the impact of the pandemic
on clinical services. Analysis was performed using SPSS and NVIVO.
Results
110 radiographers completed the survey between February and April 2021 (82 Diagnostic and 24 Therapeutic, 4
unspecified). 11 managers shared their experiences managing the service and workforce during the pandemic. Immediate
challenges included staff restructuring/redeployment, managing changing policies regarding PPE and adapting working
practices. The changing communication regarding PPE regulations during the initial period of the pandemic, heightened
staff anxiety. Managers reported success in delivering high-quality services. Positive outcomes identified included
improved infection control practices, building new networks between multidisciplinary teams and the rapid integration of
technology into practice.
Conclusion
Radiography and Radiotherapy services anticipate more challenges ahead; the greatest being the management of the
backlog of patients who were postponed due to COVID-19. Managers are proud of their professional and adaptable
workforce and feel prepared for any future waves of COVID-19.
Period20 Aug 2021
Event titleISRRT 2021: null
Event typeConference
LocationIreland
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Keywords

  • covid-19, radiography, service delivery, Northern Ireland