Advanced practice roles amongst therapeutic radiographers/radiation therapists: A European survey

Celeste Oliveira, Barbara Barbosa, Jose Guilherme Couto, Isabel Bravo, Ciara Hughes, Sonyia McFadden, Ricardo Khine, Helen McNair

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8 Citations (Scopus)
131 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Introduction Advanced Practice (AP) roles in Radiotherapy (RT) over time are variable, often locally developed and not underpinned by professional standards which leads to conceptual and practical gaps. This study aimed to assess AP roles amongst Therapeutic Radiographers/Radiation Therapists (TR/RTTs) and identify educational gaps for this level across Europe. Methods An anonymous online survey was designed, validated, and distributed across Europe. Convenience sampling was used to recruit advanced TR/RTTs practitioners or TR/RTTs working in AP roles. Descriptive analysis from closed questions and thematic analyses from open questions are reported. Results A total of 272 responses were obtained, of which 189 eligible participations were from 21 European countries. 42% of respondents acknowledged additional education required to perform AP, and 25% reported a minimum of five years of RT practice to perform AP roles/tasks. There is a trend to work more on the clinical practice domain with a low percentage of working time allocated to research. Inconsistency was found in job titles, scopes of practice, and educational backgrounds across and even within countries. Education needs regarding knowledge about image-guided and adaptive RT, multimodal imaging and technologies, and advanced treatment planning were found. Training needs on leadership and management skills and clinical site-specific expertise were identified. Conclusion This study clearly shows a gap in education support, a need for standardisation in job titles and scopes of practice across Europe. Implications for practice As the first large-scale assessment of current AP roles and educational support amongst TR/RTTs across Europe, this study recommends the establishment of governance structure and role regulation. It also informs the curricula for master programmes to align the education with current and future practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-273
Number of pages13
JournalRadiography
Volume29
Issue number2
Early online date4 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

This work was co-funded by the SAFE EUROPE project under the Erasmus Sector Skill Alliances programme [grant
agreement 2018- 2993/001-001].
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the
contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use
which may be made of the information contained therein.
Helen McNair is funded by a National Institute for Health Research and Health Education England (HEE/NIHR), Senior
Clinical Lectureship and supported by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation
Trust and the Institute of Cancer Research, London

Funding Information:
The survey consisted of three-sections (Table 1): I - sociodemographic characteristics; II - professional profile including current AP roles; IIA or IIB- two split sub-sections depending on the AP status (formal vs informal) to explore additional education, role evaluation and support; III - current and future education and training needs for AP.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The College of Radiographers

Funding Information:
The survey consisted of three-sections (Table 1): I - sociodemographic characteristics; II - professional profile including current AP roles; IIA or IIB- two split sub-sections depending on the AP status (formal vs informal) to explore additional education, role evaluation and support; III - current and future education and training needs for AP.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The College of Radiographers

Funding Information:
The survey consisted of three-sections (Table 1): I - sociodemographic characteristics; II - professional profile including current AP roles; IIA or IIB- two split sub-sections depending on the AP status (formal vs informal) to explore additional education, role evaluation and support; III - current and future education and training needs for AP.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The College of Radiographers

Keywords

  • Advanced practice
  • Therapeutic radiographer
  • Radiation therapist
  • Education
  • Europe
  • Advanced practice roles

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