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

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Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2021
EventISRRT 2021 - Dublin/online, Ireland
Duration: 20 Aug 202122 Aug 2021
https://isrrtdublin2021.org/

Conference

ConferenceISRRT 2021
CountryIreland
Period20/08/2122/08/21
Internet address

Keywords

  • covid-19
  • service provision
  • radiography staff
  • NI

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