Digital skills of therapeutic radiographers/radiation therapists – Document analysis for a European educational curriculum

B. Barbosa, I. Bravo, C. Oliveira, L. Antunes, J.G. Couto, S. McFadden, C. Hughes, P. McClure, A.G. Dias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction It is estimated that around 50% of cancer patients require Radiotherapy (RT) at some point during their treatment, hence Therapeutic Radiographers/Radiation Therapists (TR/RTTs) have a key role to play in patient management. It is essential for TR/RTTs to keep abreast with new technologies and continuously develop the digital skills necessary for safe RT practice. The RT profession and education is not regulated at European Union level, which leads to heterogeneity in the skills developed and practised among countries. This study aimed to explore the white and grey literature to collate data on the relevant digital skills required for TR/RTTs practice. Methods An exhaustive systematic search was conducted to identify literature discussing digital skills of TR/RTTs; relevant grey literature was also identified. A thematic analysis was performed to identify and organise these skills into themes and sub-themes. Results 195 digital skills were identified, organised in 35 sub-themes and grouped into six main themes: (i) Transversal Digital Skills, (ii) RT Planning Image, (iii) RT Treatment Planning, (iv) RT Treatment Administration, (v) Quality, Safety and Risk Management, and (vi) Management, Education and Research. Conclusion This list can be used as a reference to close current gaps in knowledge or skills of TR/RTTs while anticipating future needs regarding the rapid development of new technologies (such as Artificial Intelligence or Big Data). Implications for practice It is imperative to align education with current and future RT practice to ensure that all RT patients receive the best care. Filling the gaps in TR/RTTs skill sets will improve current practice and provide TR/RTTs with the support needed to develop more advanced skills.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-963
Number of pages9
JournalRadiography
Volume28
Issue number4
Early online date14 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
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.

Funding Information:
This work was co-funded by the SAFE EUROPE project under the Erasmus+ Sector Skill Alliances programme [grant agreement 2018-2993/001-001 ].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

Keywords

  • Digital skillsq
  • Therapeutic radiographer
  • Radiation therapist
  • Technology
  • Curriculum
  • Education
  • Digital skills

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