Being and Becoming a Diagnostic Radiographer

  • Jane Harvey-Lloyd

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The response to social, economic and political influences has resulted in the radiography profession undergoing significant change, increasing service demands and a requirement for graduates to possess a much wider range of skills. The changing role of the radiographer has also been as a consequence of fast evolving technology and the subsequent demand for radiography services. Due to the increasing role that diagnostic imaging now plays in many patient pathways, a wider range of procedures are undertaken in vaster quantities and this brings with it more complex patient cases. Consequently, it has been suggested that radiography is a ‘profession under pressure’.

    The aim of the study was to explore the experience of newly qualified practitioners in their first post as a radiographer in a range of diagnostic imaging departments in the NHS. There is a clear need for new insights and updated knowledge about this transition experience in radiography in order to raise awareness of these challenges within the profession.

    An interpretive phenomenology methodology was used. This research design was a longitudinal, qualitative prospective study. Following ethical approval, data were collected from a group of nine newly qualified radiographers who had commenced employment in the NHS. Three interviews were undertaken with each participant; at three months, six months and twelve months post qualification. All participants had graduated from one university, and had entered employment within an NHS Trust in which they had not worked as trainees. Thematic analysis was utilised to ensure that there was a thorough examination of each individual experience, commonalities and relationships, including the identification of differences across the participants.

    The six main themes identified included; needing support, settling in, developing confidence, becoming established, feeling useful and looking forward. The impact and influence of these themes on the participant experience varied across the twelve month journey and between each participant. The sub-themes offered further insight into the experiences and these were enhanced by the final interviews at twelve months which utilised a theme board allowing some visual representation of the participants’ feelings. The anticipated contribution to knowledge will be an increased understanding and awareness of the demands of this transition period and will inform future curriculum planning, management of the student experience, and support for the newly-qualified radiographer.
    Date of AwardJan 2018
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Brighton
    SupervisorDinah Morris (Supervisor)

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