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A focused ethnography of radiotherapy students' learning on their first clinical placement

Sutton, Rosanna 2014. A focused ethnography of radiotherapy students' learning on their first clinical placement. EdD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Building on literature from the medical and nursing field, this study focuses on radiotherapy students on their first clinical placement. Clinical education is an essential component in the process of becoming a qualified therapeutic radiographer. Yet, as this research demonstrates, students are inadequately prepared for their first clinical placement. The study explores the professional socialisation of students new to the clinical setting, identifying the challenges they face in this alien environment. It also examines students’ perceptions of the clinical pedagogy. Three methods of data collection were employed for this focussed ethnography: six weeks of non-participant observation in two hospitals, interviews with seven students, and five focus group discussions with a total of 19 clinical radiographers. The results show how student expectations changed over a short time interval. Clinical teaching was ad hoc and assessment of competence subjective. Hierarchy was revealed between radiographers and students, between students themselves and between radiographers. In trying to fit in and learn the job, students were affected by other demands on radiographers’ time, which limited the attention they received. It was also notable that Band 5 radiographers spent more time teaching than Bands 6 and 7. The radiographers were aware of limitations in their clinical teaching, but defended themselves in terms of workforce pressures and the negative impact of increased student numbers, frequent rotation and short clinical placements. In the analysis, the concept of ‘belongingness’ is used to interpret the impact that student exclusion had on professional socialisation, learning and the importance of teamwork. Foucault’s concepts of ‘governmentality’ and ‘panopticism’ are employed in understanding on how the radiographers were bound and limited by the healthcare organisation and the university’s curriculum.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2019 12:58

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