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Title: An evaluation of student and newly qualified radiographers' competence in image interpretation.
Authors: Gravino, Gilbert
Keywords: Radiography, Medical
Radiation workers
Image analysis
Musculoskeletal system -- Abnormalities
Occupational training
Issue Date: 2010
Citation: Gravino, G. (2010). An evaluation of student and newly qualified radiographers' competence in image interpretation. (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: Purpose This study was set up to evaluate how well final year students and newly qualified radiographers perform at interpreting skeletal trauma images and ultimately reflect the adequacy of undergraduate education in such skills within the local B.Sc. (Hons.) Radiography course. It was also aimed to determine the level of certainty with which the subjects interpret images. Methods A radiographic test bank comprising 32 skeletal trauma cases was used to test 8 undergraduate students and 10 radiographers (having \< 1 year experience). The subjects had to determine whether each case's appearance was normal or abnormal and write a short comment explaining the pathology in the case of a perceived abnormality. They expressed their level of certainty on each interpretation using a 5-point Likert scale. The results were evaluated with respect to sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and even commenting. Statistical analysis using the one way ANOV A test was carried out to compare the results obtained by the students and qualified radiographers. An open ended question at the end of the answer sheet gave the participants the opportunity to express their views and thoughts about education in image interpretation. Results The mean scores of sensitivity, specificity and accuracy obtained by the 18 participants (based on categorising the cases as normal or abnormal) were 61.81%, 63.54% and 62.68% respectively. 54.17% of cases were correctly commented upon, meaning that accuracy decreased by 8.51% when commenting. Students obtained 55.47% sensitivity, 60.16% specificity and 57.85% accuracy, whereas radiographers obtained 66.88% sensitivity, 66.25% specificity and 66.56% accuracy; however these differences were insignificant. The only difference which proved to be significant was in the mean percentage of correct comments; students = 46.10% and radiographers = 60.63% (p-value = 0.003). Conclusions The results suggest that final year students and newly qualified radiographers fall short of the desired and expected level in interpreting skeletal trauma images. The need for new educational schemes to help improve this skill is evident. Although the difference in scores between the two groups was statistically insignificant in most measures, there is evidence to suggest that the radiographers with very little experience already perform slightly better than students with no hands-on working experience.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacHScRad - 2010

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