An analysis of changes in practice introduced during an educational programme for practitioner-led swallowing investigations

Nightingale, J and Mackay, S 2009, 'An analysis of changes in practice introduced during an educational programme for practitioner-led swallowing investigations' , Radiography, 15 , pp. 63-69.

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Aim: With an expanding elderly population, demand for radiological evaluation of dysphagia is likely to grow. Radiographers and speech and language therapists (SLTs) have been encouraged to advance their role and they now perform swallowing studies in some hospitals. An academic programme was designed to support practitioners to develop their role in swallowing evaluation, evidenced by a clinical portfolio. This study aimed to investigate the nature of any changes in practice that were introduced by practitioners as a consequence of attendance on the module. Materials and methods: Documentary analysis was undertaken of the portfolios of 16 radiographers and 8 SLTs, to identify any changes in practice initiated by the students. Practice changes were coded and grouped into themes. Results: Practitioners had a mean of 15.2 years post-qualification experience (range 5e37), and a mean of 4.5 years working in the gastrointestinal field. Practitioners introduced between 4 and 19 practice changes (mean of 9), which could be categorised into three main areas of potential service improvement: communication; protocols and safety; quality assurance and audit. New services were introduced, including the introduction of practitioner-led services in 15/24 (62.5%) individuals. Conclusion: Without the academic underpinning knowledge and critical evaluation of practice promoted within the module, it is improbable that these practice changes would have been introduced as quickly, if at all. Practitioner-led swallowing services clearly have a place in the changing health service, and attendance on an academic programme of study can facilitate service developments by encouraging practitioners to engage in evidence based practice.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > L Education > L Education (General)
Subjects / Themes > R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Health and Wellbeing
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Radiography
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1078-8174
Depositing User: JM Nightingale
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2011 11:22
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 10:50

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