An analysis of the experiences of radiography and radiotherapy students who are carers at one UK university

Hussain, Z, Pickering, V, Percy, DF ORCID:, Crane, J and Bogg, J 2010, 'An analysis of the experiences of radiography and radiotherapy students who are carers at one UK university' , Radiography, 17 (1) , pp. 49-54.

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Purpose: this is a mixed methods study of the experiences and attendance of radiography and radiotherapy students who are carers at one UK university, Undergraduate radiography and radiotherapy programmes are attracting increasing numbers of mature students. It is therefore likely that the number of students with carer responsibilities is also increasing. This study explores the experiences of higher education of students with caring responsibilities. The aim of the study is to identify possible strategies and practices to enhance the student experience and so to work towards compliance with the recent Equality Act 2010. Method: all students on the radiography (n = 130) and radiotherapy (n = 97) programmes were invited to complete a short questionnaire. Students who identified themselves as carers on the questionnaire were invited to participate in focus group sessions. Due to the issues raised in the focus groups by students with regard to attendance at university and clinical placement, student absence rates were also investigated for students with and without caring responsibilities. Results: 215 students completed the questionnaire. 30 of the 215 students identified themselves as carers. 18 carers agreed to take part in focus groups. Carers reported that having fees paid by the NHS was an important choice factor for higher education. Carers’ main concerns were: timetabling, finances, support after exam failures, understanding from academic staff and attendance issues. Examination of absence rates demonstrated carers had significantly (p = 0.000) less absence than non-carers for radiography and no significant differences for radiotherapy (p = 0.105). Conclusion: the NHS states it must be reflective of the community it serves. Thus those responsible for delivering health professional programmes have a duty to recruit and retain a diverse student population. The introduction of the Equality Act 2010 means higher education institutions must consider the needs of those with protected characteristics. A number of actions regarding the delivery and administration of the programmes have been identified from this study.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School > Salford Business School Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Radiography
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1078-8174
Depositing User: Professor D. F. Percy
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2011 13:03
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 16:05

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