Assistant practitioners (APs) perceptions of their developing role and practice in radiography: Results from a national survey

Journal article


Stewart-Lord, A, McLaren, SM and Ballinger, C (2011). Assistant practitioners (APs) perceptions of their developing role and practice in radiography: Results from a national survey. Radiography. 17 (3), pp. 193-200. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2011.02.006
AuthorsStewart-Lord, A, McLaren, SM and Ballinger, C
Abstract

Introduction: In 2000, the NHS Plan set out the government's plans for investment and reform across the NHS. Through the introduction of a new workforce at assistant practitioner (AP) level the Department of Health intended to implement new ways in which to deliver a more efficient service. At the time, little published information existed on the integration of these assistants into the contemporary radiography workforce. Publications were limited to experiences gained by various individual departments ranging in their perception of the role and education of APs. Further research was suggested to track the continuing implementation of the 4-tier structure, establish the precise nature and scope of the roles across Trusts and determine their impact on workload and patient care. Aim: To establish the number and employment locality of APs in radiography professions in England, and to explore their scope of applied practice. Method and materials: The study was conducted over three phases and employed a mixed methods design to address the aims and objectives. Phase I was a scoping exercise performed prior to data collection in which n = 226 radiography sites were identified for contact across England. Phase II utilized a questionnaire as data collection tool to investigate the role of APs in radiography and explore how their roles were integrated into the radiography workforce in England. Results from phase III of the study which utilized semi-structured qualitative interviews are not included in this paper. Conclusion and discussion: Key findings depict the nature and variety of roles and responsibilities undertaken by APs in radiography. This study was the first of its kind to identify the integration of APs in radiography across a sizable geographical region. There were mixed responses to the question asking APs if they were required to perform duties outside their scope of practice. Questionnaire data revealed that a high numbers of APs were working in areas under indirect supervision. Results from this study showed that APs, in some areas at least, were performing the roles of practitioners. Therefore further investigation is needed for new roles to develop criteria to determine which new roles should be the subject of statutory regulation. © 2011 The College of Radiographers.

Keywords1103 Clinical Sciences; Nuclear Medicine & Medical Imaging
Year2011
JournalRadiography
Journal citation17 (3), pp. 193-200
PublisherElsevier
ISSN1078-8174
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2011.02.006
Publication dates
Print15 Mar 2011
Publication process dates
Deposited04 Jul 2017
Accepted20 Feb 2011
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