September 29th: Role extension in developing nations

word cloudWe discussed the JMIRS articleThe Influence of Image Interpretation Training on the Accuracy of Abnormality Detection and Written Comments on Musculoskeletal Radiographs by South African Radiographers Hazell, Motto and Chipeya. JMIRS, 2015. Chat was moderated by Julia Watson. You can find the Storify here.

Check out September’s MedRadBlog on this subject by Cynthia Cowling. This month’s themes:

  1. Can role expansion/extension improve patient care in low resource settings?
  2. How can we maximise impact of radiographer workshops in the medium/long term?
  3. What barriers to extended/expanded radiographer scope exist and how can these be overcome?

Supporting readings:

Link to the WeGizmo transcript and word cloud from this chat can be found here (H/T @WeGizmos)

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One thought on “September 29th: Role extension in developing nations

  1. Common themes arising from last night’s chat centered unsurprisingly, on resource; access to radiologists, mentorship and education. As highlighted by the authors in the suggested reading, there is a pronounced shortage of radiologists in developing nations – 220 covering Nigeria, 450 in South Africa, 80 in Kenya and less than 10 in Uganda. This poses a problem not only for the interpretation of images but also the local support required to successfully implement role extension and expansion for radiographers. While a barrier this also represents an opportunity. Radiographers, as front line health professionals have, with appropriate education and support, the opportunity to greatly improve patient care and outcomes by providing the complete imaging service, from justification of request, image acquisition and then a preliminary clinical evaluation or definitive report. Collaboration with advanced practitioner radiographers and higher educational bodies can now be facilitated via blended and technology enhanced distance learning and can be used to compliment local training and workshops. The ISRRT and WHO, when supported by international colleagues, can ask as the source of this training. Another vital aspect is measuring the success of training and education through audit and implementation of change at a local level. What is the best way to support this? How can it be achieved remotely? Can technology be effective? These are questions which I don’t have the answer for, but I am grateful that the discussion has commenced. An essential component in improved care is measurement of impact and success – how do we determine what was successful and what should be altered? Roust audit and research is required to provide the evidence to funding bodies and to local government and healthcare organisations to justify investment.

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