Ethical commitments of radiographers in a teaching hospital in West Africa: patients’ perspective
Keywords:Ethics, code of conduct, patient care
Background: During clinical practice, health professionals abide by codes of conduct and ethics to ensure that patients are treated well ethically. Unethical practices create less positive encounters, make patients become less adherent to practitioners’ procedures and interventions, and also have medico-legal implications.
Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate ethical commitments demonstrated by radiographers, based upon patients’ perspective, in order to highlight the importance of sound ethical practice.
Method: A cross-sectional survey with a 25 item closed-ended questionnaire was used for soliciting responses for this study. Eighty-five patients (n=85) who received imaging services in the working units of the radiology departments at the time of the study (March - May, 2014) participated in the study. Descriptive statistics were used to generate the findings.
Results: Female respondents (n=46; 54%) were the majority in the study. Eighty-two (96.5%) of respondents felt they were treated with respect by radiographers during their examinations. All of the respondents acknowledged that radiographers protected their privacy and did not abuse the privileged relationship that existed between them. The radiographers were also found to be caring (79%), courteous (75%), and highly professional (86%) in their work activities. However, eight (9.4%) of the respondents indicated that some radiographers were rude.
Conclusion: Good ethical commitments to patients were demonstrated by radiographers in the study site. However, a few were found to have demonstrated poor ethical commitments. Sensitising radiographers on their ethical responsibilities and views of patients about the care rendered periodically is pivotal to effective health care.
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