The lived experiences of radiographers in Gauteng
Keywords:retention, autonomy, professionalism and recognition
Purpose: Evidence suggests that there is a shortage of radiographers globally. This has a detrimental effect on service delivery and patient care received. There has been a call for research to be conducted in the radiography setting in order to address staff retention in the profession.
Objective: To explore and describe the lived experiences of radiographers in a Gauteng setting.
Method: A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual design was utilised. A purposive sample consisted of diagnostic radiographers in Gauteng, some practicing and others that have left the profession completely. A qualitative research paradigm was used, using focus group interviews to collect data until data saturation was reached. Nineteen (n= 19) radiographers participated in the focus group interviews.
Results: Three themes emerged from the data: experiences that facilitated a positive radiographic experience; experiences that inhibit a positive radiographic experience, and factors that enhance a positive radiographic experience.
Conclusion: The study revealed that the participants (radiographers) in Gauteng are committed to providing excellent patient care and that they value positive interpersonal relationships with their colleagues. They experienced a lack of professional recognition and believe the radiographic profession is plagued by stagnation. The results further revealed that the participants were willing to work towards creating a positive self-image and were committed to introducing more autonomy into the profession.
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