Perceived level of professionalism among radiography students at the University of Namibia
Keywords:competence, professional duty, values, radiography
Introduction. Radiographers, like other health professionals, are mandated by their scope of practice to behave in a professional and ethical manner. Technological advances in the profession have led to the modernisation of the radiography profession. However, concerns have been raised in the health sciences’ professions regarding unprofessional, unethical and unlawful behaviour of professionals. To gain public trust, radiographers should commit themselves to the standards of the profession.
Aim. The aim of this study was to assess the level of professionalism of student radiographers enrolled for the Bachelor of Radiography (Diagnostic) (BRad: D) degree programme at the University of Namibia (UNAM).
Methodology. A quantitative design with a cross-sectional approach was used. Data were collected from a conveniently selected sample of students enrolled for the BRad: D degree programme at the UNAM (n=55) who completed a self-administered questionnaire. Data were analysed using the statistical software programme (SPSS) (version 24).
Results. Participants reported varied levels of professionalism. Results indicated that the majority of the participants showed good accountability (n=47; 87%), compassion (n=46; 83.6%), excellence (n=39; 70.9%) and integrity (n=44; 80%). No significant association was found between the level of professionalism and the different years of study, how the participants perceived clinical practice and the workload, and how satisfied the participants were with the clinical setting and clinical supervision they received. Overall, it was found that the participants displayed average to good levels of professionalism.
Conclusion. Student radiographers work under supervision of radiographers; therefore, it is essential that their professional behaviour is aligned with the professional standards prescribed by the regulatory bodies. Educators should continually reinforce professional values, especially altruism and professional duty, among students during theoretical and clinical training. This will ensure that upon graduation, student radiographers can smoothly transition into professional radiographers who should demonstrate the level of professionalism consistent with the profession.
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