Effectiveness of communication between student radiographers and patients before, during and after radiographic procedures
Keywords:effective communication, student radiographers, simulation, mentoring
Introduction. Effective communication during radiographic procedures has significant benefits such as enhancing patient understanding and adherence to treatment plans. At the University of Namibia (UNAM), radiography students receive didactic lectures and are exposed to the principles of effective communication during clinical placements. Students are expected to apply verbal and nonverbal communication methods to enhance a patient’s experience in radiology departments. The use of ineffective communication methods may hinder patient outcomes and adherence to procedural instruction.
Purpose. To assess the effectiveness of communication between student radiographers and patients before, during, and after radiographic procedures.
Methods. A quantitative, cross-sectional and descriptive research design was utilised. A convenience sampling strategy was used to select first, second, third and fourth-year radiography students. Data were collected in three phases. Self-developed questionnaires and checklists were used to collect data.
Results. A total of 50 students (n=50) and 50 patients (n=50) participated in the study. Patients reported good communication skills: 1st years (84.2%), 2nd years (70%), 3rd years (85.7%), and 4th years (75%). There was no statistically significant association between communication skills and year of study (p=0.883), gender (p=0.495) and spoken language (p=0.357). Effective communication was noted during most interactions with patients. However, weaknesses were found in the communications methods used by the student participants before and after the radiographic procedures.
Recommendations. The study recommends that didactic lectures on effective communication should be complemented by using role play and simulation so as to further reinforce students’ communication abilities. Proper clinical supervision and mentoring are also recommended to improve clinical training and monitoring with regard to effective communication.
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