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Final-year Diagnostic Radiography Students' Perception of Role Models within the Profession

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Within a clinical education setting, the value of role models and prescribed mentors can be seen as an important influence in shaping the student's future as a diagnostic radiographer. A study was undertaken to create a new understanding of how diagnostic radiography students perceive role models and professional behavior in the workforce. The study aimed to determine the impact of clinical education in determining modeling expectations, role model identification and attributes, and the integration of academic education and “hands-on” clinical practice in preparing diagnostic radiography students to enter the workplace. Thirteen final-year (third-year) diagnostic radiography students completed an hour-long interview regarding their experiences and perceptions of role models while on clinical placement. The key concepts that emerged illustrated that students gravitate toward radiographers who enjoy sharing practical experiences with students and are good communicators. Unique to diagnostic radiography, students made distinctions about the presence of role models in private versus public service delivery. This study gives insight to clinical educators in diagnostic radiography and wider allied health into how students perceive role models, interact with preceptors, and combine real-life experiences with formal learning.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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  • The Journal of Allied Health is the official publication of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP). The Journal is the only interdisciplinary allied health periodical, publishing scholarly works related to research and development, feature articles, research abstracts and book reviews. Readers of the Journal comprise allied health leaders, educators, faculty and students.
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