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Title: Shedding new light on magnetic resonance imaging practitioner education : jack of all trades or master of one?
Author: Westbrook, Catherine
ISNI:       0000 0004 6352 2623
Awarding Body: Anglia Ruskin University
Current Institution: Anglia Ruskin University
Date of Award: 2016
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Rationale: MRI is a highly specialised imaging modality that uses non-damaging radiation to produce detailed medical images. In most countries, these images are acquired by practitioners who first train as radiographers and then specialise in MRI. Previous research suggests that some MRI practitioners may have insufficient knowledge to practise safely. This research proposes that practitioners should be educated initially and exclusively in MRI via a specialised undergraduate curriculum. This is underpinned by a proposition that the practice of MRI does not require an advancement of previously acquired radiographic knowledge, but instead reflects a difference in knowledge. Methodology: As there are educational and professional implications to this research, a mixed-methodology approach is chosen. A convergent nested design with a dominant educational quantitative strand, supported by professional qualitative data, is used. Quantitative data are collected via an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) to explore whether there is any difference in MRI knowledge between graduate and experiential practitioners. Graduate practitioners (n=25) learn MRI only via a specialised undergraduate degree. Experiential practitioners (n=23) learn only experientially postqualification as a radiographer. Qualitative data exploring the professional implications of direct entry into MRI are collected via semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders (n=8). These are professionals who have either experience of graduate and experiential practitioners or an influence on policy in this area. The data from both strands are merged and analysed using a connections matrix. Findings: Statistical analysis of the quantitative data shows that graduate practitioners score more highly in the OSCE at a significance of p < 0.05, especially in topics related to general principles of MRI, image contrast and image acquisition. The qualitative data support direct entry but raise concerns about limited scope of practice and registration. Contribution to knowledge: This is the first study that considers whether the radiographic specialism is best learned initially and exclusively at undergraduate level and whether it is necessary to qualify as a radiographer to practise MRI. It is also the first study that uses a mixed-methodology approach to explore the feasibility of early specialisation in radiography.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available