• Beyond image interpretation: Capturing the impact of radiographer advanced practice through activity diaries

      Snaith, Beverly; Milner, R.C.; Harris, Martine A. (2016-11)
      There is limited evidence of the impact of radiographers working in advanced roles beyond task substitution. This study reviews the contribution of advanced (and consultant) practitioner radiographers to service delivery whilst reporting radiographs and demonstrates the impact this has on patients and staff, both internal and external to the imaging department. The study was a prospective exploratory study using activity diaries to allow interval sampling when individuals were rostered to report. Data was coded using a compiled list of activities and recorded in 15-min intervals over the period of one week. Thirteen radiographers who independently report radiographs participated across 6 locations in a busy multisite English National Health Service (NHS) Trust. Radiographers reported the majority of the examinations during the study period (n = 4512/5671; 79.6%). The total number of coded activities recorded over the study period was 1527, equating to 380.5 relative hours. The majority of available time was spent reporting, including dictating and verifying the reports of colleagues or trainees, although 69.5% of reporting time was interrupted. Based upon the hours of reporting there was an average of 19.3 reports (patient episodes) produced per hour. Direct patient care tasks and support for staff in decision making were regularly documented. Supplementary tasks included administrative activity, amendments to rotas, preparing presentations and documenting incidents identified during reporting. This study has demonstrated the breadth and complexity of the activities performed by advanced practice radiographers. The findings confirm their role in supporting service delivery beyond image interpretation.
    • Embedding consultant radiographer roles within radiology departments: A framework for success

      Nightingale, J.; Hardy, Maryann L.; Snaith, Beverly (2018-11)
      Objectives: Many organisations struggle to clearly differentiate the radiographer consultant role from advanced or specialist practice, with newly appointed consultant practitioners often illprepared for working at this level. This article discusses the design, implementation and validation of an outcomes framework for benchmarking competencies for trainee or new-in-post consultant radiographers. Methods: Five experienced radiographers from different clinical specialisms were seconded to a twelve month consultant trainee post, guided by a locally-devised outcomes framework. A longitudinal qualitative study explored, from the radiographers' perspective, the impact of the outcomes framework on the transition to consultant practice and beyond. Data collection included semi-structured interviews (months 1, 6 and 12), validation via a focus group (month 18) and a group interview (5 years). Results: Early interactions with framework objectives were mechanistic, but as participants better understood the role more creative approaches emerged. Despite diverse clinical expertise, the framework facilitated parity between participants, promoting transparency and credibility which was important in how the consultant role was perceived. All participants achieved all framework outcomes and were subsequently appointed to substantive consultant radiographer positions. Conclusion This outcomes framework facilitates experienced radiographers to successfully transition into consultant radiographers, enabling them to meet multiple non-clinical targets while continuing to work effectively within a changing clinical environment. It is the first validated benchmarking tool designed to support the transition to radiographer consultant practice. Adoption of the tool will provide a standardised measure of consultant radiographer outcomes that will promote inter-organisational transferability hitherto unseen in the UK.
    • How do consultant radiographers contribute to imaging service delivery and leadership?

      Snaith, Beverly; Clarke, R.; Coates, A.; Field, L.; McGuinness, A.; Yunis, S. (2019-01-02)
      Background: Consultant radiographer numbers remain low despite the ongoing capacity challenges in diagnostic imaging. This is compounded by the limited evidence of how such roles can positively impact on service delivery, particularly in relation to their leadership expectations. Aims: To examine the activities undertaken by consultant radiographers; evidence the impact of the roles, and consider whether the roles encompass the four domains of consultant practice. Method: Six consultant radiographers employed in a single NHS Trust completed an activity diary over a period of 7 days. Interval sampling every 15 minutes enabled the collection of a large volume of complex data. Findings: All consultants worked beyond their contacted hours. The documented activities demonstrate the breadth of the roles and confirmed that the participants were undertaking all four core functions of consultant practice. Conclusion: The impact of the roles stretched beyond the local department and organisation to the health system and wider profession.
    • How to achieve advanced practitioner status: A discussion paper

      Snaith, Beverly; Hardy, Maryann L. (2007-05)
      Accepted definitions and descriptions of advanced practice offer generic ideals for the development of advanced radiographer practitioner roles. However, they fail to specify a development pathway necessary for a clinical practitioner to attain advanced practitioner status and lack of clarity persists around the definition of advanced practice within the context of radiography [Price R. Critical factors influencing the changing scope of practice: the defining periods. Imaging & Oncology 2005;June:6–11.]. This paper will consider the expectations of practitioner and advanced practitioner competencies within the context of radiography practice in the United Kingdom and suggest criteria for an advanced practice development pathway that may be adopted by individual radiographers, or their managers, to assist professional development within any imaging speciality.
    • Is a nurse consultant impact toolkit relevant and transferrable to the radiography profession? An evaluation project

      Snaith, Beverly; Williams, S.; Taylor, K.; Tsang, Y.; Kelly, J.; Woznitza, N. (2018-08)
      Introduction: Consultant posts were developed to strengthen strategic leadership whilst maintaining front line service responsibilities and clinical expertise. The nursing profession has attempted to develop tools to enable individuals to evaluate their own practice and consider relevant measurable outcomes. This study evaluated the feasibility of transferring such a nursing ‘toolkit’ to another health profession. Method: This evaluation was structured around a one-day workshop where a nurse consultant impact toolkit was appraised and tested within the context of consultant radiographic practice. The adapted toolkit was subsequently validated using a larger sample at a national meeting of consultant radiographers. Results: There was broad agreement that the tools could be adopted for use by radiographers although several themes emerged in relation to perceived gaps within the nursing template, confirming the initial exercise. This resulted in amendments to the original scope and a proposed new evaluation tool. Conclusion: The impact toolkit could help assess individual and collaborat ive role impact at a local and national level. The framework provides consultant radiographers with an opportunity to understand and highlight the contribution their roles have on patients, staff, their organisation and the wider profession.
    • Radiographers as doctors: A profile of UK doctoral achievement

      Snaith, Beverly; Harris, Martine A.; Harris, R. (2016-11)
      Radiography aspires to be a research active profession, but there is limited information regarding the number of individuals with, or studying for, a doctoral award. This study aims to profile UK doctoral radiographers; including their chosen award, approach and employment status. This was a prospective cohort study utilising an electronic survey. No formal database of doctoral radiographers existed therefore a snowball sampling method was adopted. The study sample was radiographers (diagnostic and therapeutic) based in the UK who were registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and who held, or were studying for, a doctoral award. A total of 90 unique responses were received within the timescale. The respondents comprised 58 females (64.4%) and the majority were diagnostic radiographers (n = 71/90; 78.9%). The traditional PhD was the most common award, although increasing numbers were pursuing Education or Professional Doctorates. An overall increase in doctoral studies is observed over time, but was greatest amongst those working in academic institutions, with 63.3% of respondents (n = 57/90) working solely within a university, and a further 10% employed in a clinical–academic role (n = 9/90). This study has demonstrated that radiography is emerging as a research active profession, with increasing numbers of radiographers engaged in study at a doctoral level. This should provide a platform for the future development of academic and clinical research.
    • Role extension and role advancement - Is there a difference? A discussion paper

      Hardy, Maryann L.; Snaith, Beverly (2006-11)
      The terms ‘extended’ and ‘advanced’ practice are commonly used to describe clinical practitioner roles. However, these terms have not been clearly defined within the context of modern radiography practice despite their fundamental importance to establishing the 4 tier structure, implementing Agenda for Change and promoting a coherent clinical radiography career structure. This paper discusses the terms ‘extension’ and ‘advancement’ in relation to radiography practice and, using evidence from the debates of other health professions, attempts to offer some clarity to the terminology, presenting one interpretation of its possible application to the radiographer role in the United Kingdom.