Critical Thinking in Clinical Radiographic Practice –Implication for Education and Training.
ED1-6 Critical Thinking And Decision-Making In Clinical Radiographic Practice-Implication for Education and Training Aarthi RAMLAUL* School of Health and Social Work, University of Hertfordshire, UK (email@example.com) Purpose : To explore student radiographers’ critical thinking and decision-making skills within clinical diagnostic radiography. The scope of diagnostic pathways are expanding to meet increased demand on existing imaging services and additional pressure to provide these services within shorter time frames. This a challenge in itself given the increasing complexity of imaging investigations and the increasing volume of radiology examinations being carried out. If radiographers are to deal effectively with complex change dynamics within the profession, then their ability to think and reason needs to be highly developed. Materials & Methods : An interpretive research methodology was employed where data were collected via semi-structured interviews using a 3 year longitudinal study design. Audio recordings were transcribed and data were analysed using content and thematic analysis. Results : Several themes were revealed: evaluating information; choosing reliable reasons; modifying thinking in routine and complex situations; ethical and moral reasoning and impact on patient care and consequences of poor decisions. Students’ perceive that decision-making involves the use of critical thinking skills however they are unsure of what those skills are and how they develop these. Conclusions : Students’ do not understand what critical thinking is, which skills it involves or how to develop those skills. Educationally, although comparatively simpler to teach student radiographers the techniques required to master clinical radiographic practice skills, it is much more difficult to teach student radiographers how to use their critical thinking abilities to the extent required in graduate autonomous practice. Review of pedagogical practices and clinical placement learning is suggested; implementation of learning activities that foster the development of critical thinking skills to enhance decision-making in clinical practice are recommended. Key words : Critical thinking, Reasoning, Evaluation, Decision-making