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The value of pre-application clinical department visits in radiotherapy: a qualitative evaluation

  • Pete Bridge (a1), Jenny Callender (a1), Jo Edgerley (a1) and Cath Gordon (a1)

Abstract

Background

The mandatory clinical radiotherapy department visit undertaken by potential applicants aims to provide understanding of the profession and therefore reduce attrition. Increasing pressure on clinical departments makes visits a logistical challenge. This additional step may also present as an unnecessary barrier to applicants. With no evidence relating to visits, this study aimed to explore the perceptions of both students and clinical educators concerning potential benefits and challenges.

Method

A focus group interview method was used to gather in-depth qualitative data concerning the clinical department visit experiences from first-year undergraduate students and clinical educators.

Results

Three themes emerged from the student focus groups: the perceived purpose of the clinical visit, the visit content and the outcomes and impact arising from the visit. Clinical educator data also followed these themes in addition to ‘logistical impact’ theme.

Conclusion

The clinical visit has value to applicants in affirming their decision to study radiotherapy. There is variation in expectation and content for these visits and they are logistically challenging. Nationally agreed guidelines for visit structure and content could improve visit efficiency and effectiveness. A national clinical visit form may reduce workload for educators and applicants.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Pete Bridge, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK. Tel: +44 (0)151 795 8366. E-mail: pete.bridge@liverpool.ac.uk

Footnotes

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Cite this article: Bridge P, Callender J, Edgerley J, Gordon C. (2019) The value of pre-application clinical department visits in radiotherapy: a qualitative evaluation. Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice18: 110–115. doi: 10.1017/S1460396918000717

Footnotes

References

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1. Cancer Research UK. 100 years of radiotherapy but public still in the dark over the treatment. https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-us/cancer-news/press-release/2011-01-28-100-years-of-radiotherapy-but-public-still-in-the-dark-over-the-treatment, 2011. Accessed on 13th November 2018.
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5. Universities UK. https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/news/Pages/Response-to-latest-UCAS-applicant-figures.aspx, 2017. Accessed on 13th November 2018.
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8. Medical Research Council. Good Research Practice; Principles and Guidelines. London: Medical Research Council, 2012.

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