Introduction: This study investigated the scope of practice of CT head reporting radiographers in the UK, and to compare adherence to professional body standards.
Methods: An online questionnaire was utilised applying both multiple-choice and response (closed questions), and qualitative open question free-text responses. The 30 questions covered four key areas of demographics, the scope of practice, referrals, and ongoing competence, as described in professional body national guidance standards. The questionnaire was disseminated (convenience sampling) via Twitter and email to the National CT Head Reporting Special Interest Group. Responses were transcribed and coded; the results applied descriptive statistics to summarise observations of the study sample.
Results: The sample of participant response data analysed was n=54. Most respondents were from England, with a postgraduate certificate award in clinical reporting, and a mean length of 8.3 years of reporting experience. The accepted referral pathway included a wide range of medical and surgical specialities, including both in and outpatients and acute and chronic pathways. Furthermore, 96.2% of the sample had a scope of practice that authorised referral recommendations to a broad and inclusive group of medical and surgical teams, and if required further or repeat diagnostic imaging. To maintain quality and evidence of ongoing competency, all radiographers were involved in audit cycles.
Conclusion: The data collected confirmed the reporting practice within this sample group aligns to national recommended guidance. The data provided key information on the range and variation of individuals scope of practice within age restrictions of patients, examination types, referral teams, and ongoing competency practices.
Implications for practice: This paper details the scope of practice of CT head reporting by radiographers and the contribution made to the healthcare sector.
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