A cross-sectional student survey of the impact of the Covid-19 lockdowns on clinical placement in England

Journal article


Hinds, Z. and Lockwood, P. 2022. A cross-sectional student survey of the impact of the Covid-19 lockdowns on clinical placement in England. Radiography. 29 (1), pp. 190-199. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2022.11.006
AuthorsHinds, Z. and Lockwood, P.
Abstract

Introduction: Clinical placement is an essential aspect of student radiographers’ training. The Covid-19 pandemic proved challenging for diagnostic radiography students disrupting clinical placements. This study aims to explore the impact of Covid-19 on first and second year student diagnostic radiographers’ in clinical practice during the Covid-19 lockdown periods and Covid-19 waves in England.
Method: A cross-sectional online survey was used to attain quantitative attitudinal 5-point Likert and qualitative free-text response data. Descriptive and inferential statistics data analysis applied the Mann-Whitney U test and Kruskal-Wallis H test. The qualitative data were thematically coded and analysed for patterns of reoccurring themes.

Results: There were n=85 responses from n=9 different counties within England. Students reported missing between n=1-14 weeks of placement. There was a lack of (41%; n=35) or limited radiography staff (21%; n=18) in the clinical departments and a lack of a range of X-ray examinations available (67%; n=57) during the Covid-19 lockdowns, which affected completing practice assessments. Negative effects included stress, anxiety and worry (68%; n=58); positive effects included team working (16.4%; n=14), learning to work under pressure (12.9%; n=11), and preparation for qualifying (8.2%; n=7).

Conclusions: This study identified that students needed more support in this critical aspect of their training. There were both positive and negative responses; notably, the results highlight how the Covid-19 lockdowns have strained the National Health Service (NHS) and adversely affected radiography students.

Implications for Practice: The findings underscore the need for university educators and student liaison radiographers within hospitals to have an awareness of the mental health and practical learning needs of the students they are instructing post-Covid-19 lockdown.

KeywordsCovid-19; Clinical placement; Radiography education; Students; Student experience
Year2022
JournalRadiography
Journal citation29 (1), pp. 190-199
PublisherElsevier
ISSN1078-8174
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2022.11.006
Official URLhttps://www.radiographyonline.com/article/S1078-8174(22)00200-0/fulltext
Publication dates
Online25 Nov 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted20 Nov 2022
Deposited04 Jan 2023
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
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