Dissertation Abstract

The Relationship Between Instructional Methods and the Development of Affective Awareness in Radiologic Technology Students.

Publication Number:  AAT9004148
Author:  Van Valkenburg, Jane
School:  The University of Utah
Date:  1989
Pages:  166
Subject:  Radiologic Technology, Education

Studies conducted by researchers, notably from the Kellogg Foundation and the federal government, articulate a growing concern about the lack of compassion and understanding that graduates of health care programs often exhibit toward patients. The undesirable behavior may be attributed to: (1) the neglect of attitude development in educational programs, (2) ineffective curricula design in the affective domain, (3) the environment within educational programs, and (4) failure to realize the influence of mentors in educational programs. Research results have documented an attitude change. Students begin their health educations wanting to be a helping and caring professional upon entry. By the time they complete their programs, they have developed affective neutrality. These research studies argue that the students learn this during the educational and socialization process. While exceptions exist, most schools provide only cursory exposure to the subjective experience a patient undergoes when entering a health care facility.

The purpose of this experimental field study was to determine if a redesigned educational program utilizing instructional methods concentrated in the affective domain and in the socialization process would promote greater affective awareness. Twenty-five students participated in the treatment group and 20 students were in the control group. The formal instructional component consisted of intensive courses on the psycho-social problems of patients. These concepts were reinforced throughout the program. The informal education treatment methods correlated to the formal education methodology.

This project also studied the socialization process of the treatment group during the 18-month program, documenting attitude changes by using the critical incident technique supported by informal observations and evaluations. Documentation and analysis demonstrated that the students' interrelationship with patients improved. The testing instruments were Locus of Control, Dogmatism Scale, and Empathy Scale. The time period from pre- to posttest was 15 months. The results revealed an attitude shift supporting the proposition that the socialization process can be altered to promote the desired attitudes. Documentation and analysis showed a triangulation of results using the Critical Incident Technique and the formal testing instruments, further supporting the proposition.

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