Dissertation Abstract

The Multiskilled Health Practitioner: Educational Preparedness and Effects of Technology on Organizational Work Practices in Hospital Settings

Publication Number:  AAT9992058
Author:  Tossell, Renee
School:  The University of Arizona
Date:  2000
Pages:  136
Subject:  Radiologic Technology, Education, Workplace

This paper investigates the multiskilled health practitioner (i.e., imaging specialist) how they are trained for what they do and the way their traditional role as a generalist in radiologic technology has been impacted by advancing technologies.

This dissertation consists of multiple case studies, which is primarily qualitative and exploratory in nature. It does not test a hypothesis in a strict sense and is grounded in analytical categories and theories derived from the literature on technology, work, occupations, and organizations.

The data analysis section consists of four sections: perceptions of the MSHPs' work, the impact of technology (i.e., incentive structures, wages, issues of autonomy/authority, task difficulty/responsibility and patterns of interaction), the enskilling/deskilling findings for all MSHPs in general and each hospital subgroup, and the MSHPs perceptions about the effectiveness of their formal education programs.

With regards to a cultural examination of the workplace, the most significant sociological perspective identified were in the patterns of interaction. Specifically, three primary stylistic differences are noted. In relation to the effects of technology, an institutionalized practice of the incentive structure and the homogeneity of three broad skills were noted among our cohort. Additionally, three contextual factors that condition social action and thereby affect a technology's tendency to enskill or deskill are revealed.

In light of the attributes and deficiencies noted by the interviewees regarding their formal educational programs and skills required for their new roles, the researcher provides five recommendations for strengthening technology transfer programs in which to better prepare the MSHP.

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