Dissertation Abstract

A Photograph in Time: Clinical Education in Radiation Therapy (Clinical Instructors, Program Directors).

Publication Number:  AT9606392
Author:  Lobeski-Eatmon, Stephanie
School:  University Of La Verne
Date:  1995
Pages:  238
Subject:  Radiation Therapy, Education

The purpose of this study was to describe radiation therapy clinical education as related to the (1) clinical instructors' operationalized role, (2) clinical instructors' desired role, (3) program directors' methods of defining role expectations of the clinical instructor, (4) program directors' perceived clinical instructors' operationalized role, (5) role socialization practices for clinical instructors, (6) accountability of clinical instructors, (7) communication channels between the program directors and the clinical instructors, (8) perceived departmental role support of the clinical education program, and (9) clinical instructors' level of satisfaction with role. In addition, this study described these nine variables according to program setting (hospital-sponsored/college-sponsored) and the presence or absence of a clinical coordinator.

Descriptive and ex post facto research was used. Questionnaires sent to 115 program directors and 1,697 clinical instructors provided the data to answer seven research questions. The descriptive portion of this study provided information about current practices in radiation therapy education relating to the nine variables. Ex post facto research allowed comparisons between the groups to be studied. Chi-square and t-tests were used to determine if significant differences between two independent groups existed.

This study found that program directors and clinical instructors agreed that the tasks listed in the questionnaires should be included in the role of the clinical instructor. The majority of these tasks are reported to be performed at an average-to-above-average performance level. The study also found that a majority of clinical instructors learned their role through modeling clinical instructors they had as students. Major conclusions indicated that there is agreement between program directors and clinical instructors regarding the role of the clinical instructor. Additionally, the study found that clinical instructors are socialized into the role as students and program directors take advantage of this socialization by minimizing time spent in role sending and role support activities. Evidence of this is seen most frequently in college-sponsored programs and programs without a clinical coordinator. Findings and conclusions from this study support the recommendation that a deliberate, consistent, and formal process of role sending and role support be established to realize the full potential of clinical education.

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