A survey to investigate the current state of role development, and the perceived educational and training needs for MRI technologists in New Zealand performing role extension activities
Unitec Institute of Technology
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Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/1908
Purpose: This research was conducted to investigate role extension for MRI technologists in New Zealand. It sought to identify role extension activities performed by MRI technologists and to determine if any of these roles had or were becoming part of their routine practice. Information about the education and training given to the MRI technologists to enable them to perform these role extension activities and to identify the need for formal education was also collected. Methods: Structured questionnaires were sent to MRI technologists in New Zealand to gather both quantitative and qualitative data. Closed questions were used for background information of the participants including the types of departments in which they work, the role extension activities they performed and the education and training they had received. Open questions were used to gather information about the participant’s opinions about the education and training they had received. Results: Eighty-eight questionnaires were returned from a total of 154 dispatched giving a 57% response rate. Respondents worked in public and private departments ranging in size from one scanner with one or two technologists to four scanners with over 15 technologists. Almost all of the respondents performed IV cannulation, contrast injection, routine scans and complex scans. Other role extension activities performed by some respondents included drug administration, protocolling forms, prescribing contrast and other drugs, and checking pre-MRI orbit x-rays. Reporting routine MRI scans was not performed by any MRI technologist. Education and training received for the role extension activities included: learning by experience; informal and formal in-house training; formal education; and postgraduate qualification from an education provider. More formal training was provided for procedural role extension activities, such as IV cannulation, than for those requiring cognitive skills, such as prescribing contrast and checking pre-MRI orbit x-rays. Conclusions: The data showed MRI technologists were performing a variety of role extension activities to varying degrees. The education and training received by some was perceived to be inadequate, being either as courses provided for other health professionals, or experiential learning. A few MRI technologists were unofficially prescribing contrast and other drugs, and checking pre-MRI orbit x-rays without having proper support and education.