Clinical perceptions of radiation therapy undergraduate competency standards

Carmichael, Mary-Ann & Bridge, Pete (2014) Clinical perceptions of radiation therapy undergraduate competency standards. Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences, 61(4), pp. 241-245.

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The multifactorial nature of clinical skills development makes assessment of undergraduate radiation therapist competence level by clinical mentors challenging. A recent overhaul of the clinical assessment strategy at Queensland University of Technology has moved away from the high-stakes Observed Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) to encompass a more continuous measure of competence. This quantitative study aimed to gather stakeholder evidence to inform development of standards by which to measure student competence for a range of levels of progression.


A simple anonymous questionnaire was distributed to all Queensland radiation therapists. The tool asked respondents to assign different levels of competency with a range of clinical tasks to different levels of student. All data were anonymous and was combined for analysis using Microsoft Excel.


Feedback indicated good agreement with tasks that specified amount of direction required and this has been incorporated into the new clinical achievements record that the students need to have signed off. Additional puzzling findings suggested higher expectations with planning tasks than with treatment-based tasks.


The findings suggest that the amount of direction required by students is a valid indicator of their level and has been adopted into the clinical assessment scheme. Further work will build on this to further define standards of competency for undergraduates.

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ID Code: 78804
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Article first published online: 17 NOV 2014
Keywords: Assessment, Clinical Education, Radiation Therapy, Stakeholder, Undergraduate, HERN
DOI: 10.1002/jmrs.82
ISSN: 2051-3909
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > ONCOLOGY AND CARCINOGENESIS (111200) > Radiation Therapy (111208)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Authors. Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences published by Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd on behalf of Australian Institute of Radiography and New Zealand Institute of Medical Radiation Technology.
Copyright Statement: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Deposited On: 19 Nov 2014 22:38
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2015 19:30

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