Continuing professional development in medical radiation science: journey towards reflective practice in cyberspace

Sim, J 2006, Continuing professional development in medical radiation science: journey towards reflective practice in cyberspace, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Medical Sciences, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Continuing professional development in medical radiation science: journey towards reflective practice in cyberspace
Author(s) Sim, J
Year 2006
Abstract The study aimed to investigate how continuing professional development (CPD) activities, through the development of a CPD educational framework, can assist Medical Radiation Science (MRS) practitioners to engage in reflective practice while entrenched in a protocol driven workplace culture.

The study, with action research as the chosen methodology, and used both quantitative and qualitative methodology, was divided into two phases. The first phase of data collection aimed to inform the researcher of the needs of the MRS profession. The second phase of the study involved the design and development of an educational framework for CPD, based on current theories of learning and teaching using the framework and data collected from the first phase of the study, an online module was developed. The objectives of the module were to increase participants' knowledge in breast planning in radiation therapy by assisting participants to engage in reflective practice. The cyclical process of action research was used to pilot the module twice with two groups of volunteer radiation therapists.

The online module was evaluated using Kirkpatrick's four level evaluation model (Kirkpatrick, 1998; Guskey, 2000). Based on Boud et al.'s reflection model (1985), all participants showed evidence of action, affective and perspective outcomes. They also demonstrated successful development of lifelong learning attributes, were empowered and their learning had a positive impact in their workplace. They began to assume a more proactive role and increased clinical responsibilities, engaging colleagues in collaborative reflections and adopting evidence-based approaches in advancing workplace practices.

The study shows that it is possible to assist MRS practitioners to engage in reflective practice within a CPD educational framework online. The study also shows the importance of reflective practice, lifelong learning and transformative learning in CPD. Reflective practice liberates and empowers participants, lifelong learning equips them to continue learning and transformative learning facilitates perspective transformation. Thus, an effective educational framework is one that adopts a holistic approach towards CPD, by incorporating reflective practice, lifelong learning and transformative learning. The educational framework adopted in the present study may be extrapolated to CPD programs in other MRS disciplines and other healthcare professions.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Medical Sciences
Keyword(s) Radiology
Reflective teaching
Medical -- Study and teaching
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