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Title: Knowledge, clinical competencies and medico legal responsibilities required for the administration of intravenous contrast media by radiographers
Authors: Koch, Gerhardus George Visser 
Keywords: Radiographers;Scope of practice;Role extension;Intravenous contrast media
Issue Date: 2017
The current scope of practice for diagnostic radiographers, does not allow them to administer intravenous contrast media (IVCM) since there are no formal training guidelines accredited by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) (Koch 2014: 26). In selected countries abroad, radiographers are allowed to administer IVCM and have thus received the necessary and accredited training to do so. In view of this, the South African radiographer’s scope of practice is not on par with the selected countries. The radiologists in South Africa (SA) who are currently responsible for the administration of IVCM have issued a position statement which supports, in principle, the idea of radiographers administering IVCM should they receive the necessary and appropriate training to do so (RSSA 2011: 1-2). The aim of this research study was, therefore, to investigate the radiologists’ perspectives regarding the theoretical knowledge, clinical competencies and medico legal responsibilities required by radiographers in order to effectively administer IVCM. This research study provides input for the development of national training guidelines for radiographers to administer IVCM.

Research Methodology
A quantitative, descriptive study was conducted by targeting qualified radiologists residing and practicing within the province of KwaZulu Natal (KZN). Ethical approval was obtained from the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT) Institutional Research and Ethics Committee (IREC). All the participants were contacted in their personal capacity. The research tool was an online survey administered through SurveyMonkey which included questions and statements relating to the administration of IVCM and was structured so as to meet the study objectives. The research tool was evaluated and amended by an expert focus group to ensure reliability and validity. Confidentiality was maintained and all the data obtained during this research study was password protected.

Results and discussion
Fifty-nine radiologists (60.8 percent) participated in this study. Twelve respondents, however, were excluded due to incomplete surveys. The final response rate, therefore, was 48.5 percent (n=47) of which 72.3 percent of the respondents were from the private sector. Results illustrated the radiologists’ agreement regarding the theoretical, clinical/practical and medico legal training components for inclusion in the further training of radiographers to administer IVCM. Most respondents supported the inclusion of three assessments: theoretical (87.2 percent), clinical (93.6 percent) and a record of clinical competencies (95.7 percent). The assessments were considered equally important in terms of percentage weighting. The overall results compared favorably to the current international trends and practice standards of radiographers administering IVCM.

Conclusion and Recommendations
The study, in providing key data for the development of training guidelines for radiographers to administer IVCM, has demonstrated the importance of higher education (HE) and training in addressing transformation in health services with particular reference to professional scopes of practice. Furthermore, it reinforces the need for local research that will inform HE and training and hence a scope of practice that meets local needs. It was recommended that future studies should include those HE institutions offering training in Radiography as well as their stakeholders for the design and transformation of a national curriculum for radiographers to administer IVCM.
Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Health Sciences in Radiography, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2017.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Health Sciences)

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