Assessment Of Attitude And Barrier To Post Graduate Education Among Radiographers In South Eastern Nigeria

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Assessment Of Attitude And Barrier To Post Graduate Education Among Radiographers In South Eastern Nigeria

The reasons for minimal active participation of radiographers in post graduate studies are unclear. This is a cross sectional study aimed at determining the level of awareness of post graduate opportunities among radiographers, the major constraint impeding on post graduate education enrolment and factors that motivate radiographers to pursue post graduate studies. The study utilized a self administered semi-structured questionnaire. Respondents were practicing radiographers working in government and teaching hospitals in south-eastern Nigeria made up of five states namely; Anambra, Enugu, Imo Abia and Ebonyi states. Simple random sampling was used to select hospitals from these five states. A total of one hundred and twenty six (126) radiographers participated in the study. Result showed that there is increased awareness (95.2%) of PG opportunities among radiographers and also the radiographers have a positive attitude toward PG education. The major obstacles to post graduate education are structural barrier (53.1%), nonchalant attitude among respondents (23.4%,), and family responsibility (14%) . The structural barriers include duration of program, cost of program and program unavailability. The results also revealed that the motivating factors for enrollment into PG education are personal satisfaction (55.8%), diversification in the profession (25.6%), earning more income (15.1%) and encouragement from their superior (3.5%). Results suggest that achieving a higher level of competence and professional expertise through post-graduate education requires commitment and cooperation between the individual radiographer, the employing organization and the tertiary institution.

Title page i
Approval page ii
Certification iii
Dedication iv
Acknowledgement v
Abstract vi
Table of contents vii
List of tables x
List of figures xi
1.1 Background of study 1
1.2 Statement of problem 4
1.3 Purpose of study 4
1.3.1 Specific objective of study 4
1.4 Significance of study 4
1.5 Scope of study 5
1.6 Operational definition of terms 5
2.1 Attitudes of radiographers towards post graduate education 7
2.2 Barriers faced by radiographers towards post graduate education 11
2.3 Need for radiographers to enroll in post graduate education 16
2.4 Calls for post graduate education among radiographers 19
2.5 Theoretical background of study 21
2.5.1 Attitude 21
2.5.2 Barrier 24
2.5.3 Benefits of post graduate education 25
3.1 Research Design 28
3.2 Target Population 28
3.3 Sample size and sampling technique 28
3.4 Instrument for data collection 29
3.5 Methods of data analysis 29
4.1 Data presentation 30
5.1 Discussion and Implications of Results 40
5. 1.1 Demographic findings 40
5.1.2 Level of awareness of PG opportunities among radiographer 40
5.1.3 Major constraint to post graduate education 41
5.1.4 Motivating factors in post graduate education 42
5.2 Summary of findings 43
5.3 Conclusion 43
5.4 Recommendations 44
5.5 Limitations of the Study 44
References 45
Appendix 1 49

Table 1: Demographic characteristics of respondents
Table 2: Radiographic attitude to PG education
Table 3: Distribution of level of importance of PG education among the respondents
Table 4: Benefits of post graduate education among respondents who have not advanced their education.
Table 5: Disposition to sponsorship in PG education.
Table 6: Opinion of radiographers on the need to enroll in PG education.

Figure 1: Influence of PG education on job satisfaction among radiographers who have either completed or currently enrolled in a PG program.
Figure 2: Motivational factors for radiographers who are yet to advance their education.
Figure 3: Level of satisfaction in respondent’s previous BSc program.

Medical education is not static as with many things in life. Hogg1 addressing an issue with the theme “future radiographers must be adaptable and creative” said that radiography profession is not static. He discussed how the profession must adapt to the introduction of new technologies and how they will fit with the change in patterns of illness. Hogg made the point that the profession’s future will need to encompass the correct procedure to deal with surges in new illness; staff skills will need to change to accommodate this. He concluded by saying that the future of the workforce will need to adapt quickly to new techniques and technologies.Training will have to be proactive and professional.
Post-graduate education also known as graduate education involves learning and studying for degrees or other qualifications for which a first or bachelor’s degree generally is required, and is normally considered to be part of higher education. The organization and structure of postgraduate education varies in different countries, and also in different institutions within countries.
Since the discovery of X-rays in 1895, radiography has remained one of the most evolving professions allied to medicine. The profession has expanded tremendously with new modalities, such as ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) all coming on board 2. Current advances in technology have made it imperative for present day radiographers to constantly learn and develop new skills. To cope, the present day radiographer must therefore be trained far and above the basic qualification requirements so as to remain useful in an environment that is constantly changing. Post qualification education and training and continuous professional development programmes (CPD) are of utmost importance for capacity building in any professional group 3. Presently, radiographers are so passionate about professional role extension that it was described as ‘the most talked about topic within the profession in South Africa4
The World Health Organization Health Report recognizes human resources, as the most important resource input in any health system. It can be safely argued that the performance of health care systems, ultimately depend on the knowledge, skills and motivation of the people responsible for delivering such services. The World Health Report therefore emphasizes on the need for strategic planning with regard to continuing education for health care providers.5
Generally, the public expects health care professionals to have up-to-date knowledge and skills appropriate to the specialist field in which they practice. Health care professionals therefore need to be equipped to meet these challenges. In Nigeria, Radiographers are increasingly involved, in X-ray, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound investigations and various degrees of clinical role extensions. It is therefore imperative that they possess more than just their basic clinical knowledge and expertise if they are to meet the demands of a changing health care system.
At the same time, health professionals are being increasingly mandated by Government, Registration Board and professional bodies to actively apply critical thinking within the workplace, demonstrate reflective, creative, communicative and interpersonal skills and, by association, engage in “reflective practice” 6. Therefore, it is no longer satisfactory for educators within the health profession to simply develop the knowledge base of their students. Educators are increasingly obliged to ensure their students develop the kind of personal and intellectual capacities that will lead to defensible and ethical decision-making that is grounded in the best available “evidence”7. Additionally, within radiography at least, educators must respond to pressures from the profession for graduates who are technically competent.
Post graduate education, by nature, is designed to equip a graduate student with in-depth theoretical, practical and other essential knowledge often beyond the grasp of his or her colleague with just the basic qualification. Many institutions all over the world have recognized the importance of post graduate education in radiography and thus have commenced relevant programmes for radiographers.
Post graduate education studies started about two decades ago in Nigeria. The University of Nigeria Nsukka, and of late Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, are the foremost institutions presently offering post graduate degrees and certificate courses in radiography8.
This study will demonstrate and illustrate how post graduate education has been structured to meet the new challenges facing radiography as a profession. Also this will expose upcoming radiographers that are the student radiographers’ on the need to enroll in post graduate education after their degree programme. At the same time, given the technological and socio-political context within which radiography is practiced, and the nature of clinical expertise, it will be realized that educators need to place the practice of radiography at the heart of the curriculum and ensure the academic content of their courses is contextualized to the needs and concerns of the practice setting.


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