SCoR: Radiotherapy training has serious attrition problem

The U.K. Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR) has published a report that found more than a third of radiotherapy students fail to complete their training.

During the 2010/2011 academic year, 36.5% of students who preregistered for therapeutic radiography programs failed to finish the course, citing dissatisfaction with practice placements as the most frequently reported reason, followed by "wrong career choice."

SCoR recommends the following:

  • There must be an opportunity for a clinical visit before a placement is offered at a radiotherapy center.
  • Student education and support must be prioritized by staff at all levels in the clinical placement organizations.
  • The full range of placement opportunities in the radiotherapy center and across the patient pathway will ensure a comprehensive experience.
  • An early placement to clarify the student role and develop an individual action plan is essential.
  • Preparation for placement must be realistic and include virtual experience practical skills, relationship skills, and emotional resilience.
  • Students should be assigned a mentor who has received training in student support and assessment in the past year.

The SCoR report was produced by Hazel Colyer and was commissioned by the National Cancer Action Team for the National Radiotherapy Implementation Group's Workforce subgroup. It can be downloaded here.

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