Understanding male student perspectives on therapeutic radiography as a career choice

NIGHTINGALE, Julie, APPLEYARD, Robert, MCNAMARA, Joanna, POSNETT, Joanne and STONE, Jo (2020). Understanding male student perspectives on therapeutic radiography as a career choice. Radiography, 26, S2.

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Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/...
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2019.11.009


Introduction: Only 18% of registered therapeutic radiographers are male [1]; student radiographer registrations show similar trends (19.6% male) [2]. This gender imbalance restricts patient choice and doesn't reflect the community. The workforce needs to increase by 80% by 2027 to cope with projected future demand [3]; attracting and retaining more male students is crucial. This project investigates male student recruitment experiences to identify gender-sensitive strategies that could be employed in future recruitment drives. Method and Materials: Following ethics approval, a literature review was undertaken which informed a focus group interview schedule. Three focus groups (n=8) were undertaken with male student therapeutic radiographers within a single institution. The focus groups were analysed via a descriptive thematic analysis process, with the themes informing the development of an online questionnaire survey targeting registered male student radiographers in the UK. Results: Focus group themes included: the invisible profession; career choices; gender influences and gender sensitive approaches. Participants identified gender bias at pre-admission; attracting male students was seen as a challenge but potential recruitment strategies were outlined and explored further within the survey. 38 respondents from 9 UK HEIs (∼25% male students) completed the survey. 55% had little or no awareness of therapeutic radiography at admission, with 24% indicating it was not their first choice career. 32% had never encountered promotional materials. Positive impacts on male recruitment included having male role models at careers events (100%), and greater focus on science in promotional materials. Respondents suggested that the 'one-dimensional' language promoting 'softer' skills (caring, empathy, compassion) be balanced with 'leadership' language (saving lives, problem solving, responsibility) as seen in paramedics and armed forces career recruitment drives. Conclusion and Discussion: Many respondents encountered the profession at a very late stage of the recruitment cycle, where recruitment materials were of little value. Earlier communication with both school children and college students is essential. Recruitment materials should employ gender-sensitive approaches outlined within this research, including a greater focus on 'leadership' language and science imagery. Experiencing male role models in work shadowing visits and university open days is strongly advocated.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** Article version: AM ** Embargo end date: 08-01-2021 ** From Elsevier via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for AM version of this article starting on 08-01-2021: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ **Journal IDs: issn 10788174 **History: issue date 31-01-2020; published_online 08-01-2020
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2019.11.009
Page Range: S2
SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2020 10:34
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 02:53
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/25665

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