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Evaluation of a new clinical support model in radiotherapy practice

Nurse Education in Practice
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.nepr.2008.03.006
  • Link Tutor
  • Placements
  • Clinical
  • Facilitator
  • Education
  • Medicine


Summary The role of the Professional Development Facilitator (PDF) in radiotherapy was introduced by Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK in January 2002, in response to a number of changes in radiotherapy education (Duxbury, A., Eddy, D., Doughty, J., 2004. Modernisation of the clinical support model for radiotherapy education and training: 1. Synergy, July 2004, P4–8). The differing models of clinical education support that exist in healthcare informed the development of this ‘hybrid’ model in radiotherapy. Three years from its inception a project to evaluate the role was undertaken with the focus being a comparison of this new role with the traditional model of Link Tutor support from a number of perspectives. This paper discusses a number of models of clinical support in healthcare training that have lead to the development of the PDF and provides an overview of the two roles in radiotherapy. In this evaluative project lecturers provided their perspective on these roles through the completion of an open-ended questionnaire. The results demonstrated that although there were many similarities in the two roles the main distinction was the scope of their practice. This study did not seek to provide evidence of whether one model of support is more effective than the other however the findings will inform a detailed research project that seeks to address that question.

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