An analysis of the need for accredited training on the administration of intravenous contrast media by radiographers : results of an online survey
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Role extension has been debated amongst South African radiographers for a number of years. However, the administration of contrast media still remains outside their scope of practice. The Society of Radiographers of South Africa (SORSA) has received anecdotal reports that radiographers are administering contrast media. This practice is a direct infringement of the rights of patients who are required to be treated and examined by health professionals who practice within their legal scope. The aim of this survey was to investigate the views and opinions of South African radiographers regarding the injecting of contrast media and the type of training needed if it were included in the scope of practice of South African radiographers. A questionnaire was sent to 845 radiographers using an online survey programme (SurveyMonkey). The questions related to biographical information, work experience, training and the medico-legal aspects of intravenous contrast media injection by radiographers. The response rate was 21% (n=177). Eighty-one percent (81%) were diagnostic radiographers. Seventy-three percent (73%) practice radiography in a major city. There was an equal representation of the public and private sector, namely 43% for both. Of those from the public sector 47% were from a tertiary healthcare facility. More than seventy-eight percent (>78%) practice radiography in a health facility that provides radiology services. Seventy-three percent (73%) were aware of mild to moderate adverse reactions to contrast media; 45% were aware of severe adverse reactions to contrast media in their workplace. Eighty-five percent (85%) thought that accredited training should include the administration of contrast media as well as resuscitation of a patient. Sixty-two percent (62%) thought the accredited training should include pharmacology and advanced resuscitation. Ninety-three percent (93%) thought the main advantage would be an increase in service delivery to patients; 85% thought the main disadvantage would be potential risk of criminal or civil litigation. Ninety-seven percent (97%) were of the opinion that radiographers who introduce contrast media to patients must have current malpractice insurance. The results of this survey provide new information on the current status of contrast media administration to the patient whose safety and rights remain at the centre of our focus. It is recommended that the statutory body, namely the professional board for radiography and clinical technology (RCT) of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) takes cognizance of the outcome of this study and embarks on a more extensive survey to include a larger sample which would be more representative of the South African radiography population.
Swindon, L.; Friedrich-Nel, H.; Isaacs, F.; and Munro, L. 2012. 'An analysis of the need for accredited training on the administration of intravenous contrast media by radiographers: results of an online survey.' The South African Radiographer, 50(2): 27-34.