Student Attrition In Diagnostic Radiography: An Investigation Into Potential Students' Knowledge Of This Career And The Quality Of Information Available Via The Internet.
(2013) Student Attrition In Diagnostic Radiography: An Investigation Into Potential Students' Knowledge Of This Career And The Quality Of Information Available Via The Internet., no. 94.
Introduction: Previous research suggests a contributing factor to student attrition could be students not being adequately informed prior to starting a course of study. The aim of this investigation was to assess how well informed a sample of school leavers were on the career of diagnostic radiography. A further investigation was carried out to establish the quality of the websites offering information on this profession, thus identifying whether there is a need to improve the career information available on the Internet. Methods: Questionnaire scores were taken as a measure of how much knowledge respondents had about different aspects of the profession. Respondents were also surveyed on which Internet search engines and search terms they would use to find relevant career information. Web searches were carried out using the three most popular search engines with the four most popular search terms, and the relevant websites from the first 50 results for each group were scored to determine quality. Results: 68% of respondents scored 52% and above, however only three out of 222 respondents had considered radiography as a career. Respondents scored highly on skills and personal attributes diagnostic radiographers require, while scoring least well on course requirements. Respondents showed confusion between diagnostic and therapeutic radiography and 50% of respondents who stated they were not interested in science were considering science related careers. Of the 600 websites read, 50 (8.3%) were relevant to diagnostic radiography career information, and 42 of these scored half marks or over. The top scoring website was the Society and College of Radiographers' website, closely followed by the University of Exeter's website. Conclusions: While diagnostic radiography knowledge overall was quite good, there were misconceptions common to the school leavers sampled, that highlight the importance of comprehensive information being available to aid decision making. Although there are some very comprehensive websites about diagnostic radiography available on the Internet, many still fail to provide basic information, such as what a job in diagnostic radiography involves and the qualifications needed. Prospective students may need to visit many websites to access all the information relevant to making sound career choices.