Roles and Responsibilities in the Transition to Working Independently: A Qualitative Study of Recently Graduated Radiographers' Perspectives in Australia

Chandra Makanjee, Julie Zhang , Anne-Marie Bergh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Medical imaging features along the entire healthcare continuum and is known for its fast-paced technological evolution which enables it to keep up with the demands of the healthcare system to provide safe, quality services. The overall efficacy and efficiency of the system depends on practitioners’ clinical competence, achieved through professional education and continuous professional development. Recent studies have revealed concerns regarding newly graduated healthcare professionals’ preparedness and readiness to handle actual practice. Methods: We conducted qualitative face-to-face and telephonic interviews with a convenient and purposive sample of 23 participants consisting of recently graduated radiographers (n=14), radiography students (n=5) and supervising radiographers (n=4) in Australia. Verbatim transcriptions were analyzed inductively to identify themes pertaining to perspectives and experiences of the work readiness of novice radiographers. Results: The findings of our study suggest that the workplace immersion and transitioning of recently graduated radiographers into their professional roles requires a process of experiential learning and honing of knowledge and skills if they are to function efficiently and independently in a team-oriented workplace. Radiographic services are spread across various levels of care and are an integral part of the organizational structure of a healthcare system. Maladaptive transitions to the workplace may be the result of low selfconfidence, a lack of support, uncertainty in inter-collegial interactions, or unrealistic performance expectations. The overarching themes of communication and interaction emerged clearly as recently graduated radiographers navigated the four roles of coordinator, collaborator, mediator, and advocate. Conclusion: The application of radiographic skills is embedded in a workplace culture of communication and safety. Transitioning to independent practice takes place in a complex, multifaceted environment and is accompanied by internal and external expectations. Because each workplace has a unique context, system and culture, no novice radiographic professional can ever be fully prepared through pre-service training and workplace induction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2471-2483
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2023


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