The a patient to continue. Poor communication and

The purpose of carrying out self-reflection as a student
radiographer is because it: “allows enquiry into areas that may be difficult to
approach, enabling practitioners to become thoughtful, and critically
innovative thinkers.” (Bolton, 2010). This essay will use Rolfe’s model to
analytically produce a report, which will form a framework for professional
reflection as a student radiographer. I will analyse my SWOC so it is possible
for me to identify theories to help overcome current weaknesses. A smart action
plan will also be created, in order to reflect on my new identity as a student


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The completion of a SWOC has outlined that communication is
one of my weaknesses, due to having an introverted personality. As a result I
have a tendency to have a reduced interaction between other radiographers and
patients in the clinical environment. Further to this I also shy away from the
responsibility of taking the lead with patient requests, hence displaying less
communication towards the patient. Lacking communication skills may stem from
underlying issues such as a lack of confidence. Ever since being a child I
remained introverted, and did not seek to interact with peers. The only
interactions I made was when someone engaged in communication with me; this is
what caused me to form social relationships with peers.

So what?

Communication is a vital component of the 6 C’s, and is
something that I should be able to internalise into my scope of practice as a
student radiographer. Communication is closely linked with confidence. The
development of confidence is of paramount importance to student practitioners,
and also to the patient. (Hecimovich, 2009). Further
to this, the communication component of the 6 C’s ensures that patients are
aware about the examinations which will take place. As a student radiographer
by not communicating effectively I am not complying with section 1.5 of the SoR
standards, which stipulates radiographers should be able to provide relevant
information to patients, in regards to their examinations. (Freeman, 2013).  

When carrying out a pelvis X-ray, sensitive areas like the
symphysis pubis need to be palpated. Therefore the implementation of effective
communication skills is needed within my practice, in order to gain consent
from a patient to continue. Poor communication and interaction with the patient
can result in me continuing with the procedure without gaining patient consent.
As a result I will not have executed my professional duty, due to not treating
the patient with respect and dignity, by giving the patient autonomy to make
their own decisions of being able to continue with the sensitive procedure. Any
action committed without consent is considered an immoral act, and is a
violation of the human rights act 1998. This may also be known as battery or
assault, which is also a violation of the criminal justice act 1988. The direct
result of violating these legal legislations is that I can be struck off due to

When carrying out an X-ray of a female patient I must
demonstrate adherence to local rules by determining the patients LMP, to
determine the possibility of the patient being pregnant. However having an
introverted personality can also cause suppression of my confidence and courage
to build a rapport with the patient, and consequently not identify the patients
LMP. This can potentially result in irradiating a pregnant patient, which is a
violation of the Ionising Radiation Regulations 2000.  

Being introverted around other radiographers does not
demonstrate collaborative practice and effective communication with other
staff. This is a failure of adherence to section 4.1 of the SoR standards. (CPD
page, 2017). Due to communication barriers other radiographers may not get an
insight into my enthusiasm of the field, so they may have a lack of confidence
in me and form a negative perception in regards to my professional practice. As
a result they may not be keen to support me as a student radiographer, which
restricts my professional development. If patients are able to sense my lack of
confidence then they may feel that they are not getting the best quality of
care. This can cause patients to form stereotypical social perceptions on
students being incompetent. Colleagues lacking confidence in me can also reduce
my self-confidence and courage, which can be an obstacle for me interacting
with people in society, and restrict my personal development.

Now what?

I can employ different strategies to improve communication
delivery, for instance by listening to the information the patient is
expressing. I can maintain eye contact and nod in agreement to issue a
reassuring message, in order to build a rapport with the patient. Also
following up with questions ensures I have fully understood the patient’s
needs. (Neese, 2015). Requesting feedback is suggested by Shannon and Weaver’s
modified theory, in order to determine if the message was understood by the
patient, and is a critical aspect of the communication process. (Shannon-Weaver,

During my interaction with the patient, I may become nervous.
However the Yerkes-Dodson theory has suggested that being nervous up to a
certain point increases performance. Therefore I can perceive nerves as a
positive factor to stimulate better performance. (Cherry, 2017).

I can increase my confidence by taking my personal
appearance into account. Ensuring I have the best personal hygiene by showering
every day and ensuring my clothing is suitable for the clinical environment,
will improve people’s perception of me whilst increasing my self-confidence,
and make me more comfortable with interacting with people. (Burton, 2012).  

Conducting physical exercise on a daily basis is also
another theory to improve confidence. Physical activity causes the stimulation
of dopamine and serotonin. This will boost my mood and well-being in order to
help me feel more capable, during my role as a student radiographer.
Furthermore it can also help with stress resilience. (Collins, 2016).  

Being able to make productive use of criticism can also
improve my confidence. Conceptualising criticism as a means of obtaining
information which will help me improve my professional practice as a student
radiographer, will make me more confident. Furthermore developing confidence
could entail making use of a supportive background, by relying on family as a
support system for encouragement. This can help boost my performance and
commitment during pressured moments. (Weisinger, 2015).

Smart plan  

My short term goal is to improve my communication skills
with patients, and other practitioners. When exposed to patients I do not make
eye contact. I want to be able to build a rapport with the patient through
effective communication skills, including non-verbal forms of communication. I
must tailor my communication to meet the needs of patients from different
cultures. The application of communication skills occurs mainly within the
clinical environment.  My long-term goal
is to improve stress resilience. The purpose of this would be so that I can
work within a stressful environment, without letting anxiety affect my
interactions with colleagues and patients. My resilience to stress can be
tested within a clinical environment, and also in university during pressured
moments of assessments. Working in the NHS can be very stressful, therefore how
I manage that stress at home around family can also be assessed. The reason for
this is because upon qualifying as a radiographer I can be expected to cope
with the demanding environments within the NHS. Therefore by managing stress as
a student, I am preparing myself for life as a qualified practitioner.

As a student radiographer I must demonstrate certain
competencies which require signing off when demonstrated. Therefore it is
possible to track the progress of my short term-goal. I can also set myself
daily targets of interacting with a certain number of patients throughout the
whole day. Each day I can interact with more patients, from different cultures
or ages in order to provide diverse communication. I will have attained this
goal once I reach a point where I can confidently interact and communicate with
different patients on a daily basis. Stress resilience can be measured by my
ability to demonstrate clinical competencies whilst being assessed in different
situations. Feedback can also be provided by assessors on how well I was able
to demonstrate certain competencies during an unusually difficult situation. My
resilience to work stress can also be measured at home by reflecting on my
interaction with family members. This will be important in determining if I let
stress take over my ability to balance work and life.  

Improving communication skills is reasonable as I am on
clinical placement for over 15 weeks. This gives me enough time to be exposed
to patients, and practice communication, by shadowing peers. Stress resilience
is reasonable to accomplish long-term as I have 3 years to learn how to adapt
to different situations which vary in pressure. Approximately 50% of the course
is based in a clinical environment which will give me the experience I need to
adapt in my practice.

Proactive communication is worthwhile as it will determine
my performance during my journey as a student radiographer. Dealing with
difficult patients through means of building a rapport is fundamental to me as
a student radiographer. Stress resilience is also a worthwhile goal which will
help me be able to cope throughout my life long career as a radiographer. My
short and long-term goals are both consistent, as good communication is likely
to reduce stress in a difficult situation, and increase performance.

I hope to achieve building on my communication skills by
06.2018, as that is when my communication competencies will be signed off. Throughout
my academic journey as a student radiographer I will go through phases of
examinations and clinical assessments, which will condition me for managing
stress within the next 3 years. Upon qualifying I should be able to practice,
whilst being resilient to stress.