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An exploratory study into the attitudes of Australian radiography students towards the use of assistive transfer devices in the clinical setting

posted on 15.02.2017, 04:41 by Ngo, Mark Simon
Radiographers are skilled professionals who play an essential role in creating high quality and relevant diagnostic images. The duties they perform such as transferring patients onto and off the examination table can however increase their risk of developing back and neck pain. A review of the literature was conducted and a research study was performed to identify which assistive transfer devices radiography students have used during training in the clinical setting. The project also sought to determine whether students are being encouraged by supervising radiographers to use these devices during clinical training and if they would conform to practicing unsafe transfers if instructed to by senior staff. The literature confirmed that there is limited knowledge into the use of assistive devices in reducing musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries and greater research is required into this issue. The results of the project indicated that the majority of radiography students 89/96 (93.7%) were familiar with the Patslide, friction reducing slide sheet (85/96 (89%)) and the x-ray cassette slider (83/96 (86.5%)). Many of the students were unlikely to participate in unsafe work practices (77/96 (80.2%)) and most were able to provide alternative methods of transferring patients. However, some of the respondents were influenced by senior staff into participating in dangerous patient transfers. This may lead to the establishment of unsafe work practices among students. Radiographers who act as role models for students and junior radiographers should therefore be vigilant in refraining from practicing unsafe transfer techniques as it could lead to students believing it is acceptable and emulating these practices in the work place. The study has demonstrated that safe work practices need to be addressed in the undergraduate curriculum and that students need to be aware that unsafe practices should not be emulated. Further research is required in order to explore how unsafe work practices can be minimized in the clinical setting as well as the reasons why some radiographers do not use the assistive devices available.


Principal supervisor

Marilyn Baird

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences

Campus location


Degree Type



Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences