Original Research

Core competencies of radiographers working in rural hospitals of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Bernard Mung'omba, Annali D.H. Botha
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 9, No 1 | a1389 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v9i1.1389 | © 2017 Bernard Mung'omba, Annali D.H. Botha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 November 2016 | Published: 31 August 2017

About the author(s)

Bernard Mung'omba, Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa; KZN Department of Health, Mosvold Hospital, South Africa
Annali D.H. Botha, Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa


Introduction: Rural radiographers require, over and above traditional radiographic expertise, additional competencies which to a certain degree are unique however not limited to rural practice. Previous studies, however, have focused more attention primarily on other rural health professionals such as doctors and nurses leaving a research need in this field. This article focuses on the additional competencies that may be required for rural radiographers.
Aim: To investigate and identify additional core competencies required by radiographers working in rural hospitals of KwaZulu-Natal in order to propose a continuous professional development strategy aimed at rural radiographers.
Methods: An exploratory sequential design was utilised with qualitative (Phase I) and quantitative (Phase II) strands involving seven participants and 109 respondents, respectively. Only radiographers working in rural KwaZulu-Natal hospitals were included in the study. The four major themes and categories identified in Phase I were used to develop data collection instrument for Phase II of the study.
Results: Collectively, the results revealed that there were a number of additional core competencies such as, but not limited to, teamwork, ability to do basic obstetric ultrasound scans, leadership, management and reporting on plain radiographs, all of which are required by rural radiographers. In 2014 when these competencies were checked against a single curriculum, it was found that majority of them were either partially covered or not at all covered.
Conclusion: The study provides additional information on context specific core competencies and, therefore, may act as a catalyst to influence the future of radiographers working in rural areas of South Africa.


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