Undergraduate students at University Cork College in the Republic of Ireland are learning a valuable lesson in radiation protection thanks to a new program at the school, which is detailed in the March issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
An e-learning module in radiation protection was designed and presented to fourth-year medical undergraduates at the university, and all students were required to complete premodule and postmodule questionnaires.
As the researchers noted, radiation protection education in the undergraduate medical curriculum is not only gaining in importance, it's mandatory in certain jurisdictions (JACR, Vol. 9:3, pp. 203-209).
The aim of this study, led by Sum Leong, was to investigate the effect of the e-learning module on radiation protection knowledge, student preferences for various teaching methods, self-assessment of radiation protection knowledge, and perceptions of career prospects in radiology.
The researchers found that the students' postmodule radiation protection knowledge improved significantly. In total, 113 (89%) and 126 (99%) of the 127 students successfully completed and returned the premodule and postmodule questionnaires, respectively.
"The development of an e-learning module in radiation protection is feasible and results in improved knowledge of radiation protection among medical undergraduates," Leong and colleagues concluded. "Combining e-learning and more traditional educational programs such as a clinical radiology rotation is likely to improve student experience."
Leong said that the undergraduate medical curriculum is undergoing constant review in response to medical developments that are changing clinical practice. "The introduction of radiation protection into undergraduate curriculum therefore requires careful planning to maximize the effectiveness of the course, while avoiding overburdening undergraduates with unmanageable lecture and tutorial schedules," he added.