Medical Sciences (Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology etc.)


Title:    Discuss the role of the advanced practitioner in therapeutic radiography, indicating how they could contribute to the promotion of health and health education.

Structure of the essay

1) Introduction

  • The introduction gives a summary of your essay, e.g. This essay will firstly .. then.. next.. finally
  • You might want to include any definitions here

2) Body of the essay – there are some keys points to discuss:

  • Provide a critical discussion on the role and responsibilities of the advanced practitioner (AP)
  • Consider how an AP is prepared for the role / responsibilities: include any educational and / or professional requirements
  • Critically discuss how advanced practitioners could contribute to the promotion of health and health education

3) Conclusion

Summarise your main points and reiterate your answer to the question. NEVER introduce new information or reference material in your conclusion

E.g. this essay has discussed …….. and has demonstrated …….

Learning outcomes

This essay covers the following learning outcomes: Successful students will typically be able to:

  • Evaluate existing and developing radiotherapy practices and roles within the context of service delivery.
  • Appraise the professional and statutory regulatory body requirements that confer eligibility to apply for registration.
  • Understand the role of the radiographer in the promotion of health and health education.

How to present your essay

Your work should:

  • Be written in the 3rd person (avoid the use of we, I our, etc.)
  • Be supported by relevant citations[1] from contemporary literature
  • Be written using academic language – avoid the use of jargon or colloquial language
  • Use an evaluative style, i.e. when you make a point, ensure you discuss any benefits and limitations and/or advantages and disadvantages – see example below taken from an essay marked in 2018 which achieved a first class grade:
Health Education England (2018) defines advanced practice as having the skills to manage the clinical care of individuals with complex problems to enhance patients’ experiences and improve outcomes. Therefore there are expectations that individuals undertake post graduate study to Masters level or equivalent to develop their understanding and provide them with opportunities to prove their analytical and reflective skills which are important in a review setting (Coleman et al., 2014). These educational expectations are essential to build competence but they come at a cost to the individual and the service they provide. This includes the physical cost from the education provider that can be expensive for the individual to afford without incurring large debts (Postgraduate Search, 2018; Sheffield Hallam University, 2018a). Some trusts may fund courses for advanced practice if the radiographer is going to progress within that organisation but with limited financial support available to the National Health Service (NHS) (NHS Confederation, 2016; NHS Improvement, 2018), there may be other priorities for the funding which could delay the practitioner’s career advancement. Furthermore, the time taken for studying can affect the service delivery within a department, for example, if the practitioner is absent from the department one day a month and they have sole responsibility for a service niche, it is likely that the service is not available on the day of study (Smith, 2017). Such limitations may be minimised by the education provider; it is recommended that work-based learning should occur alongside theoretical study to enhance the development of the practitioner (Matthews et al., 2014) so it is possible to do a Masters qualification through distance learning to enable the practitioner to practice their skills in a clinical environment (Sheffield Hallam University, 2018b). However they would be expected to continue their current duties and balancing studying with clinical practice can be a challenge (Welgemoed, 2008). Either the manager would have to give the practitioner time off work to study, which can impact staffing levels and consequently the service delivery (Boyle et al., 2012), or the practitioner would have to study at home, leading to high stress for them and potential burnout.

It is not necessary to use complex language to explain a simple concept – just make sure your sentences are properly structured.  Also check that grammar, spelling and punctuation are all accurate

Background reading

The following sources may provide useful background reading – this is not an exhaustive list and contemporary references to reputable journal articles are expected in your essay:

Professional and Non-Government Sources

College of Radiographers. (2013). Education and career framework for the radiography workforce. London: The Society and College of Radiographers.  

Council of Deans. (2018). Advanced clinical practice education in England. London: Council of Deans.

Health and Care Professions Council. (2013). Standards of proficiency. London: HCPC.

Health and Care Professions Council. (2016). Standards of conduct, performance and ethics. London: HCPC.

Health Education England. (2017). Multi-professional framework for advanced clinical practice in England. England: HEE.

NHS National Cancer Action Team. (2012). National Radiotherapy Implementation Group Report Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT) Guidance for implementation and use [online]. Retrieved from: Radiotherapy Implementation Group Report IGRT Final.pdf .

Society and College of Radiographers. (2016-21). The Society and College of radiographers research strategy. London: Society and College of Radiographers.

Government publications

Department of Health. (2011). Skills for health, national occupational standards for radiotherapy.

Department of Health. (2012). Radiotherapy services in England.

Department of Health. (2015). Delivering high quality, effective, compassionate care: Developing the right people with the right skills and the right values. A mandate from the Government to Health Education England: April 2015 to March 2016.  

[1] You should aim to support your discussions with 20-30 relevant.

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