Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


There is an ever growing diversity in the radiologic patient population. This diversity is recognized by hospital accreditation agencies and described by a consensus of radiologic technology educators. It places upon Iowa's radiologic student a responsibility to be better prepared for increased multicultural patient interactions. Thus, developing a student directed encounter dealing with issues of multiculturalism and diversity might prove to be an effective method of enhancing the students' self-discovery, recognition of the differences among themselves, and the development of an appreciation for the needs of patients from diverse cultural backgrounds. This thesis contains two descriptive studies. Study A, involved the researcher's observations of a non-directed experience in a radiography program. The encounters were positive. This non-directed process provided the students with an awareness of their own differences, examined their need to know more about others to increase the quality of patient care, and identified the students ideas and interactions involving issues of multiculturalism and diversity. The results of this study indicate that students believe issues of cultural diversity are important to patient care, and that a non-directive approach provides an atmosphere conducive to learning about differences. Results of the second study, Study B, show that there was very little cultural diversity among the respondents. Also, the majority of radiology patients that respondents interacted with were White; nevertheless, the respondents believe the numbers of culturally diverse patients were increasing. Program directors were all found to be supportive of the inclusion of multicultural and diversity topics into the curriculum. Student responses were more varied. The majority were in agreement with the program directors; but there were some students who believed that knowledge of cultural diversity should come from outside of the radiologic technology educational experience. Still others indicated that the issues of multiculturalism and diversity were not important to patient care. Little research exist in this area. Yet, the research that does exist provide data and information that Iowa's radiologic technology program directors would do well to consider when determining the importance of, and the wisdom of, including multiculturalism and diversity issues in the radiologic sciences curriculum. The implications of these studies may also suggest that a national study should be conducted by educators responsible for radiologic technology core curriculum development. In view of the fact that the perspectives and opinions of the majority of subjects in this study indicate that multicultural topics have a relationship to the quality of patient care, it would seem that the inclusion of such topics in radiologic technology curriculum would be appropriate. Recognizing differences among patients, responding appropriately to those patients, and understanding more about themselves as care givers will enable radiography students to become more sensitive to patient needs.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Leander Brown

Second Advisor

Charles V. L. Dedrick

Third Advisor

Basil Reppas


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