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The Stress of Safety: How workplace experiences affect patient safety

Presented by Cheryl Turner, Ed.D., R.T., (R)(T), Director of Global Education and Training, Legion Healthcare Partners

Failures in radiation therapy and other modalities may have catastrophic results including near misses and patient errors. The research contends that overworked and underprepared staff leads to distraction, depersonalization and apathy. While not often directed toward patients, these signs of workplace stress and burnout have the potential to create unsafe situations in radiological sciences practices. Who or what holds responsibility for these actions and potential consequences? Radiological sciences professionals, including radiation therapists, cite lack of training and professional development, overwork and disrespect/distrust as the most significant factors leading up to the possibilities of a patient mistake. How are these stressful working environments recognized and corrected? How have recent standards and principles in reimbursement and budgets contributed to these unsafe practices?

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Dr. Cheryl Turner has been a radiation therapist for 30 years and an educator for 15 of those years. Cheryl believes that the foundation of solid clinical practice lies in effective and applicable education and training. She has extensive involvement in professional societies including the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, American Society of Radiologic Technologists, the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology, Association of Educators in Imaging and Radiologic Sciences, and the Latin American Radiology Outreach organization. Cheryl was awarded the 2018 Harold Silverman Distinguished Author award, a 2015 ASRT Foundation Scholarship and the 2012 Chattanooga State Community College “Eye of the Tiger” Outstanding Educator accolade.

Cheryl completed her doctorate from Liberty University in 2016, with a focus on education in radiation oncology settings. She has proven excellence in research and publication on local, state and national levels. Cheryl presented at the 20th International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologist World Congress, at the 2017 and 2018 ASRT annual conferences and at the 2019 AHRA yearly meeting. In addition to numerous local presentations and publications, she has written for national professional journals including ASRT’s Scanner and Radiation Therapist. In 2015, Cheryl co-authored the ASRT’s “Proton Therapy Continuing Education Modules.”

Cheryl Turner, Ed.D., R.T., (R)(T), Director of Global Education and Training, Legion Healthcare Partners

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