June 5, 2020 — Vacancy rates for radiation therapists rose substantially since 2018, according to a survey performed this year by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists. Researchers noted, however, the survey data was collected before the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting the surveyed clinical settings.
Survey results for the ASRT Radiation Therapy Staffing and Workplace Survey 2020 indicated the vacancy rate for radiation therapists was 7.2 percent in 2020, up from 3.2 percent in 2018. Vacancy rates in medical dosimetry increased from 2.4 percent to 9.6 percent over the same period. Vacancy rates represent the percent of positions that are open and actively being recruited.
“Our research saw an increase in vacancy rates for therapists and medical dosimetrists, said ASRT Director of Research John Culbertson, M.Ed., M.A. “However, caution should be taken when interpreting and generalizing these figures. It should be stressed that the data was collected before the substantial impact COVID-19 had on clinical practice.”
The staffing survey also provides information about the average number of full-time radiation therapists and medical dosimetrists working in medical facilities. Results show that the average number of budgeted positions per facility in therapy fell slightly from 7.7 in 2018 to 7.1 in 2020. Over the same period, the number of budgeted positions for medical dosimetrists remained steady at 2.5 in 2018 and 2020.
In addition to staffing and vacancy information, ASRT asked about facility and personnel demographics, equipment use and questions related to staff turnover.
The ASRT conducts staffing surveys each year, alternating between the medical imaging and radiation therapy practice areas, to monitor workplace and hiring trends in the radiologic sciences. In February 2020, ASRT emailed the Radiation Therapy Staffing and Workplace Survey to 14,027 radiation therapists at U.S. radiation therapy facilities. At the close of the survey in March 2020, 657 respondents submitted completed questionnaires.
The Radiation Therapy Workplace and Staffing Survey has been completed eight times since 2004. The complete report is available free of charge for ASRT members.
For more information: www.asrt.org