A profile of Australian nuclear medicine technologist practice

Edwina J. Adams*, Jennifer M. Cox, Barbara J. Adamson, Deborah J. Schofield

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Nuclear medicine in Australia has encountered significant change over the past 30 years, with a move to privately owned practices, technological advances and the transfer of education of the nuclear medicine technologist (NMT) from technical college apprenticeships to university degrees. Currently, shortages of nuclear medicine technologists are reported in some states of Australia. It is not known whether changes in NMT practice or the type of centre in which an NMT works have an influence on retention of staff.

Aim: The primary objective of this survey was to establish a profile of NMT practice in Australia, with the aim of producing baseline data that could be used in further research to establish levels of retention and job satisfaction.

Methods: Chief technologists in three states of Australia were invited to respond to a written questionnaire. The questionnaire included data about staffing levels, imaging modalities, procedures performed, and movement of staff. Findings presented will relate to the profile of practice data only.

Results: Forty-eight (54%) chief technologists responded to the questionnaire with 73% working in privately owned practices. The majority of centres employ up to two full-time equivalent nuclear medicine technologists and have two gamma cameras and one full-time equivalent nuclear medicine physician. Most centres perform a limited range of studies with bone scans predominating. More than half the centres make some use of a centralized radiopharmacy service.

Conclusion: Further research is required to determine how these changes may impact on workplace satisfaction and in turn, on retention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-90
Number of pages8
JournalNuclear Medicine Communications
Volume29
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • nuclear medicine demographics
  • nuclear medicine staffing
  • nuclear medicine technologist practice

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