Objective: The retention of Australian nuclear medicine technologists (NMTs) is poor with the future workforce size in question. As a consequence, the primary aim of this study was to determine Australian NMTs level of work engagement and the factors influencing this to identify the issues surrounding retention.
Methods: The job demands resource model assumes that each job has its own demands and resources and the balance between these can influence the level of work engagement. Lower levels of work engagement are predictive of an intention to leave. Work engagement levels can be measured using the Utrecht work engagement scale. This study used the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale in a self-report questionnaire with additional open-ended and closed-ended items designed to evaluate satisfying job characteristics. Members of the professional body in specific geographical locations of Australia were invited to participate.
Results: A 49.6% response rate was achieved (n=201); of these, 164 were practicing NMTs. Public sector workers had significantly lower total mean scores (P=0.05) on the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale and the subscale of dedication (P=0.005) compared with private NMTs. Seven of the 14 job satisfaction closed-ended items were statistically significantly lower for public NMTs: the level of decision making; feelings of importance with the tasks performed; feedback on tasks and roles; and relationships with physicians, staff and the organization.
Conclusion: To improve the retention of NMTs, changes in the job resources and demands are needed. Advanced practice roles may improve retention by enhancing the job resources.
- advanced practice
- job satisfaction
- nuclear medicine technologists
- work engagement