Between 2005 and 2006 enrollment in radiologic technologist programs either leveled off or showed only slight increase, according to a recent survey done by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT).
The survey showed that nationwide, radiography and radiation therapy program first-year enrollments increased by 0.5 percent and decreased by 3 percent, respectively, from 2005 to 2006. However, nuclear medicine programs saw a rise of 9 percent. The increases depended on program type: radiography by 2 percent, radiation therapy by 5 percent and nuclear medicine by 21 percent, ASRT said.
The data from this survey validate the data from our staffing surveys, which show vacancy rates have also leveled off, said Sal Martino, EdD, chief operating officer of ASRT’s Education and Research Foundation. The staffing survey vacancy rates stand at around 4 to 5 percent and have seen a steady decline in recent years.
Because of the lower vacancy rates and an increased interest by potential students to join the radiologic profession, program directors have the opportunity to select the most qualified applicants, Martino said. Currently, out of every two qualified students who apply for admission to R.T. programs, only one is admitted. Nuclear medicine programs are even more difficult to get into, with only one applicant out of three being accepted.
The survey was sent to nearly 1,000 directors of radiography, radiation therapy and nuclear medicine programs in September 2006 and the results were compiled in December. To view the survey results, visit www.asrt.org/content/rts/research/research.aspx