ASRT: Radiation therapy vacancies rise slightly

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Following a low of 2.6 percent in 2010, the percent of radiation therapy job openings to the total number of professionals employed increased to 3.1 percent in 2011, according to a survey conducted by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT).

'The Radiation Therapy Staffing Survey 2011' likewise showed an uptick in medical dosimetry vacancies, from 3.6 percent in 2010 to 4.9 percent in 2011. The average radiation therapy facility reportedly employs an average of just over seven radiation therapists and two dosimetrists, figures that have remained roughly constant over the past two years.

Despite these small increases, ASRT Director of Research John Culbertson, MA, MEd, said, “The data in the 'Radiation Therapy Staffing Survey 2011' closely mirror the results outlined in the 'ASRT Radiology Staffing Survey 2010,' which showed that open positions for almost every radiologic technology discipline have declined in the past two years.”

The survey also found that the average facility has 2.2 linear accelerators and treats 52 patients per day. Eighty-nine percent of respondents indicated that their facility performs treatment simulations on CT, with radiation therapists performing almost all of these.

ASRT emailed the survey to 2,868 managers at U.S. radiation therapy facilities and received 531 responses.

'The "Radiation Therapy Staffing Survey' provides facility managers, hiring managers and healthcare administrators with a snapshot of employment and hiring trends in the radiation therapy discipline,” said ASRT Chief Academic Officer Myke Kudlas, RT. “The ASRT conducts this research so key stakeholders can make informed decisions that are based on data.”