Technologist Vacancy Rate Remains on Decline

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The vacancy rate for radiologic technologists (RTs) has declined for the eighth consecutive year, to 2% in 2011, reveals a new report from the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). While this represents only a slight decrease from the 2.1% rate reported in ASRT's 2010 survey, the vacancy rate has dropped steadily from the 10.3% reported in ASRT's first staffing survey in 2003, according to the organization’s 2011 Radiologic Sciences Workplace Survey. Such decreases occurred across a number of modalities, the report also indicates. Among other findings, the 2011 survey pegs the number of full-time RTs per medical imaging facility at 9.3, down from 10.6 in 2010. On the flip side, the average number of full-time CT technologists per facility rose to 5.6 this year from 5.0 in 2010, according to the report. The number of full-time technologists working in MR, mammography, nuclear medicine, and sonography also rose slightly between 2010 and 2011. Myke Kudias, ASRT’s Chief Academic Officer, says catalysts for the decline in the number of full-time radiographers are indeed difficult to pinpoint. Nonetheless, he asserts, the decrease might indicate a shift in the percentage of advanced diagnostic imaging procedures that are being performed in facilities. The study also found that the average medical imaging facility has 4.4 x-ray machines and examines 19,905 patients each year, versus an average of 1.9 CT scanners and 11,198 CT patients. On average, according to the ASRT, 84.2% of mammography departments report having digital imaging systems, compared with only 15.8% still using plain film. To read the press release, click here: To download a PDF of the staffing survey, click here: