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ASRT staffing survey notes COVID-19 impact, decreases in vacancy rates for 2021

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | July 22, 2021 Business Affairs
Jul 19, 2021 -- Vacancy rates for most medical imaging disciplines decreased slightly in 2021, according to the ASRT Radiologic Sciences Staffing and Workplace Survey 2021. Vacancy rates represent the number of unfilled positions that are actively being recruited.

Researchers pointed out the survey was conducted in Feb. 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that staffing and vacancies could be subject to substantial change in the future.

Vacancy levels for nearly every modality decreased to some degree in the 2021 survey. Only bone densitometry showed a slight increase, while magnetic resonance technology stayed steady with no losses or gains.

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The respondents, 457 managers of radiology departments across the country, also weighed in on the impact of COVID-19:

- 48.6% said staff had adequate access to personal protective equipment throughout the pandemic.
- 46.2% said their department experienced decreased throughput during the pandemic.
- An average of 68.3% of staff in imaging departments were at least partially vaccinated, according to respondents, and an average of 15% of staff in imaging departments contracted COVID-19 at some point during the pandemic.

“This year saw a decrease in vacancy rates across most of the disciplines that we are tracking.” said ASRT Director of Research John Culbertson, M.ED, M.A. “However, caution should be taken when interpreting and generalizing this data due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey results should be viewed as a snapshot specific to the dates in which the data was collected.”

In addition to vacancy rates, the report highlights information about workforce turnover and demographics. For example, the average number of full-time radiographers per medical imaging facility increased from 8.7 in 2019 to 9.3 as in 2021. Across all medical imaging specialties, the average number of full-time employees was seen to increase slightly from 2019 levels.

Of the survey respondents, 50.3% work in hospitals. Another 11.6% work in imaging centers. Other types of facilities where respondents work include large and small clinics, physician’s offices, corporate settings and education, among others.

ASRT emailed the biennial survey in Feb. 2021 to 13,718 radiology department managers across the United States. At the close of the survey in April 2021, 457 respondents had submitted completed questionnaires. The survey has tracked staffing tends biennially since 2003.

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