Truncated careers in nuclear medicine technology: increased job control may improve retention

Edwina Adams, Jennifer M. Cox, Barbara J. Adamson, Deborah J. Schofield

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Objectives. The aim of the study was to gain understanding of why nuclear medicine technologists (NMTs) leave andto compare workforce and service provision trends with diagnostic imaging professionals.Design and setting. A survey of all NMT professional body members in New South Wales, the Australian CapitalTerritory and Queensland was conducted. This paper reports on survey findings of those no longer working as aNMT. Analysis of 1996, 2001 and 2006 Australian Census data and Medicare statistics was made for NMTs, sonographersand radiographers.Main outcome measures. The five most influential reasons for leaving nuclear medicine were measured bysurvey. Census data measured workforce characteristics; size, sex, age. Medicare statistics measured national serviceprovision.Results. Primarily, limited career pathways and professional plateau influence retention of NMTs, with sonographya common career move. Nuclear medicine technologists are young (44.3% <30 years) compared with radiography(52.3% <40 years) or sonography (52.8% <40 years). From 2001 to 2006, service provision in nuclear medicinegrew by 11.8% compared with 36% in ultrasound but the workforce size decreased by 4.9% whereas sonographersincreased by 51.1%.Conclusions. Increasing the level of job control is the most likely factor in creating a positive change to the NMTjob characteristics and improving retention.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)124-129
    Number of pages6
    JournalAustralian Health Review
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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