Taking Our Temperature: What’s Your Employment Status

Amid the pandemic, it is hard to connect with others who may be undergoing the same types of experiences in the workplace. The pandemic exposure is variable dependent upon your geography. State by state, the numbers of people exposed and/or positive is driving the employment status. It’s difficult to make assertions about the radiology workplace as a whole. Different facilities have different responses to PPE shortages and everything is a “new day” in terms of what’s allowed.

We decided to do one of our famous surveys and these are the responses we received. The date of the survey was the week of 4/6/20 and the total number of participants was 330. The clinical setting was divided into:

  • 45% Hospitals
  • 22% Outpatient Imaging Center
  • 27% Clinic
  • 4% Specialty Imaging Center
  • 1% Mobile Unit Mammography
  • 1% Mobile Unit Radiology

The first questions to be answered was “Is your facility closed?”
Answer: No – 88%

What is Your Modality?
Answer:

  • 31% Radiology
  • 30% Mammography
  • 13% CT
  • 10% MRI
  • 6% Ultrasound
  • 4% Radiation Therapy
  • 3% Nuclear Medicine
  • 3% Cath Lab
  • <1% Bone Densitometry

The types of employment reported were:

  • 84% Full Time
  • 9% Part Time
  • 7% PRN

The responses to “Has your employment status changed during the Covid-19 pandemic” was split between Yes – 57% and No – 43%.

The next question was related to if you are working are you in other departments and the majority was No – 65%.

For those whose employment status had changed, the next question asked how it had changed:

A follow-up question asked if hours had been reduced, how many hours per week have you lost:

Almost all job descriptions carry that famous line “other duties as assigned”. We asked, “If you are assigned other duties or floating, what are the responsibilities?”  The answers fell in these categories:

  • 32% Screening
  • 17% Clerical
  • 15% Medical Assistance
  • 11% Variable to whatever needs done
  • 10% Assisting or floating to other Radiation locations

…and 15% of those surveyed said nothing is offered or they have been laid off/furloughed

There have been many bizarre radiology stories emerging from this pandemic situation. I have seen innovation in technical scenarios to prevent exposure. I have seen the sense of humor and caring that teams have developed. I have seen the support given to those tired and stressed. I have also seen some things I wish I had not.  The evaluation of the aftermath will be long and painful when we come out on the other side.  Stay safe.

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