There have been frequent postings recently lamenting the fact that directors cannot fill or even get applicants for their vacant positions in mammography.
How did this trend happen? Are we so confused by Covid that we lost track? Did the shutdown of normal mammo departments mask or delay the realization of shortages? Or has the entry into the field and the clinical requirements coupled with fears of liability reduced the window of entry to only the chosen few who are selected by facilities.
AHEC decided to ask our readers to share what they knew about this trend among the rank and file mammographers. The respondents were 92% RT(R)(M) and 85% were over the age of 36 years. The respondents were spread across 26 states giving a good cross section of the nation.
The responding mammographers reported that 52% either had a vacancy or knew of vacancies at other facilities. This gives some veracity to the trends reported. It seems to be a well known fact that new radiologic technologists do not favor advanced training in mammography as 47% reported they knew or had heard others describe this phenomenon. In conjunction with the verification of vacancies, mammographers were asked if the Covid-19 pandemic caused o-workers to retire and/or stop working and 71% said they did not know anyone who had retired or stopped working because of Covid-19.
Practicing mammographers were presented with a list of reasons and asked their opinions regarding the influence these factors had on the entry to the field of mammography. Their responses are reported in the table below.
|Pay scale too low||21.2%|
|Afraid of repetitive motion injuries||7.0|
|Do not want to work closely with patients||8.0|
|No interest in mammo modality||34.3|
|Afraid of MQSA regulations and liability||20.2|
The other category produced many comments such as new technologists do not want to work that hard, federal guidelines are strenuous and very time consuming, and multiple comments about lack of interpersonal skills and not wanting to get that close to the patients.
Practicing mammographers were asked if the MQSA training entry to the field of mammography was too difficult and a resounding 87% said the training guidelines were not too strict. This is huge support and understanding about how critical it is to learn the fundamentals of basic mammography.
Mammographers were asked to respond to the process of electronic job applications and the impact on recruitment and employment and 56% said it made the process more difficult than applying through the facility in person.
We will be closely watching if the job vacancies multiply and the trend becomes more pronounced affecting patient availability.