Radiation therapists in Louisiana are overwhelmingly satisfied with their jobs and enjoy their everyday duties and responsibilities. However, when asked about opportunities for advancement, a majority said they don’t see it in the workplace.
Radiation therapists’ views on overall job satisfaction, company policies and workplace motivational factors are among the findings in a statewide survey published in Radiation Therapist, a journal of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists.
Radiation therapists are medical professionals who administer targeted doses of radiation to patients to treat cancer or other diseases. To measure their level of job satisfaction, researchers from the Northwestern State University in Shreveport and Our Lady of the Lake College in Baton Rouge sent surveys to 161 registered radiation therapists in Louisiana. Sixty-one radiation therapists responded to the survey for a 36.9 percent response rate.
More than half of the respondents strongly agreed that they receive adequate levels of recognition in the workplace. Even more, 75 percent of respondents agreed that their level of responsibility was appropriate. However, when asked about their salaries with respect to their level of responsibilities, 46 percent say they didn’t believe their salaries were adequate.
According to Christopher Savoy, M.S.R.S., R.T.(R)(T), a radiation therapist in Baton Rouge and the study’s lead author, the study shows that the state’s radiation therapists are a resilient group and are committed to providing patients with high-quality care. “I believe the study results speak highly of Louisiana therapists that they are largely satisfied with their careers in spite of the lower-than-average pay."
Respondents were generally positive regarding workplace factors like policies, supervision, interpersonal relations and work environment. For example, more than 63 percent said that their department policies are easy to understand and 46.5 percent don’t believe that they’re being micromanaged in the workplace. Even more, 62.1 percent believe that they work in a collaborative environment.
Researchers said the survey results show that radiation therapy administrators should be aware of the effects of motivation and other workplace factors. In addition, researchers are confident that the data can be used to adjust departmental policies for improvement of organizational culture and job satisfaction in radiation therapy departments.
"Lower turnover is essential to patient safety as departments that consistently have staff turnover never build a stock of experienced individuals,” said Savoy. “Low morale and other burdens take a toll on therapy staff members who are already tasked with a physically, emotionally and mentally challenging job. As a result, mental fatigue can set in, which ultimately can compromise patient safety."