Burnout in therapy radiographers in the UK
Other literature type, Article
- Publisher: The British Institute of Radiology.
The 2007 UK National Radiotherapy Advisory Group report indicated that the number and type of staff available is one of the “rate-limiting” steps in improving productivity in radiotherapy departments. Retaining well-trained, satisfied staff is key to meeting the objectives of the report; burnout is an important factor linked to satisfaction and attrition. The results of a survey measuring burnout in a sample of radiotherapists (therapy radiographers) are presented and considered against norms for the health sector and burnout in therapists from Canada and the USA. Case study methodology was used studying six radiotherapy departments selected because of close geographical proximity and differing vacancy rates for radiotherapists. An anonymous survey of radiotherapists used the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and other workforce-related measures (e.g. job satisfaction scales, measures of professional plateau, intentions to leave, job characteristics and demographic data); the results of the burnout questionnaire alone are presented in this paper. A total of 97 completed questionnaires were returned (representing a 28% response rate). The average score for emotional exhaustion was higher than the MBI norms, with 38% of respondents reporting emotional exhaustion (an element of burnout). The data presented support and validated a previous qualitative study, and highlighted key areas of concern requiring further study. A correlation between burnout and job dissatisfaction and intention to leave was identified; managers may want to consider encouraging role extension and good leadership qualities in treatment unit leaders to minimise the potential for burnout.