Study of lone working magnetic resonance technologists in Western Australia
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Discipline of Medical Imaging, Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
Discipline of Medical Imaging, Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth, Western Australia, 6845, Australia
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2013;26(6):837-45
Objectives: It is recommended that magnetic resonance (MR) technologists should not work alone due to potential occupational health risks although lone working is legally acceptable. The objective of this study was to investigate the current situation of lone working MR technologists in Western Australia (WA) and any issue against the regulations. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire regarding the issues of occupational health of lone working MR technologists was developed based on relevant literature and distributed to WA MR technologists. Descriptive (percentage of frequency, mean and standard deviation) and inferential statistics (Fisher's exact, Chi2 and t tests, and analysis of variance) were used to analyze the responses of the yes/no, multiple choice and 5 pt scale questions from the returned questionnaires. Results: The questionnaire response rate was 65.6% (59/90). It was found that about half of the MR technologists (45.8%, 27/59) experienced lone working. The private magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) centers were more likely to arrange technologists to work alone (p < 0.05). The respondents expressed positive views on issues of adequacy of training and arrangement, confidence and comfort towards lone working except immediate assistance for emergency (mean: 3). Factors of existence of MRI safety officer (p < 0.05) and nature of lone working (p < 0.001-0.05) affected MR technologists' concerns. Conclusions: Lone working of MR technologists is common in WA especially in private centers. The training and arrangement provided seem to be adequate for meeting the legal requirements. However, several areas should be improved by the workplaces including enhancement on immediate emergency assistance and concern relief.
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