Study of lone working magnetic resonance technologists in Western Australia
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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 of 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 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, chi-square and t tests, and analysis of variance) were used to analyse the responses of the yes/no, multiple choice and 5 point 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) centres 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 private centres. 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 assistance for emergency and concern relief.
The final publication is available at SpringerLink
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