Monday, May 8, 2017

Matching Medical Imaging Technology Students With Their Clinical Site Rotation: A Mixed Methods Assessment

Whitney Bowen
University of Cincinnati


Purpose To identify the ways in which medical imaging programs are currently assigning students to their clinical rotations and to investigate if there is a link between clinical rotation assignments and post-graduation employment.

Methods A twelve question survey was sent via email using Qualtric data collection to assess current clinical placement methods of medical imaging programs (n=55 program responses). In addition, the University of Cincinnati’s Advanced Medical Imaging Technology program clinical site placement records and six month post-graduation employment data (n=93 students) was assessed for correlating links between clinical rotation assignments and post-graduation employment locations.

Results The majority of medical imaging programs that completed the survey (87.3%) have their program faculty and/or clinical coordinator assign students to their clinical rotations. Other program methods used include: a lottery system (5.5%), students are responsible for finding and securing their own clinical rotations (3.6%), and an interview/match system (3.6%). From the University of Cincinnati student data: 60.4% of graduates were employed in medical imaging within 6 months of graduation. Of these 55 students; 76.4% of graduates were employed at a facility they attended for a clinical rotation, 27.3% of graduates were employed at local facility they did not attend for a clinical rotation, and 14.5% of graduates relocated and found employment in medical imaging.

Discussion A total of 133 programs, including MRI, Nuclear Medicine, Radiography and CT imaging modalities, were sent the survey regarding clinical site placement. A response rate of 41.4% was received with some limitations with university spring break and Qualtrics browser support. A graduate survey response rate of 75.8% was received by paper survey. Correlation between clinical rotation locations and employment locations could be further expanded to all programs surveyed with the placement method survey in a future study.

Conclusion The majority of medical imaging programs (87.3%) are assigning students to their clinical rotation assignments based on program faculty/clinical coordinator assignment methods. The top priority of medical imaging programs when assigning students to clinical rotation sites is to ensure the students complete their competency requirements and see a large variety of scans/procedures. In addition, these clinical rotations often lead to future employment for students. Based on University of Cincinnati data, the majority of graduates (76.4%) who are employed in medical imaging six months post-graduation are employed at a clinical site where they completed a clinical rotation as a student.