Career Development

WorkMed creates solutions within workforce

to fill gaps and develop skills

Medical Assistant_1

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the WorkMed service line found it extremely difficult to find qualified radiology technologist (Rad Tech) candidates. These technologists are needed throughout WorkMed clinics where high volumes of work-related injuries are seen.

"The pipeline dried up and we were unable to find Rad Techs," says Ryan Lambert, service line director for WorkMed.

The average Rad Tech completes five to 20 images in a day. The remainder of that time is spent carrying out standard medical assistant duties. With limited Rad Tech coverage, many of the WorkMed clinics had been forced to consistently divert patients to local hospitals for x-rays.

WorkMed leaders began brainstorming how they could resolve this issue with the resources they had.

The solution that became evident was medical assistants. They learned that medical assistants could be trained as Radiological Practical Technicians (RPT) in 1-2 college courses, significantly less time than it takes to receive a Rad Tech degree. With an RPT certification, these caregivers could complete about 80 percent of the x-rays needed in Medical Group service lines.

"We decided to be proactive instead of just complaining and find a way to fill a gap by giving medical assistants the opportunity to grow within WorkMed and take x-rays," said Lambert.

Next, WorkMed leaders partnered with Human Resource managers and Imaging business partners to develop a new RPT program that provides career development and tuition reimbursement for interested medical assistants to become a certified RPT. Together, this not only created a pipeline for credentialed technicians, but it also created development opportunities for caregivers that leads to increased caregiver retention.

Experiencing similar Rad Tech shortages, InstaCares followed suit in July. Currently, WorkMed clinics have multiple caregivers who have completed or are going through the RPT program and will soon take a Utah RPT board examination.

"This program is significant," says Kyle Wilson, senior service line manager for WorkMed. "Not only will it improve the patient's experience and access to needed care, but it will also provide our caregivers with a challenging new opportunity to develop skills that will open doors to new potential career paths."