How many physicists do we need? A Brazilian point of view
Palavras-chave:medical physics, radiation therapy, staff calculation, full-time equivalence.
In Brazil the hiring of medical physics in radiation therapy (RT) departments is defined by regulatory agencies, considering only the number of patients treated. With the rise of new technologies, treatment techniques become more complex, requiring a greater amount of time and staff qualifications. International organizations solved this problem with a method for assessing personnel levels and determining the quantity of professionals required for a specific RT department. In this work, we adapted this strategy to our clinical reality and derived calculations of the time per task multiplied by the expected number of tasks. The task requirements were described in detail and the amounts of time required to perform each task over a one-year period were determined. The sum of task times were related to a suitable full-time equivalence (FTE), considering a team only of medical physicists. We thus determined that our clinic should have 11 FTE personnel, evidencing a need for hiring. The use of a personnel justification grid enables the demonstration of professional staffing insufficiencies in clinics, a condition that hinders the development of RT departments, including the scope of teaching and research.
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