DOS 752 - Week 2 Activity
Finally, can this job description effectively be used for an employee professional development plan (PDP)?
Post: Loyola's Mission Statement and SWOT Analysis
The Medical Dosimetrist job description document used at Loyola University Health System is in need of an update. The currently used version is approaching 7 years old.1 Many of the listed duties have since been shifted to the radiation therapists or the physicsts, and many new duties are not listed. In order to be updated into a more comprehensive document, several topics should be added. The American Association of Medical Dosimetrists has a sample job description posted on their website, which can serve as a model.2 Some of the topics to add include creation of patient immobilization devices, planning of more modern delivery techniques, and participation in research, continuing education, and continuous quality improvement processes.
Despite some of its shortcomings, the existing document does have some strengths. One of the sections in the existing document that struck me as interesting was the section on age-specific competencies. Loyola's job roles often deal with patients of a specific age category such as pediatrics or geriatrics, but this job description explicitly states that every age group will be encountered, and dosimetrists must be familiar with skills for interacting with all of them.
Even though the document is in need of an update, it does include enough specificity to be compatible with a professional development plan (PDP). Using Duke University's PDP guide as a model, a professional development plan can be constructed in 5 steps:3
Step One: Request a self-assessment from the staff member
Step Two: Develop your assessment of the individual's skill level
Step Three: Assess the department and organization's needs
Step Four: Explore development opportunities with the staff member
Step Five: Record and analyze the staff member's progress
While most of the planning techniques are lumped into a single broad responsibility on the existing job description, a PDP could easily highlight one or more as areas to improve or develop. A PDP could also serve as a bridge between the existing document and a more up-to-date state by adding the new functions and responsibilities as goals to achieve. As each employee develops their own PDP, some of the common threads between them could serve to highlight topics and sections that need to be added to the job description. In this way, the document is developed at the same time as the employees.
- Job description. Loyola University Health System. [PDF Document]. Updated March 18, 2009. Accessed November 11, 2015.
- General description. American Association of Medical Dosimetrists Website. http://www.medicaldosimetry.org/generalinformation/description.cfm. Updated December 2011. Accessed November 11, 2015.
- Professional development plan. Duke University HR Website. http://www.hr.duke.edu/managers/performance/development/. Accessed November 11, 2015.