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Cancer Registry Position Descriptions

Cancer registry position descriptions should be specific enough to outline all job responsibilities, yet flexible enough to allow for the growth of both the staff and cancer program. Many facilities have specific formats for position descriptions. Although the formats may differ, position descriptions in all facilities should contain similar information. A registry position description should include requirements or comments regarding fourteen areas of responsibility, as shown in Table A. In smaller registries, one person may be responsible for all functions, in which case one position description covers all responsibilities. However, larger registries may require the development of several specialized position descriptions (for example, one for the cancer program manager, who handles administrative and staffing issues; another for abstractors, who abstract and code the data; and another for a follow-up person, who conducts all follow-up activities). Specialized position descriptions are more efficient and cost effective and cover a broader range of expertise and services.

Cancer registry responsibilities may change with yearly caseloads or as cancer program responsibilities change. As a result, position descriptions should be reviewed and revised annually. Once cancer registry responsibilities are defined, staffing and workload distributions can be determined.