What Does it Take to Be a Radiation Therapist?
Job Description: Provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards. Duties may include reviewing prescription and diagnosis; acting as liaison with physician and supportive care personnel; preparing equipment, such as immobilization, treatment, and protection devices; and maintaining records, reports, and files. May assist in dosimetry procedures and tumor localization.
What Do Radiation Therapists Do On a Daily Basis?
- Administer prescribed doses of radiation to specific body parts, using radiation therapy equipment according to established practices and standards.
- Educate, prepare, and reassure patients and their families by answering questions, providing physical assistance, and reinforcing physicians’ advice regarding treatment reactions or post-treatment care.
- Assist in the preparation of sealed radioactive materials, such as cobalt, radium, cesium, or isotopes, for use in radiation treatments.
- Train or supervise student or subordinate radiotherapy technologists.
- Observe and reassure patients during treatment and report unusual reactions to physician or turn equipment off if unexpected adverse reactions occur.
- Maintain records, reports, or files as required, including such information as radiation dosages, equipment settings, or patients’ reactions.
Qualities of a Radiation Therapist
When polled, Radiation Therapists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Types of Radiation Therapist Jobs
- Radiation Therapist
- Radiation Therapy Technologist (RTT)
- Radiation Therapy Technician
- Medical Dosimetrist
- Radiologic Therapist
Radiation Therapist Job Outlook
There were about 19,100 jobs for Radiation Therapist in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 12.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 2,400 new jobs for Radiation Therapist by 2026. There will be an estimated 1,200 positions for Radiation Therapist per year.
The states with the most job growth for Radiation Therapist are Utah, Colorado, and Idaho. Watch out if you plan on working in Wyoming, Vermont, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Average Radiation Therapists Salary
The typical yearly salary for Radiation Therapists is somewhere between $56,360 and $124,320.
Radiation Therapists who work in California, Oregon, or Connecticut, make the highest salaries.
How much do Radiation Therapists make in each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$78,610|
Tools & Technologies Used by Radiation Therapists
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Radiation Therapists:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Web browser software
- Electronic medical record EMR software
- Image processing software
- Radiation dose calculation software
Becoming a Radiation Therapist
Are there Radiation Therapists education requirements?
What work experience do I need to become a Radiation Therapist?
Where Radiation Therapists Are Employed
Radiation Therapists work in the following industries:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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