A radiation therapist helps provide radiation treatment for cancer patients. Pursuing a career as a radiation therapist can be a hard decision to make. What type of attributes do you need to have in order to be a good candidate? Because you will be working with people daily on a one-on-one basis, it is extremely important to have a passion for helping others.
Excellent communication and recording skills are also helpful. Working with other people in the medical field will take place every day, so being a team player is also necessary. As long as you have the drive to help people, becoming a radiation therapist will come naturally.
Radiation Therapist Job Description
As a radiation therapist you will be expected to perform various tasks. Not only will you conduct radiation therapy, you will also need to accurately record progress and any changes made in the patient’s treatment. Orders are usually given by an Oncologist and need to be followed carefully. He or she will provide you with the treatment in a prescription form, and then you will have to properly administer the necessary treatment.
Care during treatment is also part of your job; it is crucial to make sure that the patient doesn’t experience side effects or any other complications. Filing, machine maintenance, instrument preparation/sterilization, and taking radiographs are other job duties carried out by Radiation Therapists.
Education and Training Options
An associate/bachelor’s degree or special certificate is usually required to work as a radiation therapist. Courses taken to become qualified will normally require that several fields are studied. These include; human anatomy, pre-calculus, physiology, writing, computer science, other basic classes, and of course an in depth look at radiation therapy.
Once the program of your choice is completed it is often recommended that you take a state board exam to obtain a state license. Although not all states require this, it is a good idea to have in handy in case the law changes. Becoming nationally certified is also an option; the ARRT (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists) is a commonly chosen certification service.
Radiation Therapist Salary
Currently, the average salary for a Radiation Therapist is $88,000 a year. The salary is considered above average when compared to other jobs out there today. This may be partially due to the high demand for workers in that specific medical field.
Job Growth Potential
As time passes, technology makes great advancement especially when it comes to the medical field. Radiation therapy is considered fairly new, and as it becomes more advanced and popularly used as a primary source of treatment, the higher the demand for radiation therapists will be. For those looking into becoming one, you do not need to worry about being placed. Both the present and future look promising for radiation therapists.
Because radiation therapists are paid well, you will not have to worry about paying off any student loans or debts that you may have obtained. That means that you will enjoy doing what you love while getting paid top dollar for it!
Career Overview Video
This is a great overview video from Dr. Kit that gives a comprehensive overview of what working as a radiation therapist is all about.