Radiation Therapists

Health Science > Therapeutic Services

Projected Growth: Faster than average

1100+
Projected Job Openings

Medium Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to 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.

Common job titles of Radiation Therapists include:
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Experience and Education

Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

  • 50.14% said they needed a Associate's Degree.

  • 37.54% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.

Tasks

    Maintain records, reports, or files as required, including such information as radiation dosages, equipment settings, or patients' reactions.

    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.

    Review prescription, diagnosis, patient chart, and identification.

    Follow principles of radiation protection for patient, self, and others.

    Position patients for treatment with accuracy, according to prescription.

    Observe and reassure patients during treatment and report unusual reactions to physician or turn equipment off if unexpected adverse reactions occur.

    Photograph treated area of patient and process film.

    Check radiation therapy equipment to ensure proper operation.

    Schedule patients for treatment times.

    Check for side effects, such as skin irritation, nausea, or hair loss to assess patients' reaction to treatment.

    Prepare or construct equipment, such as immobilization, treatment, or protection devices.

    Train or supervise student or subordinate radiotherapy technologists.

    Enter data into computer and set controls to operate or adjust equipment or regulate dosage.

    Conduct most treatment sessions independently, in accordance with the long-term treatment plan and under the general direction of the patient's physician.

    Act as liaison with physicist and supportive care personnel.

    Help physicians, radiation oncologists, or clinical physicists to prepare physical or technical aspects of radiation treatment plans, using information about patient condition and anatomy.

    Provide assistance to other healthcare personnel during dosimetry procedures and tumor localization.

    Calculate actual treatment dosages delivered during each session.

    Implement appropriate follow-up care plans.

    Store, sterilize, or prepare the special applicators containing the radioactive substance implanted by the physician.

    Assist in the preparation of sealed radioactive materials, such as cobalt, radium, cesium, or isotopes, for use in radiation treatments.

Tools

X ray or fluoroscopy treatment planning simulators

Workshop lathes

Wood chisels

Wireless patient dosimeters

Vacuum formers

Ultrasound imaging scanners

Treatment verification equipment

All Tools

Treatment room intercoms

Thyroid shields

Survey meters

Solid state diode detectors

Respiration monitors

Radiation therapy beam directing wedges

Radiation shielding lead aprons

Radiation protection eyewear

Protective medical gloves

Power drills

Position verification lasers

Personal radiation monitors

Patient treatment area casts

Patient positioning straps

Patient positioning neck rests

Patient positioning headrests

Patient positioning devices

Optical distance indicators

Multi-monitor dosimetry systems

Multi-leaf radiation therapy collimators

Medical x ray image intensifiers

Medical linear accelerator intensity modulated radiation therapy IMRT two dimensional units

Medical linear accelerator intensity modulated radiation therapy IMRT three dimensional units

Medical linear accelerator intensity modulated radiation therapy IMRT collimators

Medical imaging fluoroscopes

Medical diagnostic x ray equipment

Magnetic resonance imaging MRI systems

Linear accelerator compensation filters

Lead alloy shielding blocks

Laptop computers

Laboratory water baths

Immobilizing bite blocks

Heat guns

Electrometers

Dynamic phantoms

Dual diode dosimeter patient dose monitors

Drill presses

Digital cameras

Desktop computers

Daylight medical film processing equipment

Computerized block cutting equipment

Computed tomography CT scanners

Computed tomography CT radiation therapy planning simulators

Cobalt radiation therapy machines

Brachytherapy units

Body-fat calipers

Beam direction shells

Band saws

Automated external defibrillators AED

Area radiation monitors

35 millimeter cameras

Technologies

Beam analysis software

Dose unit calculation software

Electronic medical record EMR software

Image processing software

Lifeline Software RadCalc

Nucletron planning systems

Procedure scheduling software

All Technologies

Radiation dose calculation software

Radiation therapy equipment software

Sun Nuclear MapCHECK

Treatment planning software

Virtual simulation software

Skills

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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.

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.

Speaking

Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Monitoring

Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Coordination

Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Service Orientation

Actively looking for ways to help people.

Writing

Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Operation and Control

Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Instructing

Teaching others how to do something.

Abilities

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

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Occupation Sections

Knowledge

English Language

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Medicine and Dentistry

Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

Physics

Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

Mathematics

Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Education and Training

Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Computers and Electronics

Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Therapy and Counseling

Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

Psychology

Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Biology

Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Clerical

Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

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