Radiation Therapist Career Guide

Overview and Job Duties

People can fall victim to life changing accidents. At times, these incidents result in wounds or loss of blood. Unless a proper examination is not conducted, it is not possible to determine the extent of the injury. This diagnosis then helps to find out if it is a deep cut or merely a minor injury. Thus at this point the role of a radiation therapist comes into play. They make use of x-rays to detect how serious the wounds really are.

The main duty of radiation therapists is to treat patients suffering from cancer and various other diseases with the help of radiation. They work with a team of oncologists along with physicians, physicists, registered nurses, radiation physicists, and dosimetrists for the treatment of cancer. Prior to examining a patient, they need to make sure that the machine is in proper working condition. They also need to be familiar with the safety measurements before starting the treatment of a patient. They also need to protect themselves and patients from overexposure of radioactive waves.

For determining the affected area, radiation therapists may need to carry out x rays. In order to maintain the actual and safe dose of radiation, they need to follow computer programs. Patients are closely monitored to ensure zero variances in the treatment. Besides providing the treatment, a detailed record is also maintained accordingly by these experts.

Career Outlook

A bundle of opportunities could be availed by trained professionals of this medical field. Job opportunities can be found in cancer treatment centers and healthcare facilities. They are also hired in the field of rehabilitation counseling, medical physics and social work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more or less 18,380 individuals were employed as therapists at the rate of 5.2 %.

Salary

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that in 2011 the annual median salary of radiation therapists was more or less $76,630. Generally, education and experience have a great impact on advancement of career to gain good salary and benefits.

Educational Requirements

Candidates must possess formal education to become eligible for a post in this area. In order to work legally on the basis of concrete knowledge, candidates must at least possess an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Moreover, to get a license, these candidates need to follow the laws of the state in which they reside in and this usually varies in terms of policies and requirements. Many employers choose to hire candidates having an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

For a license, candidates must be certified from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). They also need to pass the certification exam by ARRT and adhere to their ethical standards. In case you are unable to continue education in a conventional way, you may also select an online degree and certification. This may help in saving precious time, money and will allow you to manage your hectic work schedule without affecting your studies.

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