What You Need to Know About 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.
A Day in the Life of a Radiation Therapist
- Assist in the preparation of sealed radioactive materials, such as cobalt, radium, cesium, or isotopes, for use in radiation treatments.
- Help physicians, radiation oncologists, or clinical physicists to prepare physical or technical aspects of radiation treatment plans, using information about patient condition and anatomy.
- 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.
- Maintain records, reports, or files as required, including such information as radiation dosages, equipment settings, or patients' reactions.
- Act as liaison with physicist and supportive care personnel.
- Photograph treated area of patient and process film.
Skills Needed to be 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.
Related Job Titles
- Radiologic Therapist
- Radiology Therapist
- Radiation Therapy Technician
- Chief Radiation Therapist (Chief RT)
- Computed Tomography Simulation Therapist (CT Simulation Therapist)
Radiation Therapist Job Outlook
In 2016, there was an estimated number of 19,100 jobs in the United States for Radiation Therapist. 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,200 job openings in this field each 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.
What is the Average Salary of a Radiation Therapist
The average yearly salary of a Radiation Therapist ranges between $56,360 and $124,320.
Radiation Therapists who work in California, Oregon, or Connecticut, make the highest salaries.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Radiation Therapists in different U.S. states.
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$78,610|
What Tools do Radiation Therapists Use?
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
What kind of Radiation Therapist requirements are there?
What work experience do I need to become a Radiation Therapist?
Where do Radiation Therapists Work?
The table below shows the approximate number of Radiation Therapists employed by various industries.
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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