Radiation therapists are medical professionals that provide radiation treatments for patients that have been prescribed this treatment by their radiologist or doctor. This is typically for treatment of cancer and other types of illnesses and diseases.
Radiation therapists are highly trained medical professionals that provide radiation therapy and other types of treatments that have been prescribed by their referring physician. The first thing a radiation therapist does before seeing a patient is to review the referring doctor’s prescription, diagnosis and the patient’s medical chart. Then they check the radiation equipment to ensure that it is in proper working order. They position patients to get the best treatment accuracy. They administer the prescribed dosage of radiation to the specific body part using the correct industry standards. They follow radiation protection procedures for themselves and the patient. They reassure patients on the treatments they are receiving and their prognosis. They answer any questions that they may have about their treatments. They maintain records and complete reports to include dosages, sessions, equipment settings and patient reaction to the radiation. They use a computer to input this data and set any controls that are needed during the therapy sessions.
Radiation Therapist Salary:
The current radiation therapist salary is about $79,000 per year. This will depend on how much experience you have, the type of education you have received and even the city and state that you work in. Location is very important when it comes to the radiation therapist income. There are certain states that offer a higher than average radiation therapist pay rate. These states are New York, South Carolina, New Jersey, Washington and California. All of these states pay more than $10,000 above the national average. In New York, the average radiation therapist salary is about $90,000 per year. South Carolina offers a radiation therapist income of more than $91,000 per year. New Jersey is another state that offers a high rate of pay. In New Jersey the average salary is also $91,000 per year. Washington state offers one of the highest salaries for radiation therapists. In this state you will find that the average rate is $93,000 per year. The state that offers the best radiation therapist salary is California. In California the average pay rate is $94,000 a year. Salaries may be even higher in some of the larger cities in these states.
Radiation Therapist Education:
In order to become a radiation therapist you will need to attend an educational program. There are three choices. You may complete a one year certificate program, a two year associate degree or a four year bachelor’s degree. However, most employers prefer to hire applicants with an associate or bachelor’s degree. It is best to attend a program that is accredited by ARRT as most states require a license to practice. Programs typically cover topics such as anatomy, physiology, physics, computer science, math, research methodology and radiation therapy topics. Course work will include in class work in addition to on site clinical rotations. Licensing may be required by your state so make sure to check for the requirements as they can vary. You will need to pass an exam to become licensed.
Radiation Therapist Work Environment:
The work environment for a radiation therapist is typically in a medical facility. They most often work in cancer treatment centers or the radiation department of a hospital. The work environment is typically a well lit, temperature controlled medical office or room. They do the majority of their work while standing. They also may need to lift or position patients from time to time. Since radiation therapists work with radiation, they must take strong cautionary measures. They typically are in another room away from the rays of radiation during a patient’s treatments. The average work schedule for a radiation therapist is typically a full time schedule of at least forty hours per week. Therapy is planned in advance and therapists generally work normal pre-scheduled office hours. It is rare for a radiation therapists to be on call or to have to work after hours. A small number of radiation therapists may work on a part time basis.
Radiation therapy is a very important medical field to go into. You will be working with patients who depend on this therapy to give them a better quality of life or extend their lives. This is a very lucrative and rewarding career. There are many benefits to becoming a radiation therapist. One of these benefits is the job outlook for the future. There is also a great need for radiation therapists in the near future. Right now there are about 17,000 medical professionals employed as radiation therapists. In the next couple of years there is an expected increase of twenty percent more jobs. This will create 3,400 more jobs for radiation therapists by the year 2020.