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Radiation Therapist Career

With advances in cancer treatments, qualified radiology therapists are in high demand. See what you can do with a radiology career here.

As a radiation therapist, you can work as part of an oncology team to provide cancer treatment. A radiation therapist aims a high-energy x-ray at cancer cells to shrink and eliminate cancerous tumors. A radiation therapist uses an x-ray imaging or (CT) Scan to pinpoint the location of the tumor. You must understand how to use guidelines to position the patient for the therapy and calculate the dosage. The treatments take approximately 10 to 30 minutes a session.

In addition to administering the treatment, you must also monitor the condition of the patient, which includes the affects of the treatment. You must also keep accurate records of how the patient reacts to the treatment both physically and emotionally.

Training Requirements

The training requirements to become a radiation therapist are specific. You must complete either a two-year associate's degree or four-year bachelor's degree after which you then complete a 12-month accredited radiation therapy program. Most states require that you pass a certification program through the American Registry of Radiology Technologist (ARRT).

Some of the courses include:
  • Radiation therapy procedures and scientific theory
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Physics
  • Algebra
  • Research methodology
  • Radiation protection and quality assurance
  • Clinical concepts
  • Treatment planning and delivery
  • Fabrication of beam modification devices
You have the possibility to work in a hospital center or cancer treatment center. Because of the continuing advances in cancer identification and treatment, the field of radiation therapy is growing and additional radiation therapists are needed.

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