Magazine article Techniques

Radiation Therapist

Magazine article Techniques

Radiation Therapist

Article excerpt

RADIATION THERAPISTS OPERATE SPECIALIZED MACHINES, SUCH AS LINEAR ACCELERATORS, THAT administer therapeutic doses of ionizing radiation in a highly controlled environment; they play an important role as part of health care teams treating cancer and other diseases. Their work with patients includes explaining treatment plans, administering radiation treatments, and monitoring for safety and any unusual reactions. Other duties may include maintaining accurate and detailed records of the treatment and machine calibration.

The Workplace

Radiation therapists work in local, state and private hospitals, cancer centers, outpatient care centers and physicians' offices.

Education

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, although requirements vary, most states require radiation therapists to be licensed or certified, which often includes passing a national certification exam. In addition to colleges and universities that offer bachelor degree options in radiation therapy, there are technical and community colleges at which aspiring radiation therapists can pursue postsecondary credentialing and/or associate degrees.

Earnings

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that, in May 2016, the median annual wage for radiation therapists was $80,160, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $123,710. …

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