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Oswego Career Ladders - Radiation Therapist

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Radiation Therapist

Industry: Healthcare
Area: Radiology

A radiation therapist works with a team of oncology professionals (cancer specialists) who use carefully targeted doses of powerful radiation beams to destroy tumors without permanently damaging the surrounding normal tissues. The radiation therapist is directly responsible for the actual daily treatment of patients using sophisticated radiation-producing equipment. Since these treatments are usually given daily for up to seven weeks, the radiation therapist can develop a close relationship with each patient. Working with physicians, medical physicists and medical dosimetrists, the radiation therapist also assists in a wide range of other tasks including using x ray equipment to locate the precise area to be treated, constructing patient immobilization and beam shaping devices, using highly specialized computers to plan the treatment, and calculating the radiation dose.

Work Settings

Radiation therapists work both in hospitals and in freestanding cancer treatment centers. Patients are usually treated during normal business hours during weekdays, and there is very little on call.

Education

Entry-level education for radiation therapists is usually two years in length. There are two-year certificate programs, two-year associate degree programs, and two-year upper division baccalaureate degree programs. Graduates of accredited programs are eligible to apply to take the NYS licensure exam and the national certification exam.

Job Outlook

Faster than average growth expected

Salary

$34,000 - $71,000(NYS Avg. $49,900)

Work Schedule

Standard 40-hour week

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