The Radiation Therapist or Radiation Therapy Tech works primarily with patients being treated for cancer. The Tech will record the patient’s medical information, locate tumors using x-rays and help develop a treatment plan within the guidelines prescribed by a supervising radiologist or others on the oncologic team.
According to the plan prescribed by a radiologist or oncologist, the radiation therapist will use beams of radiated light to locate and treat cancerous tumors. The Tech is responsible for the safety of the patient and will observe and document any reactions to the treatment, answer any radiology related questions and update charts accurately. Maintaining equipment and following all safety regulations regarding radiation exposure is the also the duty of the Radiation Therapist.
Maintaining a professional demeanor while being empathetic to the suffering of others is required as the Radiation Therapy Tech will be working with cancer patients of all ages. Radiation Therapist must be meticulous in following guidelines for safety procedures as they are working with potentially hazardous materials. Sometimes it will be necessary for the Tech to be able to move or lift patients due to their disability or illness.
Most often an employer will require the completion of a 2 or 4 year program in radiation therapy or a degree in radiography combined with a radiation therapy program. Coursework in these areas will include physics, computer science, human anatomy and algebra. The majority of states require the Radiation Therapist to pass a state board exam in order to be licensed. Some states also require certification by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, ARRT and this certification must be renewed annually.