Radiation Therapists, also called Therapeutic Radiographers, work under an oncologist as part of a medical team to prepare patients and administer radiation treatments for cancer and some other conditions. They take precise measurements of patients for treatment and may fit them with specialized equipment to be used during sessions. During the course of treatment, they will monitor the patient's responses, including side effects, and may adjust the schedule or doses of radiation accordingly. They may work at a hospital or at a freestanding cancer treatment center.
Duties include, but are not limited to:
- Administer prescribed doses of radiation to specific body parts, using radiation therapy equipment according to established practices and standards.
- Position patients for treatment with accuracy, according to prescription.
- Follow principles of radiation protection for patient, self, and others.
- Review prescription, diagnosis, patient chart, and identification.
- Conduct most treatment sessions independently, in accordance with the long-term treatment plan and under the general direction of the patient's physician.
- Enter data into computer and set controls to operate or adjust equipment or regulate dosage.
- Check radiation therapy equipment to ensure proper operation.
- Observe and reassure patients during treatment and report unusual reactions to physician or turn equipment off if unexpected adverse reactions occur.
- Educate, prepare, and reassure patients and their families by answering questions, providing physical assistance, and reinforcing physicians' advice regarding treatment reactions or post-treatment care.
- Maintain records, reports, or files as required, including such information as radiation dosages, equipment settings, or patients' reactions.
- Check for side effects, such as skin irritation, nausea, or hair loss to assess patients' reaction to treatment.
- Prepare or construct equipment, such as immobilization, treatment, or protection devices.
- Help physicians, radiation oncologists, or clinical physicists to prepare physical or technical aspects of radiation treatment plans, using information about patient condition and anatomy.
- Calculate actual treatment dosages delivered during each session.
- Photograph treated area of patient and process film.
- Act as liaison with physicist and supportive care personnel.
- Implement appropriate follow-up care plans.
- Schedule patients for treatment times.
- Provide assistance to other healthcare personnel during dosimetry procedures and tumor localization.
- Train or supervise student or subordinate radiotherapy technologists.
- Store, sterilize, or prepare the special applicators containing the radioactive substance implanted by the physician.
- Assist in the preparation of sealed radioactive materials, such as cobalt, radium, cesium, or isotopes, for use in radiation treatments.
- 1-2 years recent work experience as a Radiation Therapist
- ARRT(T) certification
- State License (if required per state)
- Current BLS
- Current TB Screen
- Valid Photo Identification/Driver's License
- Successful completion of a Background Check and Medely's screening process