Radiation Therapists

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About the Job

Provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards. Duties may include reviewing prescription and diagnosis; acting as liaison with physician and supportive care personnel; preparing equipment, such as immobilization, treatment, and protection devices; and maintaining records, reports, and files. May assist in dosimetry procedures and tumor localization.

It is also Called

  • Computed Tomography Simulation Therapist (CT Simulation Therapist)
  • Dosimetrist
  • Radiation Therapist
  • Radiation Therapy Technician
  • Radiation Therapy Technologist (RTT)
  • Radiologic Therapist
  • Radiology Therapist
  • Registered Radiation Therapist
  • Staff Radiation Therapist

What They Do

  • Assist in the preparation of sealed radioactive materials, such as cobalt, radium, cesium, or isotopes, for use in radiation treatments.
  • Store, sterilize, or prepare the special applicators containing the radioactive substance implanted by the physician.
  • Implement appropriate follow-up care plans.
  • Train or supervise student or subordinate radiotherapy technologists.
  • Provide assistance to other healthcare personnel during dosimetry procedures and tumor localization.
  • Schedule patients for treatment times.
  • Act as liaison with physicist and supportive care personnel.
  • Photograph treated area of patient and process film.
  • Calculate actual treatment dosages delivered during each session.
  • Help physicians, radiation oncologists, or clinical physicists to prepare physical or technical aspects of radiation treatment plans, using information about patient condition and anatomy.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: SRC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Social interests, but also prefer Realistic and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Support and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Education Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

LMI Region

Wages

In 2013, the average annual wage in Washington was $101,440 with most people making between $73,420 and $136,880

Outlook

3.12%
avg. annual growth

During 2008, this occupation employed approximately 320 people in Washington. It is projected that there will be 420 employed in 2018.

This occupation will have about 10 openings due to growth and about 10 replacement openings for approximately 20 total annual openings.