If you are considering becoming a radiation therapy technologist, you are considering a job opportunity with a great future. These jobs are in high demand and this demand is expected to only increase in the next few years (BLS). If you enjoy helping people, are detail-oriented, have good organizational skills and enjoy the medical field, this could be the perfect career choice for you.
Radiation Therapy Technologist Job Description
A radiation therapy technologist is part of a radiation therapy treatment plan that also includes a radiation oncologist, nurses, and other medical staff. This team comes together to design and implement a cancer patient’s treatment plan. Often the radiation therapist is the person most often seen by the patients and are seen on a daily basis for several weeks at a time.
Radiation therapy is used to help treat cancer patients, by using a linear accelerator the shoots high-energy radiation at the cancer cells. The radiation oncologist will develop a plan for each patient, based on the type, size, and location of the cancer cells. It is up to the radiation therapy technologist to implement the plan and provide the radiation treatment to the patient precisely as ordered by the doctor.
The radiation therapy technologist must be extremely careful when planning for the dosage of radiation to use and when setting up to hit the precise target. These two factors are determined by the doctor, but it is the radiation therapist job to carry those orders out exactly as prescribed. Doing these treatments correctly will make the difference on whether the cancer cells can be successfully killed and removed.
During a typical radiation therapy treatment, the radiation therapy technologist will bring the patient in and set them up for their treatment. They will add the correct dosage of radiation to the linear accelerator and line the machine up to the exact location where the radiation is to hit. The technologist will then leave the room and control the machine from the other room. This is done to protect the technologist because overexposure to radiation can be dangerous.
The radiation therapy technologist is also responsible for keeping track of the patient’s medical record. They must record each treatment, how much was given and at what date and time. They are also expected to ask the patient about side effects or if their condition is worsening. The therapist is expected to report any concerns about a patient to the radiation oncologist.
Many of the patients that come for radiation treatments are under a great deal of stress and in some cases, their health may not be very good. It is the radiation therapy technologist’s job to calm patients and make them feel comfortable. The more at ease you can make the patient, the easier your job will be. Usually,be as the treatments continue, the patient become more comfortable with the technologist and the treatments.
A career as a radiation therapy technologist can be very rewarding because you know that you will be helping people fight a life-threatening illness. It can also be very difficult emotionally because not every patient will have success and you may lose some during treatment. Focusing on the positive and the benefits of this treatment can help you deal with this. If you are looking for a job where you can make a difference in people’s lives, a radiation therapist is a good choice.