What does a Radiation Therapist do?
A radiation therapist (also known as a radiotherapist or therapeutic radiographer) is a health care professional who treats cancer and other diseases by administering radiation treatments.
How to become a Radiation Therapist
You should sign up for a college that has an accredited program in radiation therapy. You can earn an associates degree or you can pursue a bachelor’s degree program. Upon successful completion of this program, you will be certified with the degree in radiation therapy that should make you eligible to become a radiation therapist.
A radiation technologist may take additional educational courses later in their career to become a radiation therapist. However, you need to have a license to start practicing. This license can be obtained by passing the American Registry of Radiation Technologists certification exam in your state and have graduated from an accredited radiation therapy program. There are accrediting boards in as many as 33 states where you can obtain your license as well. But passing the certification exam of American Registry of Radiation Technologists can be viewed more credible.
Job Description of a Radiation Therapist
The primary job of a radiation therapist is to use x-ray or CT scanning machines to locate cancerous tumors or to spot damaged tissues and exposure to radiation in case a person diagnosed with cancer is being subjected to chemotherapy. A radiation therapist would also be responsible to carry out radiation procedures which use x-rays to shrink and kill cancer cells, eventually eliminating the tumor.
A radiation therapist would be trained on simulation, CT or MR simulation, computer planning of radiotherapy, external beam treatment, mould room, brachytherapy, on treatment review and medications associated with treatment and regulation of cancer.
While a radiation therapist is supposed to be an expert in radiotherapy, not everyone is an expert in all aspects. It is common for a radiation therapist to be only responsible to operate the various medical diagnosing devices and to review the reports of a patient.