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Radiation Therapists Career Video

Description: Provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiation oncologist 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.

Video Transcript

Radiation therapists treat cancer and other diseases in patients by administering radiation treatments. They operate machines, such as linear accelerators, to deliver concentrated radiation therapy to shrink or remove cancers and tumors. Radiation therapists explain treatment plans to patients and answer questions about treatment. Safety protocols are essential; they work with precision and accuracy to protect patients and themselves and to administer radiation at the correct levels. Radiation therapists monitor their patients to ensure they tolerate the treatment and keep detailed records of each treatment, including any unusual reactions. Most radiation therapists work in hospitals, though a number work in doctors’ offices and outpatient centers. Most radiation therapists work full time on a regular schedule. Physical stamina is needed in this work; therapists are on their feet many hours a day and may need to lift or turn patients who need help. Frequent interaction with people in physical and emotional stress can be tough to handle at times. Most positions require an associate’s degree in radiation therapy, although qualifications may range from a certificate to a bachelor’s degree. Professional licensure or certification is required by most states. With advanced training and certification, therapists may become medical dosimetrists. Dosimetrists calculate the correct dose of radiation for treatment plans and specify how devices should be used.