What Does a Radiation Therapist Do?
Radiation therapists are responsible for administering radiation therapy to patients suffering from cancer and other diseases. In addition to developing treatment plans, these therapists ensure that radiation is delivered accurately and safely through close collaboration with oncologists, medical physicists, and other healthcare professionals. They also monitor patients for side effects and work with the healthcare team to adjust treatment plans as needed.
It is essential for radiation therapists to possess strong technical skills, attention to detail, and the ability to work effectively with patients and other medical personnel. Those working in this field must have a solid understanding of the physics, biology, and safety of radiation. In addition, they must have an understanding of the software and equipment used in treatment planning.
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National Average Salary
Radiation therapist salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Radiation Therapist is:
Radiation Therapist Job Descriptions
Provides patients planned course of treatment as prescribed by the Radiation Oncologists.
- Implements the patients planned course of treatment as prescribed by the Radiation Oncologists.
- Explicitly follows the predetermined treatment parameters as set forth during patient simulation and treatment planning.
- Interacts with all areas in Radiation Oncology in scheduling, planning, evaluation and implementing all aspects of the patients planned course of treatment.
- Interacts with all departments within and outside XYZ Health Cancer Center at ABC Company to coordinate a multidisciplinary continuity of care.
- Reinforces patient education concerning diet and side effects management.
- Consults the appropriate department when dealing with patient concerns outside therapist’s area of expertise.
- Provides all necessary daily patient related activities as outlined in departmental policies and procedures.
- Assists in the maintenance of all equipment by promptly reporting malfunctions and unsafe conditions to the Chief Radiation therapist or Chief of Physics.
- Documents all patient data related to treatments given, patients’ well-being, charges billed and procedures scheduled to facilitate a continuum of care.
- Demonstrates an understanding of all governmental statutes and regulations regarding the application of ionizing radiation on both the state and federal levels.
- Maintains reasonably regular, punctual attendance consistent with ABC Company policies, the ADA, FMLA and other federal, state and local standards.
- Maintains compliance with all ABC Company policies and procedures.
Other related functions
- Responsible for obtaining all continuing education requirements as set forth by the professional and state licensure organizations regulating the profession.
- Flexible in hours worked and location assigned to accommodate patient and departmental needs is essential.
- Participates in community service and center wide educational events.
- Demonstrates the knowledge and skills necessary to provide appropriate care according to the age and specific needs of the patient assigned to his or her care.
- Graduate from an accredited school of Radiation Therapy.
- ARRT registered or registry eligible; and
- Maintains current BCLS/Healthcare provider certification.
- New Graduates with a current temporary Radiologic Technologist License by the State of Florida or proof of application; contingent on successfully passing the certification exam within 90 days of date of hire.
- Under the direction of the Dosimetrist, Radiation Therapy Physicist and/or the Radiation Oncologist, the Radiation Therapist will treat cancer and other diseases in patients by administering radiation treatments according to treatment plan.
- The Radiation Therapist must maintain detailed records of all therapy sessions with strict adherence to safety responsibilities and guidelines.
- Education: Associate’s degree preferred.
- Previous Experience: One year of experience in radiation therapy highly preferred
- Experience with hematology/oncology /radiation oncology patients in a clinic or hospital is a plus.
- Core Capabilities:
- Analysis & Critical Thinking: Critical thinking skills including solid problem solving, analysis, decision-making, planning, time management and organizational skills.
- Must be detailed oriented
- Ability to exercise independent judgment,
- The ability to react calmly and effectively in emergency situations.
- Ability to assess patient needs and condition is essential.
- Interpersonal Effectiveness: Developed interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, diplomacy, tact, conflict management, delegation skills, diversity awareness.
- Ability to work effectively with sensitive and confidential material and sometimes emotionally charged matters.
- Communication Skills: Effective communication skills (oral, written, presentation), is an active listener, and effectively provides balanced feedback.
- Fluency in English and excellent oral and written communication skills is required.
- Customer Service & Organizational Awareness: Strong customer focus.
- Ability to build an engaging culture of quality,
- performance effectiveness and
- operational excellence through best practices, strong business and political acumen, collaboration and partnerships, as well as a positive employee, physician and community relations.
- Self-Management: Effectively manages own time, conflicting priorities, self, stress, professional development.
- Self-motivated and self-starter with ability work independently with limited supervision.
- Ability to work remotely effectively as required.
- Must work effectively in a fast-paced, multi-site environment with demonstrated ability to juggle competing priorities and demands from various stakeholders and sites.
- Computer Skills: Proficiency in Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook required.
- Certifications/Licenses: A valid Florida Certified Radiologic Technologist (CRT/RTT) license required.
- ARRT Certified BLS Certified CPR Certified
- Valid state Driver’s License for travel to satellite offices and offsite meetings.
- Compliance with the company Driver Safety Operations and Motor Vehicle Records Check Policy is required
Responsible for the optimum planning and treatment of the radiation therapy patient with ionizing radiation in accordance with the written directive of the Radiation Oncologists, and under the direct supervision of the Chief Therapist.
- Treats patients with ionizing radiation in adherence to all regulatory guidelines.
- Monitors all equipment parameters, documents equipment malfunctions and understands all emergency and safety procedures of all equipment.
- Maintains accurate medical records and treatment schedules.
- Inputs treatment and simulation charge information into Aria.
- Documents patient treatment chart.
- Understands emergency and fault procedures for linear accelerators and simulators.
- Recognizes and reports patient concern and physical problems to appropriate personnel.
- Communicates instructions and procedures to patients and their families.
- Maintains organization and cleanliness in the clinic.
- This position requires walking, standing, sitting, lifting, reaching, stooping, bending, pushing and pulling.
- Must be able to lift and support 35 pounds in handling patients, medical equipment and supplies.
- Must speak and understand English.
- Intact sense of sight, hearing, smell and touch.
- Finger dexterity.
- Critical thinking and ability to concentrate.
- Must be able to respond quickly and make decisions to changes on the unit.
Education, experience, and certifications
- Graduate of an AMA approved school of Therapeutic Radiology or international equivalent.
- ARRT registered or registry eligible, must pass registry in the first 90 days of employment.
- BLS for Healthcare Provider from AHA required.
Sample Interview Questions
- How do you ensure that radiation therapy treatments are administered accurately and safely to patients?
- How have you modified a radiation plan to ensure patient safety or comfort?
- Do you have experience using treatment planning software, such as Eclipse or Pinnacle, and how have you used it?
- How did you troubleshoot radiation therapy equipment when you had a problem?
- How do you ensure the safety protocols for radiation therapy are followed, and how do you ensure quality assurance?
- How do you keep up with the latest radiation therapy research and developments, and how do you put this knowledge to use?
- Describe how you communicate radiation therapy risks and potential side effects to patients and their families.
- Do you have experience working with linear accelerators, brachytherapy, and proton therapy equipment?
- What methods do you use to ensure that treatment plans are optimized for patient outcomes in collaboration with oncologists, medical physicists, and other healthcare professionals?
- In addition to managing patient side effects, what is your experience working with the healthcare team to adjust treatment plans as necessary?