This post provides detailed information on the radiation therapist job description, including the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities they commonly perform.
It also highlights the major requirements that you may be expected to fulfill to be hired for the radiation therapist role by most recruiters/employers.
What Does a Radiation Therapist Do?
Radiation therapists are medical specialists who use linear accelerators to administer treatment to cancer patients.
The radiation therapist job description entails projecting high energy x-ray to irradiate cancerous cells in the human body.
It also involves administering external beam therapy along with chemotherapy or surgery to treat cancer in patients.
Radiation therapists, who are also referred to as radiotherapists, work in the oncology department of hospitals or healthcare facilities where they deliver treatment to patients fighting various forms of cancer.
They design and implement radiotherapy treatment plans for tumors or cancerous growth in patients and also assess patient conditions to determine suitable dose of radiation.
In performing their duties, radiation therapists operate a range of equipment such as linacs, cobalt-60 units, brachytherapy units, and orthovoltage x-ray units.
They explain to patients the details of a treatment and provide answers to their inquisitions.
Their role also includes ensuring compliance with safety procedures in order to protect against overexposure to radiation.
Usually, these therapists examine radiation equipment prior to a procedure to ensure they function properly.
They crosscheck computer programs to verify radiation dose and ensure patients receive accurate amount. They also ensure patients are properly positioned for external beam therapy.
As part of their responsibilities, radiotherapists operate diagnostic imaging equipment to obtain x-ray image of treated area.
They provide physicians information regarding patient radiotherapy and response to treatment.
Their work description also involves scheduling follow-up care plans to monitor progress of treatment.
It also entails directing and supervising the activities of radiotherapy technologists to ensure compliance with established standards.
They also maintain records of treatment information such as radiation dosage, equipment configuration and patient reaction to treatment.
Preparing radioactive materials such as caesium, cobalt-60 and radium, which are used for treatment, is also part of the radiation therapist description.
To get into this career requires a Bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy.
The major qualities you need to succeed as a radiotherapist include attention to details, physical stamina, and technical skills.
Radiation Therapist Job Description Example/Template
The job of a radiation therapist involves various functions in administering treatment to cancer patients.
The major tasks, duties, and responsibilities usually performed by individuals who work in this role are given in the job description example below:
- Use radiotherapy equipment such as linear accelerators and cobalt-60 units to administer prescribed radiation dose
- Position patients properly during examination or radiation therapy
- Comply with safety guidelines, procedures and standards to prevent undue exposure to radiation
- Explain to patients and their families the details of treatment, possible treatment effects and ways to adjust accordingly
- Inspect radiation equipment to ensure they are operational and function efficiently
- Adjust equipment position and input accurate dosage information into computerized machine prior to use
- Keep record of treatment information such as radiation dosage, equipment settings, and patients’ response to medication
- Assist physicians and oncologists to develop treatment plans for cancer patients
- Use diagnostic imaging equipment such as x-ray to obtain images of treated area
- Direct and supervise the activities of radiotherapy assistants and technologists to ensure their work is up to acceptable standards
- Monitor patients to check for side effects such as nausea or hair loss to make appropriate recommendations or changes where necessary
- Develop treatment plans to address the health condition of individual patients
- Collaborate with oncologists and other healthcare practitioners to locate tumors and prepare radiation doses
- Sterilize medical equipment such as applicators to ensure they are free of microbes
- Make calculations to determine actual radiation dose administered.
Requirements – Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge – for Radiation Therapist Role
To be hired as a radiotherapist, most employers usually set the following requirements for applicants to meet to qualify for the role:
- Education and Training: To become a radiation therapist, you require an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy although you could opt for a 12-month certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). You are also required to pass the ARRT certification exam in order to obtain state licensure for practice
- Attention to Details: Radiation therapists follow set instructions and prescribed radiation dose when administering medications to patients
- Physical Stamina: They assist in lifting patients and can stand for extended periods
- Technical Skill: They are able to operate and inspect various diagnostic equipment.
If you are an employer needing a radiation therapist job description, you can easily write one by using the sample copy provided in this post as a template.
You are sure to be able to make a detailed work description that will enable you to attract the best candidates to your company if you are hiring for the position.
You will also find this post useful if you are someone interested in becoming a radiotherapist some day.
The duties and responsibilities of the role highlighted in this article will help you to become well knowledgeable about the career, and so be able to prepare adequately for it.