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Radiation therapy technology, also known as radiation therapy, comprises another subset of workers known as radiological technologists. These professionals administer doses of radiation to treat patients afflicted with cancer. By applying radiation in the form of x-rays, gamma rays, and electron beams to specific body parts, the radiation therapist attempts to halt the spread of disease or offer relief from symptoms.
Radiation therapists deliver the course of radiation, give support and information to the patient, and work closely with oncologists to weigh treatment options and monitor patient progress. Cancer patients and their families often develop a meaningful relationship with these health care providers over the course of treatment.
While most radiation therapists are employed in hospitals, many others work in clinics and research facilities. Forty-hour work weeks are common, and may include non-business hours. The workload is often emotionally draining, due to their involvement with children and adults who are seriously ill.
Employment of radiation therapists is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations, according to the BLS.
About 1,100 openings for radiation therapists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
Four options are available: 1- and 2-year hospital-based certificate programs, and 2-year associate and 4-year bachelor’s degree programs. Admission to 1-year programs is usually restricted to graduates of accredited radiography programs.
Licensure is required in the state of Connecticut. Prerequisites include successful completion of a course of study in an accredited radiologic technology program and examination in Radiography or Radiation Therapy Technology of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART).
American Association of Medical Dosimetrists
2201 Cooperative Way, Suite 600
Herndon, VA 20171
American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
1255 Northland Drive
St. Paul, MN 55120
American Society of Radiologic Technologists
15000 Central Avenue, SE
Albuquerque, NM 87123