Radiation therapists provide life-saving radiation therapy to patients struggling with cancer. They’re a critical part of cancer care teams in hospitals, clinics and specialty centers. Wondering what your day-to-day will look like as a radiation therapist? Keep reading to find out!
What Does a Radiation Therapist Do?
Radiation therapists support oncologists in treating cancer patients through radiation therapy. What could your typical day look like?
Start of Your Shift: Preparing for Your Day
Radiation therapists typically work dayshift, depending on their place of employment. And when you arrive for your shift, you’ll spend the first part of your day preparing for patient appointments, reviewing treatment plans created by the oncologist and preparing treatment rooms for patients.
During Your Shift: Supporting Patients Through Radiation Therapy
Soon, your first patient will arrive and you’ll start the part of your day dedicated to treatment. During this time, you’ll support patients through radiation by:
- Explaining treatment plans and processes
- Emotionally supporting them before, during and after treatment
- Protecting them from unnecessary exposure to radiation
- Observing them for adverse reactions to treatment
You’ll also need to maintain and operate the LINAC machines and track and record all treatments for the oncologist to review. Be prepared to also speak with patient families and caregivers about their treatment and how they can best support their loved ones.
How to Become a Radiation Therapist
To become a radiation therapist, you’ll first need to obtain a high school diploma. Your next step involves attending an accredited college or university to obtain a two-year degree.
Cambridge offers an Associate of Science in Radiation Therapy degree program to students interested in the field. During this program, you’ll learn everything you need to know to become a successful radiation therapist through various courses, including:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Medical terminology
- Radiation therapy physics
- Treatment planning
- Radiation therapy patient care
You’ll also need to complete a clinical externship, where you’ll work in the field to gain hands-on experience. Once you complete your courses, your externship and finish all the necessary exams, you’ll be eligible for graduation.
After graduation, you’re required to obtain ARRT certification for licensing. Once complete, you’ll be ready for entry-level employment.
Want to Become a Radiation Therapist? Call Cambridge Today!
Cambridge College of Healthcare & Technology is here to help you reach your career goals. Our Radiation Therapy program is a great first step. To learn more about our program or to apply today, give us a call at 877-206-4279 or send us a message.