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The Profession

Linear AcceleratorA radiation therapist is responsible for the daily treatment of the patient, working one-on-one sometimes from six to seven weeks. They work with highly sophisticated radiation producing equipment, which is aimed at the tumors without destroying surrounding normal tissues.

Therapists become a part of a team with other medical professionals, such as oncology physicians and nurses, therapists, medical physicists, and dosimetrists. Daily tasks also might include using X-ray equipment, CT scanners, constructing special immobilization devices, and using highly specialized treatment computers for planning and calculating doses.

The radiation therapist not only works with the medical community, but often forms special bonds with the patient and patient’s family during a very trying time in their life.

The student must meet the following requirements for technical standards:

  • Ability to communicate with a diverse population and the ability to be easily understood. Reading, writing, and documenting patient information required.
  • Analytical skills sufficient to process information, to transfer knowledge from one situation to another, and to prioritize tasks. Critical thinking ability sufficient for safe, clinical judgement.
  • Auditory abilities sufficient to monitor and assess patient needs; to detect and respond to alarms, emergency signals, and calls for help.
  • Ability sufficient for observation and assessment necessary for the care of patients, processing of medical images, and operation of medical equipment.
  • Ability sufficient to assess patients, perform procedures, and operate equipment.
  • Physical ability, flexibility, strength, and stamina sufficient to provide safe and effective care.
  • Fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective care.