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Careers in Radiation Therapy

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Careers in Radiation Therapy

Post by ┬«krypton on Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:35 pm


Careers in Radiation Therapy

  • Radiation Oncologist
  • Medical Radiation Physicists
  • Radiation Therapists
  • Dosimetrists
  • Radiation Oncology Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Dietitians

Radiation Oncologist

Radiation oncologists are the doctors who oversee the care of each cancer patient undergoing radiation treatment. They develop and prescribe each cancer patient's treatment plan. They make sure that every treatment is accurately given. They monitor the patient's progress and adjust treatment to make sure patients get quality care throughout treatment. Radiation oncologists also help identify and treat any side effects of radiation therapy. They work closely with other physicians, and all members of the radiation oncology team. Radiation oncologists have completed four years of college, four years of medical school, one year of general medical training, then four years of residency (specialty) training in radiation oncology. They have extensive training in the safe use of radiation to treat disease. If they pass a special examination.Patients should ask if their doctor is board certified.

Medical Radiation Physicists

Qualified medical physicists work directly with the doctor in the treatment planning and delivery. They oversee the work of the dosimetrist and help ensure that complex treatments are properly tailored for each patient. Qualified medical physicists are responsible for developing and directing quality control programs for equipment and procedures. They are responsible for making sure the equipment works properly. Medical radiation physicists take precise measurements of radiation beam characteristics and do other safety tests on a regular basis. Qualified medical physicists have doctorates or master's degrees.
Qualified medical physicists have completed four year of college. They
also have had two to four years of graduate school and typically one to
two years of clinical physics training.

Radiation Therapist

Radiation therapists work with radiation oncologists. They administer the daily radiation treatment under the doctor's prescription and supervision.
They maintain daily records and regularly check the treatment machines
to make sure they are working properly. Radiation therapists go through
a two-to-four year educational program following high school or


carefully calculate the dose of radiation to make sure the tumor gets
enough radiation. They develop a number of treatment plans that can
best destroy the tumor while sparing the normal tissues. Many of these
treatment plans are very complex. Dosimetrists work with the doctor and the medical physicist to choose the treatment plan that is just right
for each patient. Many dosimetrists start as radiation therapists,
then, with very intensive training, become dosimetrists. Others are
graduates of one-to-two-year dosimetry programs.

Radiation Oncology Nurses

work with the radiation team to care for patients during the course of
treatment. They help evaluate the patient before treatment begins. They may talk to the patient about potential side effects and their
management. During the course of radiation treatments patients may be
evaluated weekly, or more frequently by the nurse to assess problems
and concerns. Nurses play a key role in educating the patient about
treatment, side effects, etc. Radiation oncology nurses are registered
nurses licensed to practice professional nursing. Most nurses in
radiation therapy have additional accreditation in the specialty of
oncology nursing. Advanced practice nurses in oncology, which include
clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners, have completed a
master's degree program.

Social Workers

Social workers may be available to provide practical help and counseling to patients or members of their families. They can help a patient and
family members cope. They also may help arrange for home health care
and other services. Social workers may be licensed. Licensed social
workers must have a master's degree. They also must pass an examination.


work with patients to help maintain nutrition. They monitor patients'
weight and nutritional problems. Dietitians educate patients and may
provide them with recipes and nutritional supplements to improve their
nutritional status before, during and after treatment. Dietitians
attend four years of college then usually take part in a one-year

Posts : 11
Join date : 2009-08-10

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