Career and Education Opportunities for Radiation Therapists in Little Rock, Arkansas
Radiation therapist career and educational opportunities abound in Little Rock, Arkansas. There are currently 130 working radiation therapists in Arkansas; this should grow by 26% to 170 working radiation therapists in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for radiation therapists are expected to grow by about 27.1%. In general, radiation therapists provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards.
The income of a radiation therapist is about $33 per hour or $69,750 per year on average in Arkansas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $35 hourly or $72,910 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Radiology, people working as radiation therapists in Arkansas earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Radiology nationally. Jobs in this field include: staff radiation therapist, dosimetrist, and registered radiation therapist.
There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Little Rock where you can study to be a radiation therapist, among twenty-five schools of higher education total in the Little Rock area. Radiation therapists usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so it will take about two years to learn to be a radiation therapist if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Radiation Therapist
In general, radiation therapists provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards. They also duties may include reviewing prescription and diagnosis; acting as liaison with physician and supportive care personnel; preparing equipment, such as immobilization, treatment, and protection devices; and maintaining records, reports, and files.
Radiation therapists maintain records, reports and files as required, including such data as radiation dosages, apparatus settings and patients' reactions. They also position patients for treatment with accuracy in line with prescription. Equally important, radiation therapists have to inspect prescription and identification. They are often called upon to follow principles of radiation protection for patients and others. They are expected to observe and reassure patients during treatment and report unusual reactions to physician or turn apparatus off if unexpected adverse reactions occur. Finally, radiation therapists administer prescribed doses of radiation to specific body parts, using radiation therapy apparatus in line with established practices and standards.
Every day, radiation therapists are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to evaluate problems as they arise.
It is important for radiation therapists to conduct most treatment sessions independently, in accordance with the long-term treatment plan and under the general direction of the patient's physician. They are often called upon to check for side effects such as skin irritation, nausea and hair loss to gauge patients' reaction to treatment. They also implement appropriate follow-up care plans. They are sometimes expected to check radiation therapy apparatus to insure proper operation. Somewhat less frequently, radiation therapists are also expected to calculate actual treatment dosages delivered during each session.
Radiation therapists sometimes are asked to help in the preparation of sealed radioactive materials. They also have to be able to educate, ready and reassure patients and their families by answering questions, providing physical assistance, and reinforcing physicians' advice regarding treatment reactions and post-treatment care and store or ready the special applicators containing the radioactive substance implanted by the physician. And finally, they sometimes have to ready and construct apparatus, such as immobilization and protection devices.
Like many other jobs, radiation therapists must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Little Rock include:
- Cardiac Technician. Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary-functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.
- Dental Hygienist. Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop X-rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.
- Emergency Medical Technician. Assess injuries, administer emergency medical care, and extricate trapped individuals. Transport injured or sick persons to medical facilities.
- Nuclear Medical Technologist. Prepare, administer, and measure radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer studies utilizing a variety of radioisotope equipment. Prepare stock solutions of radioactive materials and calculate doses to be administered by radiologists. Subject patients to radiation. Execute blood volume, red cell survival, and fat absorption studies following standard laboratory techniques.
- Radiological Technician. Maintain and use equipment and supplies necessary to demonstrate portions of the human body on x-ray film or fluoroscopic screen for diagnostic purposes.
- Radiology Technologist. Take x-rays and Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT or CT) scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's blood stream for diagnostic purposes. Includes technologists who specialize in other modalities, such as computed tomography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance.
- Surgical Technician. Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, hold retractors, and help count sponges, needles, and instruments.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Radiation Therapist Training
University of Central Arkansas - Conway, AR
University of Central Arkansas, 201 Donaghey Ave, Conway, AR 72035-0001. University of Central Arkansas is a large university located in Conway, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,961 students and an admission rate of 49%. University of Central Arkansas has a bachelor's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated nineteen students in 2008.
Baptist Health Schools-Little Rock - Little Rock, AR
Baptist Health Schools-Little Rock, 11900 Col Glenn Rd Ste 1000, Little Rock, AR 72210-2820. Baptist Health Schools-Little Rock is a small school located in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 851 students and an admission rate of 38%. Baptist Health Schools-Little Rock has a two to four year program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated eleven students in 2008.
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences - Little Rock, AR
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 W Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is a small university located in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,652 students. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has associate's degree, two to four year, and bachelor's degree programs in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated thirty-five, zero, and twenty-two students respectively in 2008.
Nuclear Cardiology Technologist: Professional certification is a vital component of a successful career.
For more information, see the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board website.
Radiation Therapy Technologist
Licensing agency: Arkansas Department of Health
Address: Radiologic Technology Licensure Program, 5800 West 10th Street, Suite 100, Freeway Medical Building, Little Rock, AR 72204
Phone: (501) 661-2166
Website: Arkansas Department of Health Radiologic Technology Licensure Program
LOCATION INFORMATION: Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock is located in Pulaski County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 189,515, which has grown by 3.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Little Rock, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Little Rock cost $236,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, three hundred sixty-one new homes were built in Little Rock, down from seven hundred thirty-one the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Little Rock are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 35.5% of Little Rock residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Little Rock is 6.1%, which is less than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.
The percentage of Little Rock residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 59.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Macedonia Spiritual Church, Baseline Christian Church and Baseline Missionary Baptist Church are all churches located in Little Rock. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Little Rock is home to the Rock Creek Golf Course and the Barton Coliseum as well as McArthur Park Historic District and Meriwether Park. Shopping malls in the area include Mainstreet Market Shopping Center, Market Street Plaza Shopping Center and Markham Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Little Rock can choose from LA Quinta - Inns- Medical Center Area, Hampton Inn & Suites and Acme Motel for temporary stays in the area.