Career and Education Opportunities for Radiation Therapists in Bridgeport, Connecticut
There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for radiation therapists in the Bridgeport, Connecticut area. There are currently 780 jobs for radiation therapists in Connecticut and this is projected to grow 33% to about 1,040 jobs by 2016. This is better than 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 $38 per hour or $79,780 yearly on average in Connecticut. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $35 per hour or $72,910 yearly on average. Incomes for radiation therapists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Radiology in Connecticut, and not quite as good as the overall Radiology category nationally. Radiation therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: radiation therapy technologist , registered radiation therapist, and dosimetrist.
There are seventy-five schools of higher education in the Bridgeport area, including five within twenty-five miles of Bridgeport where you can get a degree to start your career as a radiation therapist. The most common level of education for radiation therapists is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. You can expect to spend about two years studying 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 Bridgeport 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
St Vincent's College - Bridgeport, CT
St Vincent's College, 2800 Main St, Bridgeport, CT 06606-4201. St Vincent's College is a small college located in Bridgeport, Connecticut. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 420 students and an admission rate of 24%. St Vincent's College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated fifteen students in 2008.
Naugatuck Valley Community College - Waterbury, CT
Naugatuck Valley Community College, 750 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, CT 06708-3089. Naugatuck Valley Community College is a medium sized college located in Waterbury, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,880 students. Naugatuck Valley Community College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated seventeen students in 2008.
Quinnipiac University - Hamden, CT
Quinnipiac University, Mt Carmel Ave, Hamden, CT 06518. Quinnipiac University is a medium sized university located in Hamden, Connecticut. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,413 students and an admission rate of 45%. Quinnipiac University has a bachelor's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated thirty-three students in 2008.
Gateway Community College - New Haven, CT
Gateway Community College, 60 Sargent Dr, New Haven, CT 06511. Gateway Community College is a medium sized college located in New Haven, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,140 students. Gateway Community College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated five students in 2008.
SUNY Westchester Community College - Valhalla, NY
SUNY Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla, NY 10595. SUNY Westchester Community College is a large college located in Valhalla, New York. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,090 students. SUNY Westchester Community College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twenty-five students 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.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport is located in Fairfield County, Connecticut. It has a population of over 136,405, which has shrunk by 2.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Bridgeport, 151, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Bridgeport are valued at $110,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-six new homes were built in Bridgeport, down from forty-one the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Bridgeport are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 12.2% of Bridgeport residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.6%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Bridgeport is 12.1%, which is greater than Connecticut's average of 8.3%.
The percentage of Bridgeport residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 70.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Calvary Episcopal Church, Golden Hill United Methodist Church and Good Shepherd Christian Church are among the churches located in Bridgeport. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ.
Bridgeport is home to the North Branch Bridgeport Public Library and the Challenger Learning Center as well as Went Field and Johnson Oak Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lafayette Shopping Plaza Shopping Center, Baldwin Plaza Shopping Center and Bayview Shopping Center.