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Career and Education Opportunities for Radiation Therapists in Hartford, Connecticut

Radiation therapist career and educational opportunities abound in Hartford, Connecticut. About 780 people are currently employed as radiation therapists in Connecticut. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 33% to 1,040 people employed. This is better than the national trend for radiation therapists, which sees this job pool growing by about 27.1% over the next eight years. 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 hourly or $79,780 annually on average in Connecticut. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $35 hourly or $72,910 per year 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. Jobs in this field include: computed tomography simulation therapist , dosimetrist, and radiologic therapist.

The Hartford area is home to sixty-two schools of higher education, including six within twenty-five miles of Hartford where you can get a degree as a radiation therapist. The most common level of education for radiation therapists is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. 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

Radiation Therapist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

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 Hartford include:

  • 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

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.

University of Hartford - West Hartford, CT

University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Ave, West Hartford, CT 06117-1599. University of Hartford is a medium sized university located in West Hartford, Connecticut. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,366 students and an admission rate of 60%. University of Hartford has a bachelor's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

Capital Community College - Hartford, CT

Capital Community College, 950 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103. Capital Community College is a small college located in Hartford, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,989 students. Capital Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated zero and seventeen students respectively in 2008.

Middlesex Community College - Middletown, CT

Middlesex Community College, 100 Training Hill Rd, Middletown, CT 06457-4829. Middlesex Community College is a small college located in Middletown, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,624 students. Middlesex Community College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

Holyoke Community College - Holyoke, MA

Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke, MA 01040. Holyoke Community College is a medium sized college located in Holyoke, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,592 students. Holyoke Community College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford, Connecticut photo by Contimm

Hartford is situated in Hartford County, Connecticut. It has a population of over 124,062, which has grown by 2.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Hartford, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Hartford cost $82,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, eight new homes were constructed in Hartford, down from twelve the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Hartford are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is administrative and support and waste management services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 12.4% of Hartford residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Hartford is 14.4%, which is greater than Connecticut's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Hartford residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Our Lady of Sorrows Church, All Saints Orthodox Church and Sacred Heart Church are all churches located in Hartford. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Hartford is home to the Albany Avenue Branch Hartford Public Library and the North Meadows Industrial Park as well as Little Hollywood Historic District and West End North Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Park Plaza Shopping Center, Pavillion at State House Shopping Center and Civic Center Mall Shopping Center.