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Career and Education Opportunities for Radiation Therapists in Cape Coral, Florida

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for radiation therapists in the Cape Coral, Florida area. There are currently 860 jobs for radiation therapists in Florida and this is projected to grow by 32% to about 1,140 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%. Radiation therapists generally provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards.

Income for radiation therapists is about $34 per hour or $72,550 per year on average in Florida. Nationally, their income is about $35 per hour or $72,910 per year. Incomes for radiation therapists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Radiology in Florida, and not quite as good as the overall Radiology category nationally. Jobs in this field include: radiologic therapist, computed tomography simulation therapist , and radiation therapy technician.

The Cape Coral area is home to eleven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Cape Coral where you can get a degree as a radiation therapist. 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

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 Cape Coral 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.
  • 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

Edison State College - Fort Myers, FL

Edison State College, 8099 College Pky SW, Fort Myers, FL 33919-0000. Edison State College is a large college located in Fort Myers, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 13,252 students. Edison State College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twenty-three 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.


Cape Coral, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida photo by Boticario

Cape Coral is situated in Lee County, Florida. It has a population of over 156,835, which has grown by 53.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cape Coral, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cape Coral are valued at $121,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred one new homes were constructed in Cape Coral, down from seven hundred sixty-seven the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cape Coral are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 17.5% of Cape Coral residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cape Coral is 13.0%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Cape Coral residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 38.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Coral Ridge Baptist Church of Cape Coral, Jehovahs Witnesses Cape Coral Congregation and Cape Coral Alliance Church are some of the churches located in Cape Coral. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Assemblies of God.

Cape Coral is home to the Old Bridge Square and the Pine Island Plaza. Shopping centers in the area include Northshore Shopping Center, Coral Gate Shopping Center and Coral Pointe Shopping Center. Visitors to Cape Coral can choose from Casa Loma Motel On the Waterfront, Cape Coral Accommodations and Banyan Trace Community for temporary stays in the area.