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

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for radiation therapists in the Coral Springs, Florida area. There are currently 860 jobs for radiation therapists in Florida and this is projected to grow 32% to 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.

Radiation therapists earn approximately $34 per hour or $72,550 yearly on average in Florida. Nationally they average about $35 hourly or $72,910 yearly. Radiation therapists earn less than people working in the category of Radiology generally in Florida and less than people in the Radiology category nationally. Radiation therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: radiation therapy technologist , staff radiation therapist, and radiology therapist.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Coral Springs where you can study to be a radiation therapist, among fifty schools of higher education total in the Coral Springs area. 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

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 Coral Springs 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.
  • Optometrist. Diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. Examine eyes and visual system, diagnose problems or impairments, prescribe corrective lenses, and provide treatment. May prescribe therapeutic drugs to treat specific eye conditions.
  • Orthodontist. Examine, diagnose, and treat dental malocclusions and oral cavity anomalies. Design and fabricate appliances to realign teeth and jaws to produce and maintain normal function and to improve appearance.
  • 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

Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale, 1500 NW 49th St., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309. Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale is a large university located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,305 students and an admission rate of 41%. Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated 415 students in 2008.

Broward College - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Broward College, 225 E las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. Broward College is a large college located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 33,527 students. Broward College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated seven and fifty-seven students respectively in 2008.

Medvance Institute-Fort Lauderdale - Lauderdale Lakes, FL

Medvance Institute-Fort Lauderdale, 4850 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Suite 200, Lauderdale Lakes, FL 33313. Medvance Institute-Fort Lauderdale is a small school located in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 571 students. Medvance Institute-Fort Lauderdale has a two to four year program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated eighteen 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: Coral Springs, Florida

Coral Springs, Florida
Coral Springs, Florida photo by Legionarius

Coral Springs is located in Broward County, Florida. It has a population of over 125,783, which has grown by 7.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Coral Springs, 115, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Coral Springs are valued at $140,000 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two new homes were constructed in Coral Springs, down from thirteen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Coral Springs are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and finance and insurance. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 33.9% of Coral Springs residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Coral Springs is 8.8%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Coral Springs residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.9%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Coral Baptist Church Mission, Coral Springs Community Church and Royal Palm Christian Church are among the churches located in Coral Springs. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Coral Springs is home to the The Plaza at Coral Springs and the Ramblewood Plaza. Shopping centers in the area include Coral Springs Mall, Coral Square Mall and Village Green Shopping Center.