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Career and Education Opportunities for Radiation Therapists in Pembroke Pines, Florida

Radiation therapists can find many career and educational opportunities in the Pembroke Pines, Florida area. There are currently 860 working radiation therapists in Florida; this should grow 32% to about 1,140 working radiation therapists in the state 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.

The income of a radiation therapist is about $34 hourly or $72,550 annually on average in Florida. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $35 hourly or $72,910 per year on average. Radiation therapists earn less than people working in the category of Radiology generally in Florida and less than people in the Radiology category nationally. People working as radiation therapists can fill a number of jobs, such as: radiologic therapist, radiation therapy technician, and radiology therapist.

There are ninety-seven schools of higher education in the Pembroke Pines area, including eight within twenty-five miles of Pembroke Pines 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 training to become 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 Pembroke Pines 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

Miami Dade College - Miami, FL

Miami Dade College, 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, FL 33132-2297. Miami Dade College is a large college located in Miami, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 57,106 students. Miami Dade College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated fifty-five students in 2008.

Palm Beach Community College - Lake Worth, FL

Palm Beach Community College, 4200 Congress Ave, Lake Worth, FL 33461-4796. Palm Beach Community College is a large college located in Lake Worth, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,122 students. Palm Beach Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated one and twenty-four students respectively in 2008.

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.

Florida National College - Hialeah, FL

Florida National College, 4425 West 20 Avenue, Hialeah, FL 33012. Florida National College is a small college located in Hialeah, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,398 students. Florida National College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated zero and 161 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.

Advance Science Institute - Hialeah, FL

Advance Science Institute, 3750 W 12 Ave, Hialeah, FL 33012. Advance Science Institute is a small school located in Hialeah, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 78 students and an admission rate of 17%. Advance Science Institute has a less than one year program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated fifty-nine students in 2008.

Medvance Institute-West Palm - Palm Springs, FL

Medvance Institute-West Palm, 1630 South Congress Avenue, Palm Springs, FL 33461-2171. Medvance Institute-West Palm is a small school located in Palm Springs, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 537 students. Medvance Institute-West Palm has a two to four year program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twenty 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.

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: Pembroke Pines, Florida

Pembroke Pines, Florida
Pembroke Pines, Florida photo by Dawn Ashley

Pembroke Pines is situated in Broward County, Florida. It has a population of over 145,661, which has grown by 6.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Pembroke Pines, 116, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Pembroke Pines are valued at $117,100 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, five new homes were built in Pembroke Pines, up from three the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pembroke Pines are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is public administration, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 32 minutes. More than 28.7% of Pembroke Pines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pembroke Pines is 8.6%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Pembroke Pines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.9%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Pembroke Road Baptist Church, Boulevard Chapel and Taft Street Chapel are all churches located in Pembroke Pines. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Pembroke Pines is home to the Hollywood Lakes Country Club and the Pines Bank Plaza as well as Kennedy Park and Snake Creek Park. Shopping malls in the area include Pembroke Pines Shopping Center, Pembroke Village Shopping Center and University Mall.