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Career and Education Opportunities for Radiation Therapists in Indianapolis, Indiana

Radiation therapists can find many career and educational opportunities in the Indianapolis, Indiana area. The national trend for radiation therapists 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.

Income for radiation therapists is about $33 hourly or $70,540 annually on average in Indiana. Nationally, their income is about $35 hourly or $72,910 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Radiology, people working as radiation therapists in Indiana earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Radiology nationally. People working as radiation therapists can fill a number of jobs, such as: radiology therapist, dosimetrist, and registered radiation therapist.

There are thirty-six schools of higher education in the Indianapolis area, including one within twenty-five miles of Indianapolis where you can get a degree to start your career as a radiation therapist. Given that the most common education level 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 Indianapolis 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

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis, 425 University Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5143. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis is a large university located in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,300 students and an admission rate of 70%. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis has a bachelor's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twenty-one 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: Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana photo by File Upload Bot

Indianapolis is situated in Marion County, Indiana. It has a population of over 798,382, which has grown by 2.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Indianapolis, 80, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Indianapolis cost $155,400 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, seven hundred thirty-four new homes were constructed in Indianapolis, down from 1,317 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Indianapolis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 25.4% of Indianapolis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Indianapolis residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.3%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ.