Career and Education Opportunities for Radiation Therapists in Louisville, Kentucky
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for radiation therapists in the Louisville, Kentucky area. There are currently 150 working radiation therapists in Kentucky; this should grow by 24% to about 190 working radiation therapists in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for radiation therapists are expected to grow by about 27.1%. 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 $29 hourly or $60,890 per year on average in Kentucky. Nationally, their income is about $35 hourly or $72,910 yearly. Earnings for radiation therapists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Radiology in Kentucky and not quite as good as general Radiology category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: radiology therapist, radiation therapy technologist , and registered radiation therapist.
There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Louisville where you can study to be a radiation therapist, among thirty schools of higher education total in the Louisville area. Radiation therapists usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so 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
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 Louisville 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.
- 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
Saint Catharine College - Saint Catharine, KY
Saint Catharine College, 2735 Bardstown Rd, Saint Catharine, KY 40061. Saint Catharine College is a small college located in Saint Catharine, Kentucky. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 755 students. Saint Catharine College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated thirteen students in 2008.
Jefferson Community and Technical College - Louisville, KY
Jefferson Community and Technical College, 109 E Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202-2005. Jefferson Community and Technical College is a large college located in Louisville, Kentucky. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,560 students. Jefferson Community and Technical College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated thirty-eight students in 2008.
Spencerian College - Louisville, KY
Spencerian College, 4627 Dixie Hwy, Louisville, KY 40216. Spencerian College is a small college located in Louisville, Kentucky. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,250 students. Spencerian College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated fifty-three and thirty-two students respectively 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.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is located in Jefferson County, Kentucky. It has a population of over 261,624. The cost of living index in Louisville, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Louisville are priced at $74,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2002, one hundred forty-six new homes were built in Louisville, down from two hundred seventy-seven the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Louisville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 21.3% of Louisville 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.
About 21.6% of Louisville's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.
The percentage of Louisville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 54.6%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Audubon Church, Expressway Church and Southern Baptist Seminary are some of the churches located in Louisville. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Louisville is home to the Oak Saint Yards and the Brooklawn Childrens Home as well as Central Park and Taylor Memorial Park. Visitors to Louisville can choose from The Galt House, Seelbach Hilton and Best Western Airport East for temporary stays in the area.