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Career and Education Opportunities for Radiation Therapists in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Radiation therapists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area. About 180 people are currently employed as radiation therapists in Louisiana. By 2016, this is expected to grow 31% to about 240 people employed. 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 $28 hourly or $59,480 yearly on average in Louisiana. Nationally they average about $35 per hour or $72,910 per year. Radiation therapists earn less than people working in the category of Radiology generally in Louisiana and less than people in the Radiology category nationally. Radiation therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: registered radiation therapist, computed tomography simulation therapist , and radiologic therapist.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Baton Rouge where you can study to be a radiation therapist, among thirty-six schools of higher education total in the Baton Rouge 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 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 Baton Rouge include:

  • 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

Medvance Institute of Baton Rouge - Baton Rouge, LA

Medvance Institute of Baton Rouge, 9255 Interline Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70809-1908. Medvance Institute of Baton Rouge is a small school located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 424 students. Medvance Institute of Baton Rouge has a two to four year program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

Baton Rouge General Medical Center-Radiologic Technology - Baton Rouge, LA

Baton Rouge General Medical Center-Radiologic Technology, 3600 Florida Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70806. Baton Rouge General Medical Center-Radiologic Technology is a small school located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 40 students and an admission rate of 54%. Baton Rouge General Medical Center-Radiologic Technology has a two to four year program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated fifteen 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana photo by Anrie

Baton Rouge is situated in East Baton Rouge Parish County, Louisiana. It has a population of over 223,689, which has shrunk by 1.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Baton Rouge, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Baton Rouge are priced at $189,100 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-five new homes were built in Baton Rouge, down from two hundred fifty-seven the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Baton Rouge are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 31.7% of Baton Rouge residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Baton Rouge is 7.1%, which is the same as Louisiana's average of 7.1%.

The percentage of Baton Rouge residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Hughes United Methodist Church and Straight Life Baptist Church are all churches located in Baton Rouge. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Baton Rouge is home to the Baton Rouge Industrial Park and the Baton Rouge Country Club as well as Howell Park and Independence Park. Shopping centers in the area include Carriage Alley Shopping Center, Sherwood Plaza Shopping Center and Foret and McCall Shopping Center. Visitors to Baton Rouge can choose from Pines Motel, Motel 6 and Shoneys Inn & Suites Baton Rouge for temporary stays in the area.