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Career and Education Opportunities for Radiation Therapists in Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for radiation therapists. About 240 people are currently employed as radiation therapists in Maryland. By 2016, this is expected to grow 43% to about 350 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%. In general, radiation therapists provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards.

The income of a radiation therapist is about $32 hourly or $66,740 yearly on average in Maryland. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $35 hourly or $72,910 annually on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Radiology, people working as radiation therapists in Maryland 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, radiologic therapist, and dosimetrist.

The Baltimore area is home to 102 schools of higher education, including seven within twenty-five miles of Baltimore where you can get a degree 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 Baltimore 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

Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has a two to four year and a bachelor's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated zero and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Anne Arundel Community College - Arnold, MD

Anne Arundel Community College, 101 College Pky, Arnold, MD 21012-1895. Anne Arundel Community College is a large college located in Arnold, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,149 students. Anne Arundel Community College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twenty-three students in 2008.

Georgetown University - Washington, DC

Georgetown University, 37th and O St NW, Washington, DC 20057. Georgetown University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,318 students and an admission rate of 19%. Georgetown University has a master's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated two students in 2008.

Prince George's Community College - Largo, MD

Prince George's Community College, 301 Largo Rd, Largo, MD 20774-2199. Prince George's Community College is a large college located in Largo, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,005 students. Prince George's Community College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twenty-seven students in 2008.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

The Community College of Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

The Community College of Baltimore County, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21237. The Community College of Baltimore County is a large college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,673 students. The Community College of Baltimore County has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated zero and thirty-one students respectively in 2008.

College of Notre Dame of Maryland - Baltimore, MD

College of Notre Dame of Maryland, 4701 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21210-2476. College of Notre Dame of Maryland is a small college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,935 students and an admission rate of 71%. College of Notre Dame of Maryland has a bachelor's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated three 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: Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore, Maryland photo by Nfutvol

Baltimore is located in Baltimore City County, Maryland. It has a population of over 636,919, which has shrunk by 2.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Baltimore, 96, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Baltimore cost $139,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-three new homes were built in Baltimore, down from two hundred four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Baltimore are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is construction, educational services, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 31 minutes. More than 19.1% of Baltimore residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Baltimore is 10.8%, which is greater than Maryland's average of 7.2%.

A W Wilson Memorial United Methodist Church, Abbott Memorial Presbyterian Church and Rogers Avenue Synagogue are all churches located in Baltimore.

Baltimore is home to the Governors Yacht Club and the Oriole Park at Camden Yards as well as Venable Park and Eutaw-Madison Apartment House Historic District. Shopping centers in the area include Alameda Shopping Center, Village Square of Cross Keys Shopping Center and Waverly Tower Shopping Center. Visitors to Baltimore can choose from Four Seasons Complete Camper Care Center, Knights Inn and Hilton & Towers for temporary stays in the area.