Career and Education Opportunities for Radiation Therapists in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Radiation therapists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. There are currently 160 working radiation therapists in Minnesota; this should grow 35% to about 210 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%. In general, radiation therapists provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards.
Radiation therapists earn about $33 hourly or $69,800 per year on average in Minnesota and about $35 per hour or $72,910 annually on average nationally. Earnings for radiation therapists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Radiology in Minnesota and not quite as good as general Radiology category earnings nationally. People working as radiation therapists can fill a number of jobs, such as: radiologic therapist, radiation therapy technician, and dosimetrist.
There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Minneapolis where you can study to be a radiation therapist, among eighty schools of higher education total in the Minneapolis area. Radiation therapists usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years studying to be 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 Minneapolis 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.
- 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
Argosy University-Twin Cities - Eagan, MN
Argosy University-Twin Cities, 1515 Central Parkway, Eagan, MN 55121. Argosy University-Twin Cities is a small university located in Eagan, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,046 students and an admission rate of 97%. Argosy University-Twin Cities has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated seventy students in 2008.
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities - Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 100 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0213. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is a large university located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 51,140 students and an admission rate of 53%. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has a one to two year program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist.
High-Tech Institute-Minnesota - Saint Louis Park, MN
High-Tech Institute-Minnesota, 5100 Gamble Drive, Saint Louis Park, MN 55416. High-Tech Institute-Minnesota is a small school located in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 488 students. High-Tech Institute-Minnesota has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated seven and forty-six students respectively in 2008.
College of St Catherine - Saint Paul, MN
College of St Catherine, 2004 Randolph Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105. College of St Catherine is a medium sized college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,201 students and an admission rate of 77%. College of St Catherine has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twenty-one 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: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis is situated in Hennepin County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 382,605. The cost of living index in Minneapolis, 101, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Minneapolis are priced at $451,300 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, forty-five new homes were constructed in Minneapolis, down from one hundred fifteen the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Minneapolis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 37.4% of Minneapolis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.1%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Minneapolis is 7.0%, which is the same as Minnesota's average of 7.0%.
The percentage of Minneapolis residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.
Minneapolis is home to the Saint Josephs Orphanage and the Hiawatha Municipal Golf Course as well as Beards Plaisance and Mississippi Park. Visitors to Minneapolis can choose from COE Mansion Carriage House, Radisson Hotel Metrodome and Best Western Kelly Inn for temporary stays in the area.