Career and Education Opportunities for Radiation Therapists in St. Paul, Minnesota
Radiation therapists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the St. Paul, Minnesota area. There are currently 160 working radiation therapists in Minnesota; this should grow by 35% to 210 working radiation therapists in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for radiation therapists, which 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.
The income of a radiation therapist is about $33 hourly or $69,800 annually on average in Minnesota. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $35 hourly or $72,910 yearly on average. Incomes for radiation therapists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Radiology in Minnesota, and not quite as good as the overall Radiology category nationally. People working as radiation therapists can fill a number of jobs, such as: registered radiation therapist, dosimetrist, and staff radiation therapist.
The St. Paul area is home to seventy-seven schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of St. Paul where you can get a degree as a radiation therapist. 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 St. Paul 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: St. Paul, Minnesota
St. Paul is located in Ramsey County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 279,590, which has shrunk by 2.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in St. Paul, 99, is near the national average. New single-family homes in St. Paul are valued at $213,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, thirty new homes were built in St. Paul, down from seventy-four the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in St. Paul are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 32.0% of St. Paul residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.0%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in St. Paul is 7.4%, which is greater than Minnesota's average of 7.0%.
The percentage of St. Paul residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 61.3%, is more than both the national and state average. Zion Church, Convent of the Visitation and Saint Paul Cathedral are some of the churches located in St. Paul. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Baptist General Conference.
St. Paul is home to the Saint Paul Orphange and the Wilder Center as well as Terrace Park and East View Playground.