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Career and Education Opportunities for Radiation Therapists in North Las Vegas, Nevada

There are many career and education opportunities for radiation therapists in the North Las Vegas, Nevada area. The national trend for radiation therapists sees this job pool growing by about 27.1% over the next eight years. Radiation therapists generally provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards.

Income for radiation therapists is about $35 per hour or $74,550 annually on average in Nevada. Nationally, their income is about $35 per hour or $72,910 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Radiology, people working as radiation therapists in Nevada earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Radiology nationally. Radiation therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: radiation therapy technologist , registered radiation therapist, and computed tomography simulation therapist .

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of North Las Vegas where you can study to be a radiation therapist, among nineteen schools of higher education total in the North Las Vegas 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

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 North Las Vegas include:

  • 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.
  • Orthodontist. Examine, diagnose, and treat dental malocclusions and oral cavity anomalies. Design and fabricate appliances to realign teeth and jaws to produce and maintain normal function and to improve appearance.
  • 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

University of Nevada-Las Vegas - Las Vegas, NV

University of Nevada-Las Vegas, 4505 S Maryland Pky, Las Vegas, NV 89154. University of Nevada-Las Vegas is a large university located in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 28,618 students and an admission rate of 73%. University of Nevada-Las Vegas has a bachelor's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated ten students in 2008.

College of Southern Nevada - Las Vegas, NV

College of Southern Nevada, 6375 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89146-1164. College of Southern Nevada is a large college located in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 27,035 students. College of Southern Nevada has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated one and nine students respectively 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: North Las Vegas, Nevada

North Las Vegas, Nevada
North Las Vegas, Nevada photo by Meridethmyers

North Las Vegas is situated in Clark County, Nevada. It has a population of over 217,253, which has grown by 88.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in North Las Vegas, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in North Las Vegas cost $207,700 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, eight hundred thirty-four new homes were built in North Las Vegas, down from 2,365 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in North Las Vegas are accommodation and food services, arts, entertainment, and recreation, and health care. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and arts, entertainment, and recreation. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 10.2% of North Las Vegas residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.3%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in North Las Vegas is 14.3%, which is greater than Nevada's average of 12.6%.

The percentage of North Las Vegas residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 36.2%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

North Las Vegas is home to the Craig Ranch Country Club and the Craig Road Speedway as well as Valley View Park and Highland Valley Park. Shopping malls in the area include Cheyenne Shopping Center and College Park Shopping Center. Visitors to North Las Vegas can choose from Starlite Motel, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites and Texas Station for temporary stays in the area.