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Career and Education Opportunities for Radiation Therapists in Nashua, New Hampshire

If you want to be a radiation therapist, the Nashua, New Hampshire area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 100 working radiation therapists in New Hampshire; this should grow 29% to 130 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.

Income for radiation therapists is about $38 hourly or $79,060 yearly on average in New Hampshire. Nationally, their income is about $35 hourly or $72,910 per year. Earnings for radiation therapists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Radiology in New Hampshire and not quite as good as general Radiology category earnings nationally. Radiation therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: radiation therapy technologist , computed tomography simulation therapist , and dosimetrist.

There are fifty-seven schools of higher education in the Nashua area, including three within twenty-five miles of Nashua where you can get a degree to start your career as a radiation therapist. Given that the most common education level for radiation therapists is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, 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

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 Nashua 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Radiation Therapist Training

Northern Essex Community College - Haverhill, MA

Northern Essex Community College, 100 Elliott Street, Haverhill, MA 01830-2399. Northern Essex Community College is a medium sized college located in Haverhill, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,020 students. Northern Essex Community College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

NHTI-Concord's Community College - Concord, NH

NHTI-Concord's Community College, 31 College Drive, Concord, NH 03301-7412. NHTI-Concord's Community College is a small college located in Concord, New Hampshire. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 3,646 students and an admission rate of 73%. NHTI-Concord's Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated one and three students respectively in 2008.

Middlesex Community College - Bedford, MA

Middlesex Community College, Springs Rd, Bedford, MA 01730-9124. Middlesex Community College is a medium sized college located in Bedford, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,511 students. Middlesex Community College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated sixteen 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: Nashua, New Hampshire

Nashua, New Hampshire
Nashua, New Hampshire photo by FSosio

Nashua is situated in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. It has a population of over 86,576. The cost of living index in Nashua, 119, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Nashua are valued at $175,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were constructed in Nashua, down from seventy-nine the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Nashua are health care, educational services, and computer and electronic products. For men, it is computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 31.5% of Nashua residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Nashua is 7.5%, which is greater than New Hampshire's average of 6.5%.

The percentage of Nashua residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Bethel Church, Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashua and Trinity Baptist Church are among the churches located in Nashua. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Nashua is home to the Hillsborough County Courthouse and the Goodhue Memorial Library as well as Deschenes Oval and Nashua Manufacturing Company Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Amherst Street Mall Shopping Center, Royal Ridge Mall Shopping Center and Nashua Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Nashua can choose from Chalet Susse Motor Lodge, Crowne Plaza Nashua and Speaker's Corner Restaurant for temporary stays in the area.