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Career and Education Opportunities for Radiation Therapists in Elizabeth, New Jersey

Elizabeth, New Jersey provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for radiation therapists. 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 $44 per hour or $92,360 annually on average in New Jersey. Nationally, their income is about $35 per hour or $72,910 per year. Incomes for radiation therapists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Radiology in New Jersey, and not quite as good as the overall Radiology category nationally. Radiation therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: staff radiation therapist, computed tomography simulation therapist , and radiology therapist.

The Elizabeth area is home to 298 schools of higher education, including thirteen within twenty-five miles of Elizabeth 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

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 Elizabeth 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.
  • Optometrist. Diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. Examine eyes and visual system, diagnose problems or impairments, prescribe corrective lenses, and provide treatment. May prescribe therapeutic drugs to treat specific eye conditions.
  • 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

Middlesex County College - Edison, NJ

Middlesex County College, 2600 Woodbridge Avenue, Edison, NJ 08818-3050. Middlesex County College is a large college located in Edison, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,346 students. Middlesex County College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated thirty-seven students in 2008.

Essex County College - Newark, NJ

Essex County College, 303 University Ave, Newark, NJ 07102. Essex County College is a large college located in Newark, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,824 students. Essex County College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twenty-three students in 2008.

CUNY Bronx Community College - Bronx, NY

CUNY Bronx Community College, W 181 St & University Ave, Bronx, NY 10453. CUNY Bronx Community College is a medium sized college located in Bronx, New York. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,348 students. CUNY Bronx Community College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated forty-six students in 2008.

St. Francis College - Brooklyn Heights, NY

St. Francis College, 180 Remsen St, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201-9902. St. Francis College is a small college located in Brooklyn Heights, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,457 students and an admission rate of 75%. St. Francis College has a bachelor's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated five students in 2008.

Manhattan College - Bronx, NY

Manhattan College, Manhattan College Pky, Bronx, NY 10471-4098. Manhattan College is a small college located in Bronx, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,446 students and an admission rate of 51%. Manhattan College has a bachelor's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated four students in 2008.

Brookdale Community College - Lincroft, NJ

Brookdale Community College, 765 Newman Springs Rd, Lincroft, NJ 07738-1597. Brookdale Community College is a large college located in Lincroft, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,642 students. Brookdale Community College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

Passaic County Community College - Paterson, NJ

Passaic County Community College, One College Blvd, Paterson, NJ 07505-1179. Passaic County Community College is a medium sized college located in Paterson, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,865 students. Passaic County Community College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Muhlenberg Harold B. and Dorothy A Snyder Schools - School of Imaging - Plainfield, NJ

Muhlenberg Harold B. and Dorothy A Snyder Schools - School of Imaging, Park Ave & Randolph Rd, Plainfield, NJ 07061. Muhlenberg Harold B. and Dorothy A Snyder Schools - School of Imaging is a small school located in Plainfield, New Jersey. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 135 students and an admission rate of 64%. Muhlenberg Harold B. and Dorothy A Snyder Schools - School of Imaging has a one to two year program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist.

Long Island College Hospital School of Radiologic Sciences - Brooklyn, NY

Long Island College Hospital School of Radiologic Sciences, 350 Henry Street, 7th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11203. Long Island College Hospital School of Radiologic Sciences is a small college located in Brooklyn, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 18 students and an admission rate of 9%. Long Island College Hospital School of Radiologic Sciences has a two to four year program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

CUNY Hostos Community College - Bronx, NY

CUNY Hostos Community College, 500 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451. CUNY Hostos Community College is a medium sized college located in Bronx, New York. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,240 students. CUNY Hostos Community College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated eighteen students in 2008.

CUNY New York City College of Technology - Brooklyn, NY

CUNY New York City College of Technology, 300 Jay St, Brooklyn, NY 11201-2983. CUNY New York City College of Technology is a large college located in Brooklyn, New York. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,102 students and an admission rate of 88%. CUNY New York City College of Technology has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated fifty-two students in 2008.

SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn - Brooklyn, NY

SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn, 450 Clarkson Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11203-2098. SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn is a small school located in Brooklyn, New York. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,617 students. SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn has a bachelor's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twenty students in 2008.

Bergen Community College - Paramus, NJ

Bergen Community College, 400 Paramus Rd, Paramus, NJ 07652-1595. Bergen Community College is a large college located in Paramus, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,283 students. Bergen Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated ten and thirty-eight 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.

LICENSES

RADIATION THERAPY TECHNOLOGIST

Licensing agency: Department of Environmental Protection
Address: Division of Environmental Quality, Bureau of Radiological Health, PO Box 415, Trenton, NJ 08625-0415

Phone: (609) 984-5890
Website: Department of Environmental Protection Division of Environmental Quality Bureau of Radiological Health

LOCATION INFORMATION: Elizabeth, New Jersey

Elizabeth, New Jersey
Elizabeth, New Jersey photo by Cobber17

Elizabeth is situated in Union County, New Jersey. It has a population of over 124,755, which has grown by 3.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elizabeth, 140, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Elizabeth are valued at $321,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, eight new homes were constructed in Elizabeth, up from six the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Elizabeth are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and other transportation, and support activities, and couriers. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 12.1% of Elizabeth residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elizabeth is 12.4%, which is greater than New Jersey's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Elizabeth residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 65.5%, is more than both the national and state average. First Pentecostal Church, Christ Episcopal Church and Alliance International Fellowship Church are some of the churches located in Elizabeth. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the American Baptist Churches in the USA.

Elizabeth is home to the North Elizabeth Station and the Julian Station as well as Kellogg Park and Jackson Park. Visitors to Elizabeth can choose from Hampton Inn Newark-Airport, Centro America Express and Hilton Newark Airport for temporary stays in the area.