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Career and Education Opportunities for Radiation Therapists in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Radiation therapist career and educational opportunities abound in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. About 900 people are currently employed as radiation therapists in Pennsylvania. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 23% to 1,150 people employed. This is not quite as good as 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.

Radiation therapists earn approximately $34 per hour or $72,280 annually on average in Pennsylvania. Nationally they average about $35 hourly or $72,910 per year. Radiation therapists earn less than people working in the category of Radiology generally in Pennsylvania and less than people in the Radiology category nationally. Radiation therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: radiation therapy technologist , registered radiation therapist, and staff radiation therapist.

There are eleven schools within twenty-five miles of Philadelphia where you can study to be a radiation therapist, among 156 schools of higher education total in the Philadelphia area. 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 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 Philadelphia 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

Gwynedd Mercy College - Gwynedd Valley, PA

Gwynedd Mercy College, 1325 Sumneytown Pike, Gwynedd Valley, PA 19437-0901. Gwynedd Mercy College is a small college located in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,513 students and an admission rate of 57%. Gwynedd Mercy College has a bachelor's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated eight students in 2008.

Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington - Newark, DE

Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington, 400 Stanton-Christiana Rd, Newark, DE 19702. Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington is a medium sized college located in Newark, Delaware. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,460 students. Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist.

Mercer County Community College - West Windsor, NJ

Mercer County Community College, 1200 Old Trenton Rd, West Windsor, NJ 08550-3407. Mercer County Community College is a medium sized college located in West Windsor, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,120 students. Mercer County Community College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

Thomas Edison State College - Trenton, NJ

Thomas Edison State College, 101 W State St, Trenton, NJ 08608-1176. Thomas Edison State College is a large college located in Trenton, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 17,369 students. Thomas Edison State College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated one student in 2008.

Widener University-Main Campus - Chester, PA

Widener University-Main Campus, One University Place, Chester, PA 19013-5792. Widener University-Main Campus is a small university located in Chester, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,913 students and an admission rate of 66%. Widener University-Main Campus has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated four students in 2008.

Drexel University - Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Drexel University is a large university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,754 students and an admission rate of 68%. Drexel University has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twenty-seven students in 2008.

Cooper Health System Center for Allied Health Education - Camden, NJ

Cooper Health System Center for Allied Health Education, 1 Cooper Plz, Camden, NJ 08103. Cooper Health System Center for Allied Health Education is a small school located in Camden, New Jersey. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 47 students. Cooper Health System Center for Allied Health Education has a one to two year program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated ten students in 2008.

Montgomery County Community College-Central Campus - Blue Bell, PA

Montgomery County Community College-Central Campus, 340 Dekalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422-0796. Montgomery County Community College-Central Campus is a medium sized college located in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,641 students. Montgomery County Community College-Central Campus has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Philadelphia School of Radiologic Technology - Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia School of Radiologic Technology, St. Christopher's Hospital 3601 A Street, Philadelphia, PA 19134-1095. Philadelphia School of Radiologic Technology is a small school located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 38 students. Philadelphia School of Radiologic Technology has a two to four year program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated thirty-eight students in 2008.

Widener University-Delaware Campus - Wilmington, DE

Widener University-Delaware Campus, 4601 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19803. Widener University-Delaware Campus is a small university located in Wilmington, Delaware. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,211 students. Widener University-Delaware Campus has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist.

Burlington County College - Pemberton, NJ

Burlington County College, 601 Pemberton-Browns Mills Road, Pemberton, NJ 08068-1599. Burlington County College is a medium sized college located in Pemberton, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,688 students. Burlington County College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated nine 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: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania photo by Apollo1758

Philadelphia is located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 1,447,395, which has shrunk by 4.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Philadelphia, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Philadelphia cost $212,900 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, five hundred forty-five new homes were constructed in Philadelphia, down from five hundred ninety-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Philadelphia are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 32 minutes. More than 17.9% of Philadelphia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is lower than the state average.

The percentage of Philadelphia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Boulevard Church, Mount Herman Church and Saint Michael Mission Center are all churches located in Philadelphia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Muslim Estimate.

Philadelphia is home to the Five Points and the Academy Gardens as well as Durham Park and Cloverly Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Mall, Andorra Shopping Center and Red Lion Shopping Center. Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from Comfort Inn, Concordia Worldwide Hotel Reservations and Embassy Suites for temporary stays in the area.