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Career and Education Opportunities for Radiation Therapists in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

For those living in the Murfreesboro, Tennessee area, there are many career and education opportunities for radiation therapists. There are currently 370 jobs for radiation therapists in Tennessee and this is projected to grow 27% to about 470 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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.

The average wage in the general category of Radiology jobs is $39 per hour or $81,100 per year in Tennessee, and an average of $39 per hour or $82,078 per year nationwide. Jobs in this field include: staff radiation therapist, radiation therapy technician, and radiation therapy technologist .

There are forty-five schools of higher education in the Murfreesboro area, including one within twenty-five miles of Murfreesboro where you can get a degree to start your career 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 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 Murfreesboro 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.
  • 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

MedVance Institute-Nashville - Nashville, TN

MedVance Institute-Nashville, 2400 Parman Pl Ste 3, Nashville, TN 37203. MedVance Institute-Nashville is a small school located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 377 students. MedVance Institute-Nashville has a two to four year program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twenty-one 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: Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee photo by Pollinator

Murfreesboro is situated in Rutherford County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 101,753, which has grown by 47.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Murfreesboro, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Murfreesboro are valued at $145,900 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, five hundred seventy-nine new homes were constructed in Murfreesboro, down from 1,157 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Murfreesboro are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 30.8% of Murfreesboro residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Murfreesboro is 9.6%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Murfreesboro residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Central Christian Church, Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church and Saint Pauls Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in Murfreesboro. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Churches of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Murfreesboro is home to the Clement Hall and the Military Park Brannons Redoubt as well as Old Fort Park and Jones Field. Shopping malls in the area include Northside Plaza Shopping Center, Northfield Crossing Shopping Center and Northfield Court Shopping Center. Visitors to Murfreesboro can choose from Doubletree Hotel Murfeesboro, Best Western Chaffin Inn and Hampton Inn Motel Fax Line for temporary stays in the area.