Career and Education Opportunities for Radiation Therapists in Laredo, Texas
Laredo, Texas provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for radiation therapists. There are currently 830 jobs for radiation therapists in Texas and this is projected to grow 41% to about 1,170 jobs 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%. Radiation therapists generally provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards.
Radiation therapists earn about $36 per hour or $76,480 per year on average in Texas and about $35 per hour or $72,910 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Radiology, people working as radiation therapists in Texas 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 , computed tomography simulation therapist , and dosimetrist.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of Laredo where you can study to be a radiation therapist, among five schools of higher education total in the Laredo area. 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
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 Laredo include:
- 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
Laredo Community College - Laredo, TX
Laredo Community College, West End Washington St, Laredo, TX 78040-4395. Laredo Community College is a medium sized college located in Laredo, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,196 students. Laredo Community College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist.
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: Laredo, Texas
Laredo is situated in Webb County, Texas. It has a population of over 221,659, which has grown by 25.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Laredo, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Laredo cost $137,000 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, six hundred sixty-eight new homes were constructed in Laredo, down from 1,257 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Laredo are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, other transportation, and support activities, and couriers, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 14.7% of Laredo residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.6%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Laredo is 8.1%, which is the same as Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Laredo residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 73.6%, is more than both the national and state average. El Buen Pastor Assembly of God Church, El Mesias United Methodist Church and Heights Baptist Church are among the churches located in Laredo. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Laredo is home to the Webb County Courthouse and the Dolores Ranch as well as Shirley Field and Laredo Entertainment Center. Visitors to Laredo can choose from Blue Caribbean Ventures, Motel 9 and Bender Hotel for temporary stays in the area.