How to become a radiation therapist

How To Become a Radiation Therapist

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In our guide today, we are going to consider how to become a radiation therapist, the cost, requirements etc. Many people plan to become a radiation therapist, but don’t know how to go about it. We are going to talk about it in our guide today, plus the top schools offering radiation therapist. Before we start, let us briefly take a look at who a radiation therapist is and his/her duties.

Who Is a Radiation Therapist?

A radiation therapist is a member of the care team that uses radiation therapy to treat patients with cancer and other disorders. They collaborate with radiation oncologists (doctors who specialize in radiation therapy) and oncology nurses (nurses who specialize in caring for cancer patients). Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that involves reducing or eradicating cancerous tumors.

Radiation therapists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, doctors’ offices, universities, and outpatient clinics. Radiation therapists typically work full-time, daytime, weekday hours; nevertheless, radiation treatment emergencies can occur, and some therapists may be required to be on call or work outside of their regular schedule. They are on their feet for the majority of the day and must be able to lift and turn patients.

How To Become a Radiation Therapist?

It takes two to four years to earn your desired degree as a radiation therapist. A two-year associate’s degree takes two years to finish, whereas a four-year bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy takes four years. While you can work as a radiation therapist with only an associate’s degree, many businesses prefer therapists with a bachelor’s degree.

Decide a radiation therapy program

The education requirements for radiation therapists may differ by state or company. Many hospitals, for example, now consider a bachelor’s degree to be the minimum educational requirement, whereas other businesses may accept an associate’s degree. To prepare you for a job as a radiation therapist, your degree program as a radiation therapy major will most likely include of classroom education and hands-on clinical experiences.

Get registered

After completing your studies, you’ll be qualified to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists’ registry exam (ARRT).

Check your state requirements

In order to operate as a radiation therapist, you may need to obtain a state license, depending on where you wish to work. Pennsylvania does not currently require license tests, although New Jersey does.

Skills Needed To Become a Radiation Therapist

Radiation therapists must be detail-oriented in addition to having a strong educational background. It is critical that the radiation be administered to the same location every time. Furthermore, you must be aware of your own and your patients’ safety, as radiation can be deadly if necessary procedures are not followed. Your educational program, on the other hand, will teach you everything you need to know to stay safe.

However, there are more criteria for radiation therapy than just schooling; radiation therapists must also be personable and able to make patients feel at ease. Radiation therapists must be able to put patients at ease and listen to their concerns because they may be apprehensive or nervous about their treatment plan.

How Much Does a Radiation Therapist Make?

Radiation therapy demand has been consistently increasing for the past decade and is expected to continue. A radiation therapist’s national median pay in 2017 was $80,570. In the next ten years, job growth in the radiation therapy profession is predicted to increase by 13%.

Schools Offering Radiation Therapist

The following schools offer radiation therapist, so you can check them out:

Virginia Western Community College

The AAS degree in radiation oncology at VWCC in Roanoke, Virginia, prepares students to execute the duties of a radiation therapist and has a 97 percent ARRT certification approval rate. It is said to be one of the best schools for radiation therapists.

Furthermore, VWCC claims that more than 87 percent of its alumni find work within six months of finishing the two-year program. Because the curriculum at VWCC is regarded rigorous, students are discouraged from working while enrolled.

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill 

UNC, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has a long reputation of distinction in health education and is one of the top radiation therapist schools in the world, having just been rated one of the 30 best national institutions by U.S. News and World Report (2018). Before enrolling in the UNC program, applicants must have earned (or be on their way to earning) an associate’s degree and be certified in radiography.

Students who complete the 12-month post-baccalaureate certificate program are eligible to sit for the national ARRT board of radiation therapy certification exam. This program also has a 100% post-graduation employment rate, which is rather excellent.

University of Nebraska Medical Center

UNMC, in Omaha, Nebraska, was designated one of the top 20 primary care graduate schools in the country by U.S. News and World Report in 2018, as well as one of the best Radiation Therapist Schools in the United States.

Students who complete the 12-month radiation therapy program can earn a bachelor’s degree in radiation science technology or a graduate certificate that allows them to sit for the ARRT exam.

University of Vermont

With less than $16,000 (tuition in the state) in annual revenue, one of the most profitable radiation therapy programs is located in Burlington, Vermont. Because the university’s degree program has a 100% job placement rate in the last five years, it is the ideal professional trampoline. When it comes to radiation therapy regimens, this is one of the more cost-effective and high-performing solutions.

Oregon University of Science and Health

The OHSU school was regarded as the fifth finest primary care medical school in the country by US News & World Report, in addition to being located in one of the most beautiful sections of the country (having campuses throughout Oregon and Washington) (2018).

The 97 percent completion rate, 95 percent exam passing rate, and 87 percent job placement rate for the OHSU BS in OHSU radiation therapy is impressive.

Gateway Community College

With out-of-state tuition rates of just over $10,000 per year, this is one of the most cost-effective AS Radiation Therapist Schools that offer radiation therapy programs. GCC is well-known for its comprehensive and flexible online course offerings. Its radiation technician curriculum is only 13 months long and includes a clinical radiation therapy course (RTT150) that can be done partially online.

It is not only cost-effective and versatile, but it also produces excellent learning results. 90% of graduates pass the national certification exam on the first try, with a 100% job placement record after graduation.

It’s vital to remember that this program is intended for students who are already certified as medical radiographers by the ARRT.

Ohio State University in Columbus

In terms of research, OSU’s Medical School is tied for 30th place. The Wright Innovation Center in Biomedical Imaging is located at OSU. The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, part of the OSU School of Medicine, provides a Bachelor of Science in Radiological Sciences. Radiotherapy, radiography, and ultrasound are among the program’s specialization possibilities.

If you currently have a medical imaging certification, you can study radiological sciences through a Certificate of Study or a degree completion program.

Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech has only associate degree radiation program, and its VERT program is one of only 29 such programs in the country. Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington’s radiotherapy program’s aim is to give students with an affordable and high-quality education that will prepare them for a future in radiation oncology.

The program will prepare graduates for entry-level radiation therapy careers through strategic relationships and creative training.

Pennsylvania College of Technology

Students at Penn College are learning how to use radiography technologies to improve patient care. This fully recognized program offers more than 1,500 hours of training in clinical settings and is an engaging practical experience. To ensure a deep experience, apply technical skills in our array of fully energized digital radiography images and guaranteed clinical rotations in three systems.

Armstrong State University

Registered radiology technologists can get a B.S. or a post-baccalaureate degree from Armstrong State University of Georgia. During the first semester of education, students must attend physical facilities as part of this flexible curriculum.

Students can complete a substantial portion of the curriculum online and schedule clinical rotations at a facility near their home at their leisure for the remainder of the program.

Amarillo College

Amarillo College offers an associate degree in radiation therapy and is one of the leading Radiation Therapist Schools in the country. The 24-month curriculum includes 1,500 hours of clinical training as well as day classes.

Throughout the program, students finish their coursework on campus and participate in five clinical practice experiences. Medical language, anatomy, technical techniques, and oncology are all covered in this course. This location is one of the few in the country with an electrified laboratory where students can practice radiation methods. Radiographers and nurses can also enroll in this program, which takes 16 months to finish.

Galveston College

Galveston College provides a certificate program for registered radiographers as well as an associate degree in radiation therapy. Students in the programs take part in classroom training as well as clinical practice experiences. The certification program is 34 credit hours long, whereas the associate’s degree program is 71 credit hours long. JRCERT has accredited the associate’s degree program, which is the state’s oldest.

The programs prepare students for national certification, and the school boasts a 96.7 percent pass record on national credential exams.

Admission Requirements For Radiation Therapy

A certificate in radiation therapy is the bare minimum requirement for a career in the industry; however, employers frequently prefer an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Schools that teach this type of education often offer certificate, associate, and bachelor’s degree programs.

A two- or four-year radiation therapy degree or certificate from a recognized radiation therapy institution is required to become a radiation therapist, followed by ARRT certification as a radiation therapist. There are various programs that offer a Bachelor of Science degree in radiation therapy for advanced studies. Licenses and certifications are required in most states in the United States and other countries.

To practice, several states even require radiation therapists to complete the ARRT certification exam. As a result, it’s critical to look for the ARRT’s accreditation when choosing a radiation therapy school.

To enroll in a radiation therapy school, students must first finish their general education requirements, followed by radiation therapy pre-professional courses. A bachelor’s degree in radiation usually requires two years of rigorous radiation courses. Some programs require students to complete an authorized radiography course as well as pass the ARRT certification exam with a passing grade.

How long does it take to become a radiation therapist?

It takes two to four years to earn your desired degree as a radiation therapist. A two-year associate’s degree takes two years to finish, whereas a four-year bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy takes four years.

Is it hard to become a radiation therapist?

Radiation therapy, like any other medical profession, may be difficult. However, most of the difficulties may be overcome with education and experience.

Is radiation therapy a good career?

Radiation therapy employment is predicted to expand by 9% by 2028, faster than average employment growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. After you finish your radiation therapy school, you may find it easier to get work because of the high demand.


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