Radiation Therapy Career – A Day in the Life of a Radiation Therapist
When working in a career in healthcare as a Radiation Therapist, rarely are two days exactly the same. With new patients come new treatment plans, as well as different emotion and physical needs. However, some elements of a day in the life of a Radiation Therapist do tend to remain the same. To give those seeking to understand more about this career in healthcare a better idea of what each day’s tasks and responsibilities include, so for those considering a Radiation Therapy career, here is a day in the life of a Radiation Therapist!
At this time, a Radiation Therapist typically enters the clinic (wearing scrubs) and prepares for the scheduled patients for that day. They may also be required to “warm up” the radiation machine, meaning that they turn it on and making sure all aspects of the machine are working as they are supposed to. This involves checking the machine’s motion and imaging, as well as the interlock setting.
8:00 am – 4 pm
The clinic begins seeing patients, and the Radiation Therapist will begin taking patients back to administer radiation therapies. Appointment lengths will vary depending on a patient’s needs.
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During this time the Radiation Therapist will assess patients, listen to their questions and concerns and advise them on how to best undergo each therapy session. Next, the Radiation Therapist will set the patient up on a table and prepare them for the high energy x-ray treatments. Lastly, they will administer the treatment as needed via a computer monitor. This monitor will track all treatments and proper doses, as well as patient histories and records.
Typically, before radiation treatments begin a simulation will be conducted on each patient to identify the precise area(s) of the body which require treatments. Then, each time a patient returns for treatment they will be set up on the machine bed in the exact same position, and the intended areas of treatment will be aligned with the radiation beam. This is an advancement to ensure that normal cells are not unnecessarily damaged by the radiation.
During treatments, Radiation Therapists will step out of the room to avoid harmful exposure to radiation. Each day they must (by law) abide by all safety and protection protocols.
Around this time the Radiation Therapist will typically conclude seeing patients, make sure all records have been adequately compiled, turn off all machines, organize the treatment room and ultimately head home until the next work day. Each day the Radiation Therapists are able to help their patients take one step closer to overcoming cancer or overall improved health! Every therapy is administered with purpose.
Does this sound like an ideal work day? Could you see yourself working in this career in healthcare? Learn more about a career as a Radiation Therapist today!
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