Having a career in radiation therapy consists of numerous responsibilities and demands of earning a bachelor's degree, or the level of certification and licensing in many states associated in general. Radiation therapists usually work in hospitals, cancer treatment centers, or physician offices. External beam radiotherapy is administered with a machine or linear accelerator using high energy X-rays, electrons, protons, or gamma rays. One of the main responsibilities of a radiation therapist is to administer radiation doses in the infected areas using radiation therapy equipment according to standards. Being a radiation therapist requires many skills such as, good interpersonal and communication skills with colleagues and patients, empathic attitude, data entry and record keeping. In addition, a radiation therapist must be physically, mentally and emotionally sound due to the physical positioning of patients and the emotions involved in treating patients or patients with end stage. The two most common tasks a radiation therapist are simulation, and treatment delivery.
In the simulation, the radiation therapist uses an imaging X-ray machine or computer tomography (CT) to define and map the exact location of the tumor and the processing parameters so that radiation exposure is mainly restricted to tumor cells for the purpose of parts of normal cells. immobilizers are used to assist in the positioning accuracy during the treatment itself. The therapist will deal with patients of all sizes and weights; some can also be disabled so that he / she has to take care in positioning the patient to minimize the risk of injury to self or patient. simulation measurements are then recorded and used in treatment planning. The radiation therapist may help in treatment planning, but most is done by a medical dosimetrist (a technician who calculates the dose of radiation to be used for treatment using a complex mathematical calculations) and a radio- oncologist (a doctor specializing in therapeutic radiology). The therapist then explain the treatment plan and answer any questions the patient may have, and ensure that the patient knows the risks and the expected result.
The results of treatment vary from patient to patient. Radiation therapists deal daily with terminally ill patients and must understand the emotions and mental state of their patients and themselves. emotional support is within the scope of practice for the radiation therapist. Some terminally ill patients may want to refuse treatment and die with dignity. Some patients may receive palliative care (palliative treatment used to relieve pain) in order to increase the quality of life. The doctor and the therapist must respect autonomy and follow the patient's wishes. conditions due to the speed of stress, the number of patients requiring treatment and the emotional stress of treating patients who can not respond well to treatment are treated every day. The therapist should maintain a healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude to avoid burnout, which can negatively affect patient care.
The rate of survival of patients with cancer has increased dramatically over the past 30 years, with a survival rate of about 61% currently. About half of patients diagnosed with cancer will require some form of radiation therapy. treatment delivery, the therapist begins with the patient's position and adjust the linear accelerator according to the parameters established in the simulation. Then, the therapist will deliver the prescribed type and dose of radiation to operate the linear accelerator in a separate protected room while monitoring the patient's condition through a television screen and an intercom. The radiation therapist will monitor the patient's physical condition to determine if side effects occur, and you must know that the emotional well being of the patient. Detailed records are made on patient treatment, including radiation dose, the amount used to date, the treated area, and patients' reactions. The oncologist and dosimetrist review these records to ensure that the treatment plan is working. In conclusion, there are many skills, responsibilities and tasks of a radiation therapist must be performed. Some of the responsibilities include assistance in planning treatment, monitoring the general well-being of patients and record information about the treatment. And the most common tasks performed by the radiation therapist are simulation and treatment delivery. While dealing with terminal patients is common there are many rewards, as playing a key role in restoring the patient to overcome the challenges in the treatment and the possibility of advancement of cancer. A radiation therapist may go on to become a dosimetrist, medical physicist specializing in radiation oncologist or even perform research at a university and try to develop a cure against cancer.