- Radiation Therapist
Who is a Radiation Therapist?
In the radiation laboratory we count it a privilege to do everything we can to assist our medical colleagues in the application of these new tools to the problems of human ~ Ernest Lawrence
Cancer is one of the most dangerous and incurable diseases in human science. With the advancement in technology and medical science, doctors are able to cure cancer patients who are diagnosed in early stages. However, there’s still a lot of scope left to treatment and cure of the disease. There are various types of treatment available for curing cancer but none of them have been a guarantee to the cure. And radiation therapy is one such treatment.
Radiation therapy is used to shrink or remove cancers or tumors. A radiation therapist is a person who focuses on working with tools and machines, and making or fixing practical things. A radiation therapist is a detailed oriented person with excellent interpersonal skills and technical skills along with exhibiting exceptional stamina. If you think these are your qualities and can be of any use to the medical science industry then you can think of having a career as a radiation therapist. This article will help you explore the whereabouts of the career such as it’s scope, job outlook, educational requirements, work environment, and skills required to be a radiation therapist.
Radiation Therapist in a Nutshell
People might think that a radiation therapist only spends most of his/her time in a radiation operation unit but that’s not the case. In reality, a radiation therapist’s job is not as easy as it seems. The job of radiation therapist requires him/her to be attentive, hardworking, and dedicated to his/her work hours. A radiation therapist is on his/her feet for a long duration and might be required to lift or turn disabled patients. Because a career as a radiation therapist involves working with radiation and radioactive material, a radiation therapist is required to follow the safety procedures in order to make sure that he/she is not exposed to a potentially harmful amount of radiation.
Quick Facts for Radiation Therapist
Average Salary in India
A career as a radiation therapist is gender-neutral. Anyone with appropriate skills and educational qualifications can become a radiation therapist. People who are inclined towards the building, thinking and organising interest areas can be termed as the right candidate for this profile. If you think these are your interest areas, then you can surely choose to become a radiation therapist irrespective of your gender. Hence, both men and women can choose to have a career as a radiation therapist.
Any special needs
Radiation therapy is a work of responsibility and involves the risk of people’s lives. Hence, people with special needs cannot have a career as a radiation therapist as it might prove to be a hindrance while discharging duties. As a radiation therapist, you’re required to be physically fit and up to date with the technologies being used in the therapy. So, career as a radiation therapist is not suitable for people with special needs.
Table of Contents for Radiation Therapist
What is the role of Radiation Therapist?
Typically, a radiation therapist's job is to explain treatment plans to the patient and answer questions related to their diagnosis and treatment procedures. A radiation therapist is also responsible for protecting the patients and themselves from improper exposure to radiation. It is a radiation therapist job to determine the exact location of the area requiring treatment and operate the machine to treat the patient with radiation.
The job duties of a radiation therapist also include monitoring the patient to check for unusual reactions to the treatment and keep detailed records of treatment. A radiation therapist is an inevitable part of the dedicated team of healthcare professionals who are specialists in their own area and work together to treat cancer and other diseases using radiation. So how to become a radiation therapist and what does it takes to become one?
A radiation therapist is responsible for managing various things such as ensuring the radiation-related services are provided within the hospital at all times. A radiation therapist's job is to be responsible for the smooth, efficient, and cost-effective running of radiation therapy. A radiation therapist's job is to maximise flexibility, teamwork, and innovative working practices. A radiation therapist must ensure that efficient use of therapy resources are applied.
Types of a Radiation Therapist
Diagnostic medical sonographers: Sonographer is a professional who decides which images to include, looking for differences between healthy and pathological areas. A sonographer observes the screen during scan to ensure that the image produced is satisfactory for diagnostic purposes, making adjustments to equipment as required.
Nuclear medicine technologists: The nuclear medicine technologist is a professional who works closely with the nuclear medicine physician. Some of the technologist's primary responsibilities are to prepare and administer radioactive chemical compounds, known as radiopharmaceuticals.
Respiratory therapists: A radiation therapist is a professional who is responsible for managing life support mechanical ventilation systems, administering aerosol-based medications, monitoring equipment related to cardiopulmonary therapy, and analysing blood samples to determine levels of oxygen and other gases.
Also read: a career as a surgeon
What is the workplace/work environment of Radiation Therapist like?
A career as a radiation therapist requires them to work in operating rooms in hospitals and surgical centers during different therapy, and they also work in ICUs. As a radiation therapist and a part of the surgical team, he/she is expected to be up to date with the patient’s medical history and current health status. Before beginning the therapy, the radiation therapist and the team determines which operational equipment and techniques are to be used. This section contains in-depth details about the work environment of the radiation therapist.
Does Radiation Therapist require travelling?
A career as a radiation therapist requires little to no traveling. Since a radiation therapist is required to work in one healthcare area and generally spend 90 per cent of his/her time in the OR suite for cardiac cases, in other cases, they find their responsibilities extending to areas such as the surgical intensive care unit and surgical laboratory.
Full Time, Part Time, On Call
A career as a radiation therapist requires working on full-time basis at big hospitals. However, there some, who might work on a part-time basis or on-call, wherein, the hospital does not have a full-time radiation therapist.
A career as a radiation therapist requires working on a permanent basis at general hospitals or hospitals that specialise in cancer treatment. However, there are some hospitals that might hire radiation therapists on contractual basis.
A radiation therapist is required to work in operating rooms in hospitals and surgical centers during different therapy, and they also work in ICUs.
Presence in Geographical Area
Tier-1 cities such as New Delhi, Gurgaon, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Pune are a big hub for world class healthcare treatments making it a big hub for opportunities for healthcare workers working in several sectors. radiation therapists in Chennai, Tamil Nadu earn an average of 10.6 per cent more than the national average. The radiation therapists also find higher than average salaries in Bangalore, Karnataka (4.4 per cent more). The lowest salaries can be found in Mumbai, Maharashtra (11.5 per cent less).
Typically, radiation therapists are required to work a regular 40-hour per week, but they also might be required to be present on call on some nights, weekends, and holidays. Since a radiation therapist is required to work in one healthcare area and generally spend 90 percent of his/her time in the OR suite for cardiac cases, in other cases, they find their responsibilities extending to areas such as the surgical intensive care unit and surgical laboratory.
Usually, a career as a radiation therapist requires them to work eight hours per day starting from 9 AM to 6 PM. However, depending on the requirements and the therapy schedules, the radiation therapists might be required to work for long hours.
Weekly Hours of Work
Min 45 Hours
Typically, radiation therapists are required to work a regular 45-hour per week, but they also might be required to be present on call on some nights, weekends, and holidays. Depending on the operation, call responsibilities can get rigorous.
How to become a Radiation Therapist?
What are the skills and qualities required to become a/an Radiation Therapist?
Patience: A radiation therapist faces critical situations where he/she is required to stay calm and make decisions that might be an important factor in a patient’s future. A radiation therapist is one of the most essential members of the radio therapy team. The work a radiation therapist does helps in keeping critically ill and medically unstable people alive. Situations like these require a radiation therapist to stay calm and level headed.
Physical strength: In order to have superior stamina and mental focus, radiation therapists are required to stay fit and keep themselves healthy. Their profession requires them to stay alert and during the operations that could last as long as 6-8 hours or more which isn’t possible without mental stamina and irresistible focus.
Communication skills: The ability to communicate effectively is one of the most necessary skills required by the radiation therapists in order to perform their job duties. The team working for an operation must be closely knitted which can be achieved through strong communication, communicating effectively becomes important in a high-stake team environment.
Science skills: Nothing can be achieved without deep understanding and interest in the subject. In order to become a radiation therapist along with excelling in the career, it is important for the candidates to have a deep interest in science and technology. A good academic background is a non-negotiable requirement in the profession that can be achieved through knowledge and a deep interest in science and technology.
Attention to detail: Radiation therapists are required to make important decisions during the therapy sessions. Hence, they are required to pay meticulous attention to detail to produce highly accurate work even when under pressure. Paying attention to small details is essential during the operation
Critical thinking: Management of therapy operations requires sharp critical thinking skills which involves using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems. Hence, radiation therapists are required to exhibit strong critical thinking and analytical skills which can be used in tough situations.
Learning skills: Learning skills are one of the important traits required to become a radiation therapist which involves learning tasks like conducting tests and inspections of equipment, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance, adjusting actions in relation to others' actions, determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job, controlling operations of equipment or systems, and selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Also read: skills required to become a surgeon
Which certifications and internships can be helpful in becoming Radiation Therapist?
Internships are a great way to learn and develop technical expertise in the industry and have a comprehensive understanding of the career as a radiation therapist and how to become a radiation therapist. However, the internships in this sector are rare since radiation therapy technology is a role of responsibility. But there are many healthcare organisations that offer assistantships in various sections of the medical industry. In order to get these internships, students are required to follow the eligibility criteria specified by each health organisation. Students with excellent medical records and practical understanding are the first choice of healthcare organisations. Also, students in their final year of the study programme are eligible for the internship.
Students learn various industrial critics and operations performed in the medical houses outside the therapy room. They are introduced with various technical and critical equipment with relevance to their applications in the specialisation they choose in therapy. The internship offered to the students is mostly unpaid. Students are required to handle their expenses themselves. However, these internships hold much importance since experience in the health industry is a non-negotiable factor in getting a job.
Career Path Progression for Radiation Therapist
General physician: The job of a general physician is to perform minimal treatment and analysis treatments that last a few minutes. A general physician operates on a human living body and hence their life is at a high risk. In order to avoid accidents during a diagnosis and treatment, a general physician must be alert, prepared for all types of emergency situations, and be able to perform life saving initiatives at any time during the diagnosis and treatment.
Medical professional: The medical professional is required to collect, record, and maintain patient information, such as medical history, reports and examination results. A medical professional is also responsible for referring patients to medical specialists or other practitioners when necessary. A medical practitioner orders, performs, and interprets tests and analyses records, reports, and examination information to diagnose patients' condition. A medical professional monitors patients' conditions and progresses and reevaluates treatments as necessary.
Radiation therapist: A radiation therapist is a person who treats the cancer and other diseases in patients by administering treatments. Radiation therapist is responsible for operating machines to deliver concentrated radiation therapy in the required area of the patient’s tumor.
Surgeon: The job of Surgeon is to perform minimally trespassing and uncomplicated surgeries that last a few minutes, or trespassing and complicated surgeries that require long hours to complete. A surgeon operates on a human living body and hence their life is at a high risk. In order to avoid accidents during a surgery, a surgeon must be alert, prepared for all types of emergency situations, and be able to perform life saving initiatives at any time during the surgery.
Radiation Therapist Jobs and Salaries
- Average Salary 100000
- Starting Salary 75000
- Junior Level Salary 75000
- Senior Level Salary 350000
The job of a general practitioner is to perform minimal treatment and analysis treatments that last a few minutes. A general practitioner operates on a human living body and hence their life is at high risk. In order to avoid accidents during diagnosis and treatment, a general practitioner must be alert, prepared for all types of emergency situations, and be able to perform life-saving initiatives at any time during the diagnosis and treatment.
For an entry-level post of a general practitioner, the average total compensation offered is somewhere around Rs. 75,000 per month. After gaining the intermediate experience in the industry, a general practitioner earns a monthly package of Rs. 1 lakh. The top-level salary of a general practitioner is somewhere around Rs. 3.5 lakh per month.
- Average Salary 55000
- Starting Salary 35000
- Junior Level Salary 35000
- Senior Level Salary 150000
The medical professional is required to collect, record, and maintain patient information, such as medical history, reports, and examination results. A medical professional is also responsible for referring patients to medical specialists or other practitioners when necessary. A medical practitioner orders, performs, and interprets tests and analyses records, reports, and examination information to diagnose patients' condition. A medical professional monitors patients' conditions and progresses and reevaluates treatments as necessary.
For an entry-level post of a medical professional, the average total compensation offered to a medical professional is somewhere around Rs. 35,000 per month. After gaining the intermediate experience in the industry, a medical professional earns a monthly package of Rs. 55,000. The top-level salary of a medical professional is somewhere around Rs. 1.5 lakh per month.
- Average Salary 60000
- Starting Salary 40000
- Junior Level Salary 40000
- Senior Level Salary 100000
A radiation therapist is a person who treats cancer and other diseases in patients by administering treatments. Radiation therapist is responsible for operating machines to deliver concentrated radiation therapy in the required area of the patient’s tumor.
For an entry-level radiation therapist, with less than one year of experience, the average total pay is somewhere between INR 3.5 lakh per annum which includes bonuses, tips, and overtime pay. After gaining experience for 2 to 3 years, the average salary for radiation therapists goes as high as INR 5 lakhs per annum. The highest pay for an experienced radiation therapist with 6 to 8 years of experience is INR 8 lakhs per annum.
What is the job outlook for Radiation Therapist?
The scope for radiation therapists in the healthcare industry is huge. Radiation therapists are highly skilled professionals and critical members of the therapy team. As a radiation therapist, they are mainly responsible for working in operating radiation equipment, but they also participate in blood conservation. They are also required to provide long-term support for therapy treatment, help in the treatment of cancerous tumors, and organ transplants. This section contains a detailed description of the job market scenario and the scope of becoming a radiation therapist.
A radiation therapist is a profession that demands a commitment to a lengthy and rigorous educational track, multiple levels of examinations and licensing, an arduous residency, and career-long learning and dedication. Due to these factors, the professionals in the industry are at shortage and the demand for radiation therapists is always at stake. This also becomes one of the most important reasons for the high pay packages of a radiation therapist.
The government of India is committed to making improvements for health coverage with the announcement of Ayushman Bharat. This will surely entail the creation of different sectors of the healthcare industry like preventive, promotive, and curative sectors. In the near future, it is estimated that the healthcare industry will become one of the top three employment generators in India, providing stable and quality healthcare employment across all levels of economic cycles.
Frequently Asked Questions for Radiation Therapist
Que. Who is a radiation therapist?Ans.
A radiation therapist is a person who focuses on working with tools and machines, and making or fixing practical things. A radiation therapist is a detailed oriented person with excellent interpersonal skills and technical skills along with exhibiting exceptional stamina.
Que. How much does a radiation therapist earn?Ans.
For an entry-level radiation therapist, with less than one year of experience, the average total pay is somewhere between Rs. 3.5 lakh per annum which includes bonuses, tips, and overtime pay. After gaining experience for two to three years, the average salary for radiation therapists goes as high as Rs. five lakhs per annum. The highest pay for an experienced radiation therapist with six to eight years of experience is Rs eight lakhs per annum.
Que. What are the various professions in radiation therapy?Ans.
Radiation therapy involves a team of qualified professionals each of them specialising in their own field. For instance, nurses, general practitioners, medical professionals, surgeons, respiratory therapists, chemists, and many more.
Que. Which companies hire radiation therapists?Ans.
The companies that hire radiation therapists are Sir Ganga ram hospital, KLES Dr. Prabhakar Kore Hospital, Belgaum, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Hiranandani Hospital, Kokilaben Hospital, Medanta Hospital, Lilavati Hospital, PGIMER, Sankara Nethralay, Tata Memorial Hospital, NIMHANS, Fortis Hospitals, Apollo Hospitals.
Que. What are the various specialisations one can pursue in radiation therapy?Ans.
Following are the various specialisations offered for pursuing MS/MDS:
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