radiation therapist or respiratory therapist?

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angela in Atlanta, Georgia

78 months ago

Hello,
I have been a Radiation Therapist for over 15 years. I'm not sure if radiation would be less stressful than respiratory. I have worked full-time,part-time and PRN schedules. I have 2 children and it has been helpful to work part-time. That been said, it is getting harder to find part-time jobs with flexible schedules. Radiation Therapist can work in many settings: Hospital, private clinics and also locums work(if you want to travel). With anything it seems the market for therapist goes in cycles of a lot of jobs to not very many jobs. I guess it depends on what area you live in. Good luck with your decision.

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johnny in Spanish Fork, Utah

78 months ago

So it's hard to get a job as a radiation therapist?

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tammi in Detroit, Michigan

76 months ago

Ima radiation therapy student. it can be hard to get a job once you graduate from he program since this field is a small community of health care professionals. The salary should not be your driving force because it is diffrnt evey where you go. Being in the RTT program now I can tell you that school will be frustrating at first but once you are familair with the policies and procedures it's not so bad. but as far as finding a job goes it all depends on where you apply. some states have better opportunities

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Kris in London, Ontario

75 months ago

Hi there. I have been a radiation therapist for over 2 years now and my best friend is a respiratory therapist ( in home care setting). I think both of our jobs have their own stresses and they depend largely on the type of setting you may work in. Both require that you can think on your feet and be able to handle a lot of unique situations and people that may arise.
I work in a large treatment center with 9 machines and a lot of doctors and other therapists... the stresses here are different than working in a smaller private center with one or 2 treatment machines and a CT.
If you haven't had a chance to, i would suggest shadowing both kinds of therapists so you have a better picture of what you're getting into. As a radiation therapist I enjoy the relationship I develop with my patients over the course of their treatment, be it days or weeks or months. I enjoy working closely with my coworkers - they really make my day. There is also a good deal of work with computer programs and its great getting the chance to work with and help train new students.
One thing I can say is that you need to remember that you have a unique role as a radiation therapist, working with patients with cancer. For a lot of them their lives have been turned upside down since their diagnosis and when treatments have started. You may see patients many weeks or months after this or you may see patients coming in, not completely understanding what is going on or patients just needing treatments to make their pain go away. The patients are worried about so many things and need you to look out for their needs for information, support, and just to get them through each day of their courses of treatment. Its a great opportunity to be a part of this!
The training can be challenging, but as long as you've got common sense and can remember the end result... hang in there!
As for jobs, they do come in waves and it depends exactly where you are looking.

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Niccole in Merrillville, Indiana

72 months ago

It's also very competitive getting into a program. I know people who have tried more than once and wasn't accepted and others on the 2nd try made it in. If you're young and have a few years to apply that's one thing. if you're at the age where you really need to get a career and don't have the time to invest for if you don't get accepted have a backup.

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sheila in New Delhi, India

72 months ago

I was wondering if you could help me out... I'm in my early 30's and am seriously thinking of changing careers into radiation therapy. With everything i've read, it seems as if jobs are plentiful in this profession. But you say it depends where you are, and jobs come in waves.. Would you know where there are more jobs, in what areas? And do you think it's worth pursuing now as a profession?
i have my bachelors in economics and i need to switch over to the medical area. Radiation therapy seems to be a very rewarding profession.
And what would you say is the minimum education/certification required? I am starting from scratch and would love all the advice i can get! thanks!!

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xtt in Burlington, Ontario

69 months ago

Definitely go for rad therapy. Rad therapists on average make over 70k in the States, similar to the pay of engineers (all stats from American Labour Bureau). Many rad therapists are able to become more advanced & specialized medical dosimetrists, and med. dosimetrists get paid higher than nurse practitioner. On average, an American dosimetrist get paid about 90k a year while a nurse practitioner get paid about 81k (the avg pay for NPs also include overtime, on call etc, where as dosimetrists who work 9-5, no OT, no on call).

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zsadig in Decatur, Georgia

67 months ago

Is true if you work their for while you might get cancer from the radition and does it take long time to become radition therapist

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Kris in Windsor, Ontario

67 months ago

Great question! You will learn in your courses that exposure to ionising radiation can be a cause of cancer, amongst many others. The reality is that as a radiation therapist, depending on what kind of areas you are working in, you are exposed to virtually no radiation at all. If you are working on a linear accelerator, you are never in the treatment room when the machine is delivering treatment. There are radiation monitors in place that let you know when the radiation has dissipated (takes only a couple seconds) and it is safer for you to go in the room to get the patient out. You will wear a radiation badge (TLD) at all times when you work - the amount of radiation you are exposed to is measured at least every 3 months. In most cases as a therapist you are exposed to a tiny fraction of the allowable level of radiation for a nuclear energy worker. Radiation use and exposure is tightly regulated and monitored. Working in brachytherapy is a little different in terms of proximity to radiation.
As for the length of time - in Canada it takes 3 to 4 years to become a therapist, with 12 months spent in clinical training. I believe in the US training takes a couple of years with clinical placement happening throughout the program. Check with individual schools/programs of radiation therapy.

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ahmad in Lawrenceville, Georgia

67 months ago

angela in Atlanta, Georgia said: Hello,
I have been a Radiation Therapist for over 15 years. I'm not sure if radiation would be less stressful than respiratory. I have worked full-time,part-time and PRN schedules. I have 2 children and it has been helpful to work part-time. That been said, it is getting harder to find part-time jobs with flexible schedules. Radiation Therapist can work in many settings: Hospital, private clinics and also locums work(if you want to travel). With anything it seems the market for therapist goes in cycles of a lot of jobs to not very many jobs. I guess it depends on what area you live in. Good luck with your decision.

Hey Angela,

I have a question. since we both live in Georgia, what do you think about the availability of jobs in respiratory and radiation therapy here? Will it just be better to do respiratory therapy tech?

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angela in Atlanta, Georgia

67 months ago

ahmad in Lawrenceville, Georgia said: Hey Angela,

I have a question. since we both live in Georgia, what do you think about the availability of jobs in respiratory and radiation therapy here? Will it just be better to do respiratory therapy tech?

Hi Right now the market is pretty tight for jobs in Atlanta for Radiation Therapy. There are a lot of new graduates looking for jobs to stay in Atlanta. I'm not sure about the job market for respiratory therapy. I hope this helps your decision. As anything the market could be different by the time you graduate either school.

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ahmad in Lawrenceville, Georgia

67 months ago

angela in Atlanta, Georgia said: Hi Right now the market is pretty tight for jobs in Atlanta for Radiation Therapy. There are a lot of new graduates looking for jobs to stay in Atlanta. I'm not sure about the job market for respiratory therapy. I hope this helps your decision. As anything the market could be different by the time you graduate either school.

Thank you Angela for the quick response! I really apperciate the insight.

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Ann in Dallas, Texas

67 months ago

radiation therapy is a waste of damn money. I would rather recommend you guys to stay out of the notion of getting yourself into radiation therapy program. There aren't any vacancies in this field. It is a dead field. How can you expect yourself to be looking for a job for more than eight month or even a year after you have graduated from the program with a bachelors degree? I just don't know what drives people to weigh their career destiny relatively to this field. Many ppl have regretted for pursuing this particular field; it has yield nothing other than disappointment and tremendous stress of no finding a job for more than two years. just reverse the decision of getting into this program. This is no the time to go in for this particular field. May be the next decade might produce something fruitful. Let's keep our fingers cross.

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Andrew Lopez in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

67 months ago

angela in Atlanta, Georgia said: Hello,
I have been a Radiation Therapist for over 15 years. I'm not sure if radiation would be less stressful than respiratory. I have worked full-time,part-time and PRN schedules. I have 2 children and it has been helpful to work part-time. That been said, it is getting harder to find part-time jobs with flexible schedules. Radiation Therapist can work in many settings: Hospital, private clinics and also locums work(if you want to travel). With anything it seems the market for therapist goes in cycles of a lot of jobs to not very many jobs. I guess it depends on what area you live in. Good luck with your decision.

Hi Angela. I have been doing a little bit of research about Radiography and wanted to pick your brain a little bit. You being a Radiation Therapist how did you pursue your degree and interest in this field?

I too have two children and a wife and I am having difficulty figuring out a way to do the program plus support my family. The school I am interested in has Radiography as a full-time program for two years. Will it really pay for me to do the full-time schooling in Radiology? Also what other potenials programs can I study that go hand in hand with Radiography? Since you are a Radiation Therapist what did you have to study?

You don't have to reply right away but I am really interested in hearing someone's opinion who has been in this field for so long.

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Andrew Lopez in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

67 months ago

Anyone out there who is in Radiography or is pursuing Radiography I would like to get whatever information anyone can provide. I am looking for a profession in something that would produce a great turn around in life style and economic stability. If some of you on this forum are saying that is rewarding then I would like you to elaborate a little bit more about what is rewarding about it. What are it's pros and cons etc.

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Ann in Dallas, Texas

67 months ago

Andrew Lopez in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania said: Anyone out there who is in Radiography or is pursuing Radiography I would like to get whatever information anyone can provide. I am looking for a profession in something that would produce a great turn around in life style and economic stability. If some of you on this forum are saying that is rewarding then I would like you to elaborate a little bit more about what is rewarding about it. What are it's pros and cons etc.

Look into bachelors of science in dental hygiene. The job prospect is much better and rewarding as a dental hygienist. Radiation therapy is a fulfilling career than most health-care jobs. However, the job prospectives don't look that promising. You have a family and you want to be a responsible Dad so, this is a very critical decision to make for your future as wells as your family. Don't throw your future into something that would yield nothing but frustration as its biproduct. The difficult part of radiation therapy is not getting into the program, but rather finding a job after graduation.
Some ppl went in for it, but now find themselves in a predicament associated with this field after graduation. A close friend of mine is a good example of the point I am trying to get across. Conduct and indept research between dental hygienist and radiation therapist; then weigh the merit and demerit of both fields. You be the judge.

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Melody in Los Angeles, California

67 months ago

I want to become a radiation therapist. I have researched a bit about the career, but am having a hard time finding a program to become certified and am worried about the availablity of jobs once I graduate. What are pre-requisites for taking the certification program? Do I have to have a degree in radiology first, or is that something totally different? What are the actual steps to becoming a radiation therapist????
I am so thankful for finding this forum, cuz I have been having a tough time getting any info.
All answers appreciated! :)

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Andrew Lopez in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

67 months ago

are you pursuing dental hygiene as well? I have an uncle who is a dentist too and has been very succesful.

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andrew lopez in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

67 months ago

angela in Atlanta, Georgia said: Hi Andrew, I went to a two year x-ray program and then a year for Radiation Therapy. There were no bachelors programs when I went to school 20 years ago!! If you go to x-ray school you could work evenings or weekends while in Radiation Therapy School. I saw the reply about Dental Hygiene school. I know that Radiation Therapy is still in demand for jobs for the next 10-15 years. If you go into x-ray you also have many modalities to pick from such as: nuclear medicine, CT, ultrasound,interventional radiography. If you get a bachelors degree that will help if you want to go into management, sales or other jobs later on in your career. I like Radiation Therapy for the fact that I get to know the patients over a period of time anywhere from 2-8 weeks. I like the daily interaction with the patients. I hope this helps your decision.

Thanks for your reply and yes this does help a little bit. Do you know of any websites that may help do a little more research about this field?

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angela in Atlanta, Georgia

67 months ago

Andrew, I use Google for most of my searches. I would search Radiation Therapist for general information about the field. I would search Radiation Therapy Schools for your area. You can also look for A.S.R.T. and A.R.R.T for more information on Radiology and Radiation Therapy.

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angela in Atlanta, Georgia

67 months ago

Ann in Dallas, Texas said: radiation therapy is a waste of damn money. I would rather recommend you guys to stay out of the notion of getting yourself into radiation therapy program. There aren't any vacancies in this field. It is a dead field. How can you expect yourself to be looking for a job for more than eight month or even a year after you have graduated from the program with a bachelors degree? I just don't know what drives people to weigh their career destiny relatively to this field. Many ppl have regretted for pursuing this particular field; it has yield nothing other than disappointment and tremendous stress of no finding a job for more than two years. just reverse the decision of getting into this program. This is no the time to go in for this particular field. May be the next decade might produce something fruitful. Let's keep our fingers cross.

I'm not sure where you have been looking for a job but, there are some jobs out there. I so searches all the time and found listings for California, Florida, Boston and other places. Maybe you need to call some head hunters or do another search. I have worked in the field for almost 20 years and it has been very rewarding for me. Sorry you have had such bad luck finding a job.

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susan in Dalton, Georgia

67 months ago

angela in Atlanta, Georgia said: I'm not sure where you have been looking for a job but, there are some jobs out there. I so searches all the time and found listings for California, Florida, Boston and other places. Maybe you need to call some head hunters or do another search. I have worked in the field for almost 20 years and it has been very rewarding for me. Sorry you have had such bad luck finding a job.

Hi, Angela. I'm glad to hear your take on the job prospects for those of us who are thinking about pursuing a career in this field. I was wondering, since Dalton is only about an hour and a half from Atlanta, would you say the opportunities within the North Georgia/ greater Atlanta area look sound? I'm figuring on a tentative graduation date of Fall, 2012 and, honestly, I do worry about an oversaturation in the field in this area.

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angela in Atlanta, Georgia

67 months ago

There's a center in Blairsville that seems to stay busy. Who knows the job market will be like in 2012??? If you have doubts about the job market in Radiation Therapy look into other fields!!

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John in Youngstown, Ohio

67 months ago

I was very hopeful when I entered into the Radiation therapy program at my college. I enjoy the career and the people we work with, during my rotations I met many dedicated and exceptional individuals including doctors, nurses, dosimetrists, therapists. The patients are a joy to be with and work with, yet it is a humbling experience.

My concern now is finding a job, I graduated December 12th and I am still looking, not only in my area but other states too. As a new grad, this is turning out to be quite rough. I wanted to pursue a career at M.D. Anderson Cancer center in Texas, however everyone tells me they won't even consider someone with less than 5 years experience... a big let down for a new grad to say the least.

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jefferson in Mesquite, Texas

67 months ago

I am also in the same boat. I have been searching for the past eight month, and it hasn't turned out to be good. I am hoping for the better this year. Hopefully God will interveine to help me land on my dream job. Had I known, I wouldn't have gone for this degree. All my companions I graduated with are also having a hard time finding job. It seems the difficult of finding a job is nation-wide. I think some ppl on this particular forum are making a good analysis about the job aspect after graduation. Let hope for the better. I keep asking myself why did I choose this particular field.Why not nursing? why not medical technologist? all of them have jobs atleast.

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angela in Atlanta, Georgia

67 months ago

John in Youngstown, Ohio said: I was very hopeful when I entered into the Radiation therapy program at my college. I enjoy the career and the people we work with, during my rotations I met many dedicated and exceptional individuals including doctors, nurses, dosimetrists, therapists. The patients are a joy to be with and work with, yet it is a humbling experience.

My concern now is finding a job, I graduated December 12th and I am still looking, not only in my area but other states too. As a new grad, this is turning out to be quite rough. I wanted to pursue a career at M.D. Anderson Cancer center in Texas, however everyone tells me they won't even consider someone with less than 5 years experience... a big let down for a new grad to say the least.

Hi Did you actually apply for the job at M.D. Anderson. People tell you things all the time. Apply for as many jobs as you can. See what happens, you never know what will happen if you don't apply!! Good luck.

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John in Youngstown, Ohio

67 months ago

Yeah I put in applications there and many other centers as well, I've even been sending my resume to hospitals who aren't hiring. Hopefully something will turn up, I'm not too sure what to do in the meantime.

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Bella Morena in Montreal, Quebec

67 months ago

xtt in Burlington, Ontario said: Definitely go for rad therapy. Rad therapists on average make over 70k in the States, similar to the pay of engineers (all stats from American Labour Bureau). Many rad therapists are able to become more advanced & specialized medical dosimetrists, and med. dosimetrists get paid higher than nurse practitioner. On average, an American dosimetrist get paid about 90k a year while a nurse practitioner get paid about 81k (the avg pay for NPs also include overtime, on call etc, where as dosimetrists who work 9-5, no OT, no on call).

I'm thinking about becoming a rad therapist, but I really want to move to the States when I'm done school. Is it hard to get a job in the US straight out of College (in rad therapy)?

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Jasmine in Rye, New York

67 months ago

Does anyone know of a website or a contact for any jobs located in London, England?

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sunnyRT in Jax, Florida

65 months ago

I'm in school right now doing clinicals. Job prospects are grim looking indeed. Our professors tell us to take any job we can get, anywhere. There are no openings - what seems to happen is that if there is an opening somewhere they may post it for "postings-sake" but the then therapist there knows a therapist somewhere else already wanting the position. I'm feeling that a therapist with no work experience is climbing an uphill battle. I AM willing to go anywhere, do anything to get a job. BUT, you never know what the job market in therapy will do. In my area a new center could open and there goes a demand for jobs - who knows?>! here's to hoping!!

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sunnyRT in Jax, Florida

65 months ago

as a follow-up: BEFORE you consider going to radiation therapy school ask yourself if you're absolutely willing to relocate to anywhere upon graduation. Also ask yourself, "If I do get a job where I want, can you be sure that you'll actually like the facility and people you're working with?" If not, are there other prospects of jobs???? It's not like being a nurse where you can just go across town and apply for the 50 open nursing positions....it's not like that at all! I did tons of research before focusing on radiation therapy. My fellow students though, I don't believe they did. When our professor talked about lack of jobs and the need for our willingness to go wherever a lot of students seemed VERy dismayed and upset. I found it almost laughable. How can you enter into a career where you know nothing about the job prospects. I think a lot of people find the allure of salary - for a program of schooling that they can possibly complete. That's not the case for me - I was debating between physician assistant (PA) and radiation therapist. RT is definitely easier, but it's also a better job for me - day hours, no weekends, etc. Just be aware of what you're getting yourself into!

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Melody in Los Angeles, California

65 months ago

I spoke with an admissions counselor who said there are 2 routes to take to becoming a radiation therapist: Becoming an RN or xray tech to be accepted into the 2 year program for RT.
What has everyone else's experience been with that????

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brown2435 in Marion, Illinois

65 months ago

Hello, I'm currently a student in the radiation ther. program at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. I will soon be entering into the advanced medical dosimetry program for my masters degree. Job prospects aren't the best, but if you look for jobs in rad. ther. you can find them! The job market shouldn't change anyones decision on their career choice (unless family is involved, maybe). Jobs will eventually come, and the field is actually growing! ! Most websites, like some commented on here, have some job openings, however, you may have to re-locate. I have a friend that just graduated with his bachelors degree in radiation ther. this past summer semester (he isn't going into the dosimetry field with me in the fall semester) and he found a job not even a month and a half out. He started and enjoys it very much. He works in St. Louis and actually gets paid 77K plain rad. ther. He also worked out a deal that states that he must work every third weekend in plain radiography (sat/sun). In doing so, he picks up some extra cash totaling him to over 82K a year. If your worried about job opportunities, you should advance into the medical dosimetry program. It may take another year and a half or so, but the job outlook is much better as well as the pay. Medical dosi. on average get pain around 90-92 K a year, and thats just 40 hours a week! You will also be qualified to work in regular radiography, radiation ther. and whatever other modalities you may have cross-trained or specialized in on the way (after you pass your tests if your state regulates that.) You could pick up some extra cash too! I plan to do this because regular x-ray is a big passion of mine. I love the patient contact. I hope everything works out for everyone! If you have any questions, I will check this forum out again. With me being a student, maybe I could help some people out a little more with the student part of the job as opposed to the experience part.

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Melody in Los Angeles, California

65 months ago

Hi Brown2435,
Thanks for the comments! Did you get your xray license first, or how did you go about starting your education so that you could enter into the radiation therapy program where you live?
I understand that here in CA I have to either become an RN or an Xray Tech before I can enter the RT program.
Any advice would be appreciated! :)

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brown2435 in Marion, Illinois

65 months ago

I'm not totally for sure about the laws in CA, as opposed to here in IL. I know that to specialize in any modality(rad. ther./ sonography/CT-MRI or others) you must have your license in x-ray to begin with. I'm not totally for sure, but around here, an RN doesn't get you admission into an RT program. It just helps you gain admission into an x-ray program that tends to be selective. As for me, Yes, I have my x-ray license. I started out by doing my general classes at SIU-C (like english/calculus/physics/chemistry/sociology/psychology/anatomy-physiology). After completing them, I earned my assoc. degree in applied sciences. I then started into the general x-ray program, where I spent about 2 years. I graduated, took the board, passed, and then chose to specialize in radiation ther. I am currently in that program and graduate in 2 1/2 months with my bachelors. I will then proceed into the dosimetry program here to complete my education. I have already been accepted. Most everything in x-ray, or the field in general, is really selective. You may want to find a school that offers everything (like SIU-C). I have heard horror stories about people who go into a 2 year x-ray program and then try to go to a different school to specialize. I know SIU-C students get first "dibs" on modalities, meaning that we choose what specialty (CT-MRI/sonography/rad. ther) we want then the open seats are filled by students coming from 2 year programs. Not that many seats are left open due to the limited amount of people that are actually accepted into the specialty program. This is due to the availability of clinical sites and the limited number of students they can accommodate. I think I have covered all of your questions. If you have anymore, just ask! One of the hardest things to do is to actually decide what school your going to go to for x-ray and what specialty to go into. Have a great day

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RichK in Schaumburg, Illinois

65 months ago

Brown you have made a great contribution to this thread. I have some questions for you if you don't mind answering. I'm a sophomore attending Benedictine university majoring in radiation therapy, the program is connected with Northwest memorial hospital ( but still very competitive . I think ill be able to get into the Northwest memorial radiation therapy program but I'm wondering what kind of grades and what kind of volunteer should i have to get in to the a dosimetry program?
Thanks in advance

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brown2435 in Marion, Illinois

65 months ago

Hello RichK

Sorry about the delay, the hospital was really busy this week! I'm finishing up a clinical internship at Barnes Jewish in St. Louis. As for your question, here goes. . .

Yes, some rad. ther. programs are connected directly through a hospital and that, by the way, is a great way to learn. One of the disadvantages to this method is the board exam. Do you have structured classes along with the hospital experience? I have seen both methods (with and without classes) and have heard that when the hospital teaches it all and presents a certificate, its harder to pass the board. This is probably due to the way its taught. The hospital teaches you real life situations (which you actually need to know for the job) and sometimes the board exam is particular about what they want. An example in general x-ray would be and upright axial clavicle projection. In the hospital, you would never have a patient assume the lordotic position because the injury would make it almost impossible. However, the board exam wants to know how much of an angle the patient should angle his/her own body. The moral is the hospital (real life situation) and the board have many conflicts. Thats why its harder to pass a board with just a hospital certificate and no formal class. It is possible though! I have worked with a few rad. ther. techs that earned their degree this way.

As for the dosimetry program question:

I have never heard of anyone learning dosimetry in a hospital setting alone. I believe you must take formal classes, and in doing so, you earn your masters degree. There aren't that many dosimetry programs in the U.S. to begin with! :( They are extremely competitive. Grades usually consist of A and high B students. You must be "sharp" with your math skills. As, you actually determine the dose of radiation to deliver.

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brown2435 in Marion, Illinois

65 months ago

Hahahah, sorry I ran out of space or my computer messed, up but heres the rest :)

I will use my school, SIU-C as an example. We had 20 students in our rad. ther. program, 14 that went to SIU-C and 6 that were 2 year x-ray students. Our dosimetry program accepts 10 students a year. 3 others and myself, from our school, got in and we have almost perfect grades. 2 others that applied from SIU-C and all of the 2 year x ray students that applied were declined. As far as I know, there are still 6 seats left. I dont know how they will fill them, but I know the applications stack up from experienced rad.ther. that want to further their education. If you have good grades, which I'm sure you do being in a rad. ther. program, you should consider dosimetry! This job outlook is great, as is the pay. A downfall is you hardly have any patient contact if dosimetry is the only job you do. My plan is to graduate in dosimetry and start my own cancer clinic with a radiation oncologist.

Volunteer work and overall personality help out a lot when gaining admission to ANYTHING in any subject. Anything with the local community that your school resides in helps! I coach 3rd grade flag football and 5th grade tackle football, as well as, help out at some sporting events. You should ask your instructor if theres any vol. work at the hospital you will be doing your rad. ther. program at! Just remember, be professional around all your instructors at all times! Have fun around your friends! Balancing this will help you in the long run! Good Luck! If you have anymore questions, just let me know

Thx

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maral in Toronto, Ontario

65 months ago

Hi brown, thanks for your usefull commands. So I guess what I grasped from what you said is that Radiation therapy is better than radiological therapy (x-ray) right? so if I can apply to both of them, then I guess I would have a better job prespective with radiation therapy right? what is the difference in terms of income when comparing these two? thanks

maral

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RichK in Schaumburg, Illinois

65 months ago

Great feed back Brown, and thank you.

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brown2435 in Marion, Illinois

65 months ago

No problem RichK :)

As for your question Maral:

In order to obtain admission into a radiation ther. program, you must be licensed in x-ray (general radiography) first. As far as which modality (rad ther or general x-ray) is better, thats for the individual person to decide. You should search online for radiologic science programs in universities / colleges / hospitals. An x-ray tech alone with no other training makes on average of 40000 or around that (a little less in some areas and a little more in others.) Radiation ther. make quite a bit more! Rad. ther. requires more school and training, and therefore, make in the mid-upper range of 70000. Like I mentioned in this thread before, I have a friend that just graduated from our rad. ther program and he makes 77K plain salary for rad therapy. He also does general x ray every third weekend and that puts his total to over 82K per year.

I think I covered it all? If you have anymore questions, dont hesitate to ask.

thx

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dmartinez in Cartersville, Georgia

65 months ago

I am considering radiation therapy and I have a question concerning the difference in programs. I am reading a lot here about 4 year degrees, but in my area there is a school with a 1 year certificate and a two year associates degree in radiation therapy. Then they claim you can make $70,000 a year. I want to know if you truly need a Bachelors to be considered in this field. Also, I am reading a lot about the job prospects and everyones different views. I have done several Google searches in the last little while for positions in the Atlanta area and have not found ONE open position. I believe the market IS difficult right now. What would be the advice on including a rad tech certificate or degree with the radiation therapy to increase marketability? Does anyone have a better suggestion on search methods for uncovering open positions? I just don't want to spend time on a waiting list for a degree with which I can't find a job. Thank you so much.

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Jen Lister in Aurora, Colorado

65 months ago

Hello!

I am located in Denver Colorado and I'm looking to make a career change to radiation therapy. I am in a non-medical feild right now, so this is a major change for me and I'm really looking for as much advice as possible! Anyone else located in Colorado? I have been searching for job postings and haven't found any here. I'm nervous to start school in a field that may be tapped out. Is it just due to the state of the economy now? Think it will get better? Is this a career field that will still be around in 10 - 20 years?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!!!!

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Jen Lister in Aurora, Colorado

65 months ago

I actually did find some job postings on Indeed.com after I posted this message, so I feel a little better that my area would have opportunities for Radiation Therapists. I would like to know if anyone can recommend a school here in Denver. Do some schools offer better training and thus look better on a resume?

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brown2435 in Marion, Illinois

65 months ago

Hello all . . sorry for the delay. . . Barnes-Jewish Hospital in STL only gives me time off on the weekends! :)

Heres some info for the following people !

Dmartinez : Yes, you may get a 1 year cert. degree in rad. therapy, however, you must be licensed as an x-ray tech first. There are a few careers that offer the certificate program as well. Some examples are: people who are already RN's, or have bach. degrees in biological science. In general x-ray programs are 2 years in length with clinicals. Rad. ther programs are an added year. So it takes on average about 3-4 years to become a rad. ther whether you do a cert. or a bach degree. As for marketability, the more qualified you are to do things, the better your job opportunities. Being trained in x-ray helps you out!! In general, a bach. degree is sought after more by employers, but its not necessary unless you want to further your education into dosimetry. Thats what I'm doing now !! :) Its a challenge to find a rad. therapy job with the economy the way it is (this goes for any job as well), but with degrees and a little patience, you will find a job!! The field is actually growing and will continue to grow! As far as searching online for jobs, I'm in the "dark." I dont know anything about it. Our university gets job openings from all over the country and they recommend us if were interested in them.

Jen Lister: Hello, yes, making a career choice in the medical field is challenging, but manageable. The career will, without a doubt, be around for many many many years. I'm not familiar with Denver, because I'm from Illinois, but any school that offers bach. degree programs look the best on a resume. You can get a job with a hospital certificate, but the degree looks much better on paper regardless of skill. An employer will, after all, look at a piece of paper first!. Theres a ton of info in this blog if you backtrack.

Thx all. . . Any other questions, lemme know !!

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Dmartinez in Cartersville, Georgia

65 months ago

Brown, thank you for your help! It is also helpful to know that the schools themselves help in the employment process. That fact alone may be part of the reason there are not a lot of jobs when doing an internet search, it may not be necessary for employers to post them, they fill them through their local schools. I will speak directly to the school I am considering. Thanks for your time.

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Jen Lister in Aurora, Colorado

65 months ago

Brown, do you know a better wasy to research schools? I have just been googling and can't find a single school in Colorado that offers this program! I am getting really discouraged.

Thanks!

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Midwest Girl in Saint Louis, Missouri

65 months ago

johnny in Spanish Fork, Utah said: So it's hard to get a job as a radiation therapist?

It is in the midwest we have two different schools in St. Louis alone. The market is saturated.

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Midwest Girl in Saint Louis, Missouri

65 months ago

sheila in New Delhi, India said: I was wondering if you could help me out... I'm in my early 30's and am seriously thinking of changing careers into radiation therapy. With everything i've read, it seems as if jobs are plentiful in this profession. But you say it depends where you are, and jobs come in waves.. Would you know where there are more jobs, in what areas? And do you think it's worth pursuing now as a profession?
i have my bachelors in economics and i need to switch over to the medical area. Radiation therapy seems to be a very rewarding profession.
And what would you say is the minimum education/certification required? I am starting from scratch and would love all the advice i can get! thanks!!

Hi, Most states now require a Bachelors degree for radiation therapy. I think most people who become therapist have been x-ray technologist first and that is 2 years of training. If you had a background in science or biology something like that they may consider you with your degree alone. If I were you with your bachelors degree I would get computer programming or web support because hospitals are going chartless. So they are training medical people to do computer work (product specialist; EPIC) because it is easier than teaching computer people the medical field. That is where the future will be in the medical field. I hope this helps. Good Luck

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Midwest Girl in Saint Louis, Missouri

65 months ago

xtt in Burlington, Ontario said: Definitely go for rad therapy. Rad therapists on average make over 70k in the States, similar to the pay of engineers (all stats from American Labour Bureau). Many rad therapists are able to become more advanced & specialized medical dosimetrists, and med. dosimetrists get paid higher than nurse practitioner. On average, an American dosimetrist get paid about 90k a year while a nurse practitioner get paid about 81k (the avg pay for NPs also include overtime, on call etc, where as dosimetrists who work 9-5, no OT, no on call).

Pay like that is only on the east and west coast if your lucky. It in not true. Dosimetrist make good money but that is even harder to get into than therapy programs and when you take your boards for dosimetry they only pass a percentage of people who pass the boards not all of them. It is a difficult job to persue.

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