How does someone become a radiation therapist?


Quick Answer

To become a radiation therapist, complete an associate's or bachelor's degree. Most states require radiation therapists to obtain licenses, and the requirements for a license vary between states.

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Full Answer

Although it is possible to become a radiation therapist by completing a 12-month program, most employers prefer candidates to hold an associate's or bachelor's degree in radiation therapy. While completing their degrees, radiation therapists focus on radiation procedures and the science that supports them, anatomy and physiology, algebra, physics, research methodology and computer science.

Most states require radiation therapists to be licensed. It is therefore important for prospective radiation therapists to obtain their qualification via a course that is American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) approved. In addition, they need to adhere to the ARRT code of ethics and pass the ARRT entrance exam. The exam focuses on clinical concepts, delivering treatment, patient care and planning treatment.

After obtaining the right qualifications, it is possible to advance to a managerial position through further training and work experience. Some therapists choose to specialize in other areas. This includes sales, research and teaching. In addition, it is possible to become a dosimetrist through further training. A dosimetrist determines the correct radiation dose for each patient.

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