Radiation therapy involves the use of different forms of ionizing radiation for the treatment of benign and malignant tumors. Radiation therapists administer the prescribed dose of ionizing radiation to specific sites of the patient's body as directed by the physician. They operate varied types of equipment, including high-energy linear accelerators, and work with radioactive materials. In addition, radiation therapists observe the clinical progress of the patient undergoing radiation therapy, observe the first signs of any complication, and determine when treatment should be withheld until a physician may be consulted.
The Radiation Therapy program at NHTI has been present since 2003. Currently the program has achieved the maximum eight year accreditation from JRCERT. The program boasts a 100% pass rate on the national registry.
Visit NHTI’s Radiation Therapy Department for information on degree and course offerings.
- Career Paths for This Major
- Skills Developed Through This Major
- Sample Career Titles with This Degree
- Sample Employers
- Ways to Explore and Reality Test Careers
- How to Increase Employability
- Professional Association Links
- Employment and Internship Links
Graduates of the Radiation Therapy program have varied work options that depend upon your specific interests, abilities, work values, and hands on experience in the field. The associate's degree in radiation therapy at NHTI can prepare you to assess a patient's condition in a clinical environment and teach you how to administer radiation therapy, as prescribed by attending physicians. You learn to prepare the patient and equipment for treatment and may help in the review of diagnosis and the determination of radiation dosages.
An associate degree in Radiation Therapy typically leads to jobs found in hospitals, clinics, or physician offices. Duties may include reviewing prescription and diagnosis; acting as a liaison with physician and supportive care personnel; preparing equipment, such as immobilization, treatment, and protection devices; and maintaining records, reports, and files. Radiation Therapists may also assist in dosimetry procedures and tumor localization. NHTI currently holds transfer agreements with several universities in New Hampshire for graduates to obtain a Bachelors degree.
Experienced radiation therapists may advance to manage radiation therapy programs in treatment centers or other healthcare facilities. Managers generally continue to treat patients while taking on management responsibilities. Other advancement opportunities include teaching, technical sales, and research. With additional training and certification, therapists also can become dosimetrists.
- Examine machines to make sure they are safe and work properly
- Explain treatment plans to the patient and answer questions about treatment
- Follow safety procedures to protect the patient and themselves from overexposure
- X-ray the patient to determine the exact location of the area requiring treatment
- Check the computer programs to make sure that they will give the correct dose of radiation to the correct area of the patient's body
- Operate the equipment to treat the patient with radiation
- Monitor the patient to check for unusual reactions to the treatment
- Keep detailed records of treatment
These titles include positions that you qualify for with this associate’s degree as well as those that require a bachelor’s degree and beyond.
- Radiation Therapist
- Cancer treatment centers
- Educational Institutions
There are four key ways to explore your favorite career interests…through reading, through speaking with those in the know, through observing and through doing. Use the link(s) below to begin exploring major related careers through ‘reading’. Go to the Exploring Career Interests link to get tips on all four key exploration strategies.
Additional sources of information for this major include:
- NHTI Faculty, Academic Advisors, and Radiation Therapy Department resources.
- Professionals who are working in the field
- Professional Associations (see below)
- Become an active student member of college, community, or professional associations, which helps you build leadership skills and promote connecting (networking) with fellow professionals.
- Obtain quality practical experience prior to graduation through part-time, full-time and summer employment/internship positions related to your targeted field.
- Participate in volunteer and service learning opportunities.
Professionals who do work related to this major belong to these associations. You can use the links below to do career research and to connect with local association members. You may also be able to join an association of interest, at a reduced rate, as a student member.
- The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
- American Society of Radiologic Technologists
- New England Society of Radiation Therapists
See below for job posting sites related to this major (including our own home grown NHTI posting site – see first link).