The Radiation Therapist,Therapeutic Radiographer or Radiotherapist is an allied health professional who works in the field of radiation oncology,Radiation therapists plan and administer radiation treatments to cancer patients in most Western countries including the United Kingdom,Australia,most European countries,and Canada where the minimum education requirement is often a baccalaureate degree or postgraduate degrees in Radiation Therapy,Radiation therapists (with Master's and Doctoral degrees) can also prescribe medications and radiation,interpret tests results,perform follow ups,reviews,and provide consultations to cancer patients in the United Kingdom and Ontario,Canada (possibly in Australia and New Zealand in the future as well),In the United States,radiation therapists have a lower educational requirement (minimum an associate degree of arts even though many graduate with bachelor's degrees) and often require postgraduate education and certification (CMD,Certified Medical Dosimetrist) in order to plan treatments.
Roles & Responsibilities
Radiation therapists use advanced computer systems to operate sophisticated radiation therapy equipment such as Linear Accelerators,The therapist works closely with the Radiation oncologists,Medical Physicists and other members of the health care team,They effectively design and treat the course of radiation treatment,in addition to managing the patient's well-being,Radiation Therapists primarily treat cancer although other disorders and conditions can be managed through the care of radiation therapists,After the radiation oncologist has consulted with the patient and a decision has been reached that the application of radiation will benefit the patient,it then becomes the radiation therapist's responsibility to interpret the prescription and develop a treatment plan for treatment delivery,The process of producing the final plan rests with a group of specialized radiation therapists called dosimetrists.
Since the course of radiation therapy can extend over several weeks,the radiation therapist is responsible for monitoring the condition of the patient and is required to assess if changes to the treatment plan are required,This is accomplished through patient re-positioning,dose calculations or other specialized methods to compensate for the changes,The therapist is responsible for quality assurance of the radiation treatment,This involves acquiring and recording all parameters needed to deliver the treatment accurately,The therapist ensures that the treatment set-up is correctly administered,The therapist takes imaging studies of the targeted treatment area and reproduces the patient positioning and plan parameters daily,The therapist is responsible for the accuracy of the treatment and uses his/her judgment to ensure quality with regard to all aspects of treatment delivery,During the course of radiation treatment,the patient will most likely develop certain side effects,In such situations,the therapists will communicate these side effects with the radiation oncologist,who may adjust treatment or give medications,Radiation therapists & medical dosimetrists (in many countries these two professions are often indistinguishable,e.g.,Canada,Australia,New Zealand,UK) have a training in gross anatomy,physiology,radiation protection,and medical physics,They are highly skilled,highly regarded health care professionals who are integral members of the cancer care team.Radiation therapists call upon their judgment to either continue or cease radiation treatment and ensure patient safety at all times and are regulated by a governing body within their jurisdiction.
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Radiation protection instruments
Practical radiation measurement using calibrated radiation protection instruments is essential in evaluating the effectiveness of protection measures......