School of Radiation Therapy | About Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapists assist in localizing tumors, participate in treatment planning and deliver high doses of ionizing radiation prescribed by a radiation oncologist. Radiation therapists are the primary liaison between patients and other members of the radiation oncology team. They also provide a link to other healthcare providers, such as social workers and dietitians.
Radiation therapy often involves daily treatments extending over several weeks. This treatment method uses highly sophisticated equipment and requires a great deal of initial planning, as well as constant patient care and monitoring. Radiation therapists must maintain a high degree of accuracy and an awareness of safety issues. They also must remain sensitive to the physical and emotional needs of patients.
Radiation therapists must demonstrate an understanding of cancer, radiation biology, radiation therapy techniques, equipment technology, radiation safety and the psychosocial aspects of cancer. The radiation therapist uses professional judgment and critical thinking when assisting with treatment planning, recognizing and resolving equipment problems and treatment discrepancies, anticipating patient needs and concerns, and determining when treatment should be withheld until a physician can be consulted.
* These statements are taken from the American Society of Radiologic Technology's Radiation Therapy Professional Curriculum Guide.