Radiation therapists design, plan and administer radiation treatment to cancer patients, and provide related care to patients in conjunction with radiation oncologists or other medical specialists.
Duties & Tasks
Radiation therapists may perform the following tasks:
- provide explanations and information to patients about radiation therapy treatment, its possible side effects and self-care procedures
- coordinate the various activities that make up the patient's treatment and care plan
- use simulators, CT scanners and other medical imaging equipment to identify and define the anatomy to be treated and those to be avoided
- devise a treatment plan that will deliver the optimum radiation dose to the target anatomy and minimise dose to unaffected anatomy
- calculate the treatment machine settings, associated equipment and computer verification systems to deliver the radiation dose as prescribed by the radiation oncologist
- administer the radiation treatment and record the delivered dosage into patients' record sheets
- monitor and assess the patient's wellbeing before, during and after the treatment, taking particular note of side effects of treatment
- participate in research and development activities and clinical trials
- supervise and train students allocated from universities in the practical aspects of radiation therapy
- commit to the Continuing Professional Development Program (which is mandatory for registration).
Radiation therapists work in hospitals and/or radiation oncology centres. They work in teams that include radiation oncologists, nurses, medical physicists, engineers and technicians, data managers and administrative staff. They are involved in the day-to-day treatment of cancer patients.
- interest and ability in science
- attention to detail
- able to work neatly and accurately
- good oral and written communication skills
- able to work as part of a team
- aptitude for working with computers
- patient and empathetic towards others
- supportive and professional approach when treating cancer patients.