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Radiation therapists have a very important role in cancer treatment plans. These healthcare professionals are responsible for administering the radiation treatments that are prescribed to the patients. An understanding of anatomy is essential as the therapist must x-ray the area to determine how to perform the radiation. The radiation therapist will then prepare the patient, explain the procedure and operate the equipment necessary to provide the radiation treatment. Radiation therapists are an important part of the patient's cancer treatment team which also includes oncologists, oncology nurses, and radiation physicists. For more information about how to become a radiation therapist in Nebraska and radiation therapy programs in Nebraska, read on.
A bachelor's degree is the approved form of education for a radiation therapist. In Nebraska, the best educational course for this profession is found at the University of Nebraska Medical Center School of Allied Health Professions. Students at this school must begin by completing 50 credit hours of prerequisites including English composition, college algebra, statistics, chemistry, physics, anatomy, humanities, and medical terminology. Students can then apply for the 21-month radiography program and sit for the certification exam. Finally, after receiving certification in radiography, students can pursue the 12-month radiation therapy program at the Nebraska Medical Center. This will effectively prepare graduates for a career in radiation therapy.
The radiation therapy program at the Nebraska Medical Center is also open to students who have completed the prerequisites from another school, provided that they also have radiography certification. Other schools in Nebraska with radiography programs include:* Clarkson College* Mary Lanning Memorial HealthCare School of Radiologic Technology* Alegent Health School of Radiologic Technology* Northeast Community College* Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing and Allied Health* Regional West Medical Center School of Radiologic Technology* Western Nebraska Community CollegeThe final step to become a radiation therapist in Nebraska is to obtain radiation therapy certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and apply for state licensure.
Opportunities for radiation therapists in Nebraska are expected to be very good. Nationally, this occupation is projected to grow by about 20 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of May 2011, the mean annual wage for this profession was $69,920 in Nebraska. This is about $33.61 an hour. Wages can vary dramatically for this occupation. Additional education and experience play a major role in the salary that individuals can command. Those with earnings in the top ten percent made more than $104,470 while radiation therapists with earnings in the bottom ten percent earned less than $37,620 in Nebraska.