Radiation Therapy Programs in Tennessee
Radiation Therapy in Tennessee - How to Become a Radiation Therapy Technologist in Tennessee
Radiation therapy in Tennessee is one of the primary methods doctors use to fight cancer. A radiation therapist, or radiation therapy technologist, is the medical professional that administers the radiation. Radiation therapists must be able to explain treatment plans to patients, set them at ease, and gain their cooperation. They also have to be able to maintain and operate the machinery utilized, follow appropriate safety protocols, x-ray to determine precise treatment location, navigate computer programs involved, keep detailed patient records, and monitor patient responses to the treatment to identify any adverse reactions. It is important for radiation therapists to work well with a team, as they have to cooperate with oncology doctors and nurses, as well as others, as a part of an overall treatment plan.
Radiation therapists have set work hours, and most of them work full time. Because cancer treatments are scheduled out in advance, there is rarely a need for working on the weekend or outside of normal business hours. The annual mean wage for a radiation therapist in Tennessee is $64,690, which is about $15,000 less than the national average for the profession. It is a fairly small occupation, given that there are only about 350 radiation therapy technologists in the entire state of Tennessee. However, the job outlook is good, with an expected growth of twenty-six percent by 2020. This could be even greater, because there is an increased risk of cancer with age. The population of elderly people in the nation is swelling as the baby boomers begin to become senior citizens.
In order to become a radiation therapist in Tennessee, you have to be licensed by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners. A radiation therapist in Tennessee must complete an accredited training program (usually an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree). The accredited radiation therapy programs in Tennessee that are approved by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) are Baptist Memorial College of Health Science, Chattanooga State Community College, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center for Radiation Oncology.
After completing one of these radiation therapy programs in Tennessee, graduates need to apply for certification from ARRT. During the educational program, the student should have demonstrated the didactic and clinical competency skills required for certification. They will have to pass a written exam covering knowledge and cognitive skills in the radiation therapy field. Once ARRT certified, application is made to the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners for Licensure in Megavolt Radiation Therapy. Once licensed, a radiation therapist in Tennessee can apply for jobs in healthcare facilities and cancer treatment centers.