Radiation Therapy

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Ms. Kristin Goetz, the Clinical Coordinator for Radiation Therapy at CCBC, came to Eastern Technical High School to speak with the Allied Health students about the Radiation Therapy program and profession. Radiation Therapists (RT) use high power x-rays to treat tumors and keloids. Therapy only treats the site of disease contrary to chemotherapy, which goes directly into the bloodstream and kills cells all over the body. The oncologist writes a prescription for radiation based on the patient’s stage of cancer and the therapist uses the linear acceleration machine to program the radiation. Therapists see patients daily from Monday to Friday and give the patients the weekends off for their bodies to recover. Therefore, most RTs only work on weekdays from 8am-4:30pm and are on call on weekends. Goetz says her favorite part of the job is that she cures people and can see the contrast from when they come in and when they leave. As a Radiation Therapist one does not get any radiation at all being that, once the patient and machine are set, the RT leaves the room. One of the benefits of the job is that the RT develops a relationship with their patients. In order to be successful at the job, an RT should have a good personality, be detail oriented, be able to detach their emotions, and work as a team. The Radiation Therapy program at Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) in Essex is a selected admission program. The pre-requisites necessary for acceptance include physics, math, medical terminology, biology, anatomy and physiology. The CCBC program is a 2 year full time duration and once it is complete, students take the national board exam. Before the students can start working, they need to obtain a state license. The program accepts about 15 students of the 45 that apply yearly and has a 75% pass rate. The average salary for an RT is about $50,000. The RT field is not very lucrative and there are not many jobs for associate degree jobs. There has actually been...
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