Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Ejiro O'Hare Stratton from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Ejiro O'Hare Stratton

Clinical Nurse Manager 2

Health Service Executive

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  Ejiro O'Hare Stratton

I would advise having a degree in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations. Professional training in nursing is necessary in order to understand patient care and what standards are required to provide quality care in an acute hospital setting.

One would also have to understand the value of planning, implementing and evaluating work practices in order to get the best out of employees. The person coming into the job would need to be patient, able to negotiate and work under pressure, as well as work on their own initiative.

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Occupation Details

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Radiologist - Radiation Therapist

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require post-graduate qualifications. For example, they may require a masters degree, and some require a Ph.D., or M.D.

Related Experience
Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialised medical training to be able to do their job.

Job Training
Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organisational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and most scientists.

Shortage Indicator

The National Skills Bulletin 2015 reports a shortage of skills for niche area specialists including radiation therapists, audiologists, orthoptists, prosthetists, orthotists. 

0%
Occupational Category

Other Health Professionals N.E.C.

Also included in this category:

Health care practice managers; social services managers & directors; health services & public health managers & directors; psychologists; ophthalmic opticians; dental practitioners; veterinarians; medical radiographers; podiatrists

Number Employed:

11,400

Part time workers: 17%
Aged over 55: 20%
Male / Female: 32 / 68%
Non-Nationals: 17%
With Third Level: 99%
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At a Glance... header image

Specialises in radiation therapy (the use of high-energy x-rays or other particles) to treat cancer, by killing cancer cells.


The Work header image

A radiation oncologist is a medical specialist who has specific postgraduate training in management of patients with cancer, in particular, involving the use of radiation therapy (or radiotherapy) as one aspect of their cancer treatment.

Radiation oncologists also have expertise in the treatment of non-malignant conditions with radiation therapy.

Radiation oncologists work closely with other medical specialists, including surgeons, medical oncologists and palliative care physicians, as part of a multidisciplinary team caring for patients with cancer.

The Work

Most patients have already been given a diagnosis of cancer prior to referral to a radiation oncologist. The radiation oncologist is responsible for assessing the patient by clinical evaluation, and organising imaging and other tests, in order to establish a management plan for an individual. Often, this is done in conjunction with other members of the team (both medical and non-medical).

Radiation oncologists are an integral part of the initial and ongoing management process, and have an important role in communicating with patients, their family members and other carers in relation to all aspects of the management of the patient’s disease and overall care.

In particular, radiation oncologists are the experts managing the detail of the radiation therapy component of treatment. They work closely with medical physicists and radiation therapists to plan and deliver effective radiation treatment.

Radiation oncologists have overall responsibly for determining and prescribing the most suitable dose of radiation (from high energy X-rays, electron beams or gamma rays) to deliver in a particular case, and the method and technique by which this will be achieved. They have skills and knowledge that enable the many relevant clinical, biological and pathological factors to be merged into an individual recommendation regarding a course of radiation treatment. The application of their clinical and technical expertise aims at optimising the benefit of radiation therapy for their patients, whether the goal be cure of cancer or alleviation of symptoms e.g. pain.

Consideration of the patient’s social situation, their beliefs and wishes, and the impact of any treatments on quality of life of a person is a critical part of decision-making. Many radiation oncologists work in hospital cancer departments or in larger cancer treatment centres.

Many radiation oncologists also do clinical research, asking their patients if they wish to enter clinical trials. Some also do laboratory research.

Most radiation oncologists are also involved with teaching – both medical students and especially trainees training on-the-job in the specialty.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Obtain patients' histories from electronic records, patient interviews, dictated reports, or by communicating with referring clinicians.

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Prepare comprehensive interpretive reports of findings.

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Perform or interpret the outcomes of diagnostic imaging procedures including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computer tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), nuclear cardiology treadmill studies, mammography, or ultrasound.

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Review or transmit images and information using picture archiving or communications systems.

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Communicate examination results or diagnostic information to referring physicians, patients, or families.

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Evaluate medical information to determine patients' risk factors, such as allergies to contrast agents, or to make decisions regarding the appropriateness of procedures.

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Provide counseling to radiologic patients to explain the processes, risks, benefits, or alternative treatments.

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Instruct radiologic staff in desired techniques, positions, or projections.

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Confer with medical professionals regarding image-based diagnoses.

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Coordinate radiological services with other medical activities.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Assisting and Caring for Others:  Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings:  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Provide Consultation and Advice to Others:  Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

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Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others:  Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Medicine and Dentistry:  Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

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Biology:  Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Education and Training:  Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

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Physics:  Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Instructing:   Teaching others how to do something.

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Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

  • Excellent communication skills and a balanced personality often able to cope with tragic clinical circumstances.
  • Ability to make sound clinical judgements, especially under significant pressure.
  • Tact, diplomacy, ability to delegate, inform and listen.
  • A commitment to the specialty indicates very hard work and willingness to be a team member without necessarily always being the leader.


Entry Routesheader image

The Faculty of Radiologists of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland is the sole body responsible for training of Radiation Oncologists and of certifying their competence for registration.

Last Updated: March, 2015


Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Irish Medical Council
  Address: Kingram House, Kingram Place, Dublin, 2
  Tel: (01) 498 3100
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Faculty of Radiologists, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)
  Address: 123, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 402 2139
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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