In Summary - Radiographer - Therapeutic
The Work - Radiographer - Therapeutic
Therapeutic radiographers are increasingly known as radiotherapy radiographers. They work closely with doctors and nurses and other members of the oncology team to treat patients with cancer.
They deliver doses of X-rays and other ionising radiation to patients, most of whom are suffering from various forms of cancer. The aim of the treatment is to deliver an accurate dose of radiation to the tumour/cancer whilst minimising the dose received by the surrounding tissues.
They establish where the area to be treated is located and work out the exact dosage required with doctors and medical physicists. Radiotherapy radiographers may be involved in the care of the cancer patient from the initial referral clinic stage, where pre-treatment information is given, through the planning process, treatment and eventually post-treatment review (follow-up) stages.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Position patients for treatment with accuracy, according to prescription.
- Administer prescribed doses of radiation to specific body parts, using radiation therapy equipment according to established practices and standards.
- Follow principles of radiation protection for patient, self, and others.
- Review prescription, diagnosis, patient chart, and identification.
- Conduct most treatment sessions independently, in accordance with the long-term treatment plan and under the general direction of the patient's physician.
- Enter data into computer and set controls to operate or adjust equipment or regulate dosage.
- Check radiation therapy equipment to ensure proper operation.
- Observe and reassure patients during treatment and report unusual reactions to physician or turn equipment off if unexpected adverse reactions occur.
- Educate, prepare, and reassure patients and their families by answering questions, providing physical assistance, and reinforcing physicians' advice regarding treatment reactions or post-treatment care.
- Maintain records, reports, or files as required, including such information as radiation dosages, equipment settings, or patients' reactions.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interests - Radiographer - Therapeutic
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
You must be able to relate to and communicate with patients of all ages and backgrounds. As you will treat patients on a regular basis, you need to be caring and supportive. A calm and methodical approach is necessary.
You need to be able to work as part of a team; you will be planning treatment in liaison with other medical staff. Interest and ability in science are important.
Radiotherapy can be both physically and mentally demanding and is not a career that is suitable for a person with certain disabilities
Entry Requirements - Radiographer - Therapeutic
Pay & Salary - Radiographer - Therapeutic
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 32k - 51k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Radiographer - Therapeutic
This group includes pharmacists, psychologists, dentists, radiographers, vets, and health services managers. While demand is strong for many healthcare professionals, shortages have only been identified for radiographers.
National Skills Bulletin 2018
Useful Contacts - Radiographer - Therapeutic
Public Appointments Service
Health Service Executive (HSE)
Irish Institute of Radiography and Radiation Therapy (IIRRT)