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National Radiologic Technologist and Radiation Therapist Week

By Erin Sheffield, Chief Therapist at Alliance Cancer Care 

While we appreciate our therapy team every day, each year, radiation therapists and radiologic technologists are celebrated during the first full week of November.

What is a Radiation Therapist?

A radiation therapist is a highly trained medical professional who delivers radiation to specific areas of a patient’s body according to the radiation oncologist’s prescription.  Most often, these areas contain cancer but there are also benign conditions that are treated with radiation.  A radiation therapist is trained to have a thorough understanding of radiation physics, human anatomy, cancer physiology, and the operation of many different types of treatment machines and equipment.

What does a radiation therapist do on a daily basis?

While “delivering high doses of radiation to specific areas of a patient’s body” is how we explain the role of a radiation therapist to others, this is actually an incredibly broad statement.  A radiation therapist also:

  • Provides emotional and physical support to patients during their daily treatments.
  • Ensures that every patient’s radiation plan has been through the necessary quality checks prior to beginning a patient’s treatment.
  • Performs x-ray imaging prior to each treatment in order to align a patient correctly, ensuring that the radiation is focused on the intended area.
  • Coordinates the patient’s scheduling between their daily treatments and other appointments.
  • Assesses the patient on a daily basis to watch for any changes that need to be addressed by their physician team.
  • And much more!

Alliance Cancer Care’s Team of Radiation Therapists:

At Alliance Cancer Care, we have a highly qualified, experienced team of radiation therapists and radiation therapist assistants.  They have chosen this career over all others because they want to make a difference in their patients’ lives.  They take pride in the quality of their work, putting the patient and their treatment above all else. They are caring, personable, professional, and friendly.  I could go on, but here is what our patients have to say about our team:

“Very knowledgeable. They care about each patient and take the time to answer all questions.” 

“They were outstanding in the execution of their duties. They were also calm, which helped to calm me down.” 

“They were so caring and professional. It made my trips here so easy.” 

“They are patient, caring, and very friendly. Helpful, and even give a little advice to help with how you are feeling.”