Radiation Therapist Kaihaumanu Pūhihi

Radiation therapists are part of a specialised team that uses radiation to treat diseases, mostly cancers, in patients.

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Radiation therapists need to be registered with the New Zealand Medical Radiation Technologists Board and have a current Annual Practising Certificate.

Radiation therapists may do some or all of the following:

  • work with radiation oncologists (cancer specialists) to plan and deliver treatment
  • use computed tomography (CT) scans, computer programmes and clinical information to plan radiation treatment
  • make immobilisation devices, such as masks, to help patients lie still during treatment
  • build rapport and communicate with patients during treatment
  • deliver radiation treatment using high energy x-ray machines (linear accelerators)
  • educate people about radiation therapy and its side effects.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for radiation therapists includes:

  • any work involving helping or caring for people
  • work in hospitals
  • experience with organisations that work with people who have cancer, for example CanTeen or the Cancer Society.

Personal Qualities

Radiation therapists should be:

  • understanding and empathetic
  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • able to work well under pressure
  • safety conscious
  • excellent communicators
  • good at planning and organising
  • interested in research
  • good at problem solving.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for radiation therapists includes:

  • any work involving helping or caring for people
  • work in hospitals
  • experience with organisations that work with people who have cancer, for example CanTeen or the Cancer Society.

Subject Recommendations

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include biology, English, maths and physics.

Radiation Therapists can earn around $51K-$80K per year per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Radiation Therapist are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Radiation therapists can progress into management roles or teach in a hospital or university.

Radiation therapists may also move into roles in research, sales and marketing of radiation equipment and cancer drugs, or developing new radiation technology.

Radiation therapists can specialise in:

  • treatment planning
  • CT scanning
  • treatment delivery
  • clinical education and research.
Radiation Therapist

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