BSc Radiation Therapy

FAQ

General Questions


Career

  • What does a radiation therapist do?

    A radiation therapist provides the radiation treatments to cancer patients using high-energy X-ray beams. Radiation therapists use a variety of treatment and imaging equipment in order to safely and accurately deliver the treatments.

    Radiation therapists are also responsible for assessing patients’ reactions to the treatment, and providing care and education to each patient throughout the course of treatment.

  • What does a typical workday look like?

    Most radiation therapists spend their day working on a unit treating patients with radiation. Treatment units are typically comprised of a team of three to four radiation therapists. The team works very closely together to ensure patients receive safe, accurate radiation treatments and compassionate and comprehensive care.

    There could be 40 or more patients scheduled every 15 minutes, and the day can get very busy with treatments, patient assessments, care plans, quality assurance and computer work.

    Every day brings a unique and rewarding set of challenges requiring clinical expertise, problem-solving, critical thinking and teamwork.

  • Who do radiation therapists interact with in a day?

    Radiation therapists are part of an interdisciplinary health care team dedicated to providing comprehensive care to their patients. The team includes doctors, nurses, radiation therapists and physicists. Depending on the needs of the patient, other health care professionals such as nutritionists, rehabilitation therapists, physiotherapists, social workers and psychologists may also play a role.

    As the front-line health care workers during a patient’s radiation treatment, radiation therapists also spend a great deal of time interacting with and advocating for patients and their families.

  • What is the actual career title once I graduate?

    Upon successful completion of the BScRT program, students earn a four-year Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy degree from University of Alberta.

    Graduates will be eligible to write the CAMRT national certification examination in Radiation Therapy. Upon passing this exam, they are eligible to be licensed by the Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists (ACMDTT), at which time their career title becomes “radiation therapist.”

  • What is the best part about being a radiation therapist?

    The best thing about a career in radiation therapy is that you get to combine a love for science with your passion for people. You get to use highly sophisticated technology to deliver treatments to oncology patients, while at the same time building strong rapport with patients and their families.

  • Where can I get a job as a radiation therapist?

    Please visit ALIS Alberta for information about the career of radiation therapy.

  • What are the career progression opportunities?

    There are various career development prospects available for radiation therapists who wish to advance their talent, skill, knowledge, and education. These opportunities encompass:

    • Graduate studies.

    • Advanced and professional practice roles.

    • Health supervisory and leadership jobs.

    • Faculty teaching and research positions at universities.

    • Sales and applications specialist roles with vendors.

    • Regulatory careers overseeing radiation protection and safety activities.

    Many cancer centres in Canada offer radiation therapists the opportunity to rotate into or work full time in subspecialty areas such as medical dosimetry and brachytherapy.

    Finally, radiation therapists have the advantage and privilege to work in numerous countries around the globe due to the unique and specialized knowledge required in the profession.

  • What is the pay for a licensed radiation therapist?

    Please visit ALIS Alberta for information about the career of radiation therapy.