Radiology is defined as the study of x-rays and other high energy radiation used for various medical purposes such as disease diagnosis, treatment etc. Major careers available in the radiology field are as radiation therapists, radiologists and radiological technicians.
Radiation Therapists work as trained assistants to oncologists (doctors specialized in oncology/cancer treatment), especially in providing radiation therapy to the critical cancer patients. Radiation therapists are responsible for helping oncologists with every aspect of the radiation therapy while an oncologist is administering high energy radiation on various problematic body parts of the patients.
Since radiation therapy is a highly skilled and risky treatment procedure, maximum care should be taken while the treatment and hence a radiation therapist is expected to have a certain set of skills such as high mental alertness; good understanding about the procedure; ability to follow the oncologist; ability to record the treatment procedure accurately and rapidly and a genuine care for the patient. Major duties of a radiation therapist include adjusting the patient’s positioning for the radiation therapy; constant monitoring and recording of the treatment procedures for the further medical reference and similar other responsibilities.
Radiation therapists are mainly employed by general hospitals, private hospitals, cancer hospitals, cancer research centres; medical research laboratories, public health care facilities etc.
Radiologists and radiological technicians are trained in the skillful handling and usage of x-ray and other radiation equipments, mainly for diagnostic purposes. X-ray equipments or other radiation instruments are used for taking images of problematic body parts which in turn are sent to the trained physicians for treatment purposes. They are mainly employed in hospitals, clinics, diagnostic lab centres, mobile radiological facilities, health care centers, public health departments, and x-ray imaging centers.
Many institutes provide diploma and associate degree level courses in radiology and radiation therapy for the interested candidates. After the completion of the relevant programme, candidates are required to get a registration from the relevant government authorities, to start a professional career in this field.