No matter what’s happening with the economy, it goes without saying that medical students will always have a tremendous number of options. Out of all various industries nationwide, the growth in healthcare jobs has always outperformed most other sectors. In fact, this industry accounted for almost twenty percent of all new jobs that were created in the past year in the United States.
Unfortunately, the thought process among many medical students is they have to become a doctor in order to acquire a great healthcare job, but this unfounded belief is simply untrue.
Do Most Medical Students Grind It Out?
In reality, the average citizen doesn’t have the time or the inclination to complete college, go to medical school and then meet all of the other stringent requirements to become a licensed board certified physician.
Statistically speaking, data provided in 2004 by the combined efforts of the American Medical Association and the US Labor Department, reveal some staggering facts.
At that time, there were roughly 885,000 doctors in the US. Broken down, that number means that only 1/3 of 1% of our population starts and then completes the grueling medical student process to become a doctor.
That stated, becoming a doctor is not the only worthwhile career path in the medical field. It is possible to obtain an amazing and fulfilling career in healthcare in much less time, with much less hassle. One progressive profession to consider is that of a radiation therapist.
Radiation Therapy Job Facts Medical Students Should Know
Typical radiation therapist training consists of earning either an associate’s or degree bachelor’s with a focus in radiation therapy. Some positions may be filled by people who only complete a year of certification training.
Some employers may encourage novice therapists to continue their training after they begin working; the good news is they may even help pay it.
Some states have extra licensing requirements. Besides passing a training program, candidates might also have to take a test or fulfill whatever requirements that their state imposes.
ARRT Is Not For The Artsy Type
ARRT is an organization that approves degree programs and develops tests. This organization has a database of approved educational programs and also offers a certification test.
Certification by ARRT is separate from state licensing requirements. While therapists don’t have to get certified, employers characteristically hire those who are versus those who aren’t.
Hospitals and clinics usually offer on-the-job workshops and career training for radiation therapists who get hired for entry-level positions.
These workshops will introduce new employees to the way that therapy and business should be conducted for that particular health setting. It’s very important for medical students to get acclimated to their profession.
The Job Outlook For Trained Radiation Therapists
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a person embracing a radiation therapy career can expect to enjoy a bright future. These are some relevant statistics about this career:
- Average income: About $80,000 a year
- Expected job growth: About 14 percent over the next decade
Can Entry-Level Radiation Therapists Find Work?
It is true that some health care providers prefer to hire therapists with radiation therapy training and at least a year of experience. Additionally, for leadership positions, employers may prefer at least three years of experience.
Even though it may take a few years of experience to get the higher paying jobs, the growing demand still creates plenty of entry-level positions for qualified applicants.
Once a therapist begins that first job, he or she can begin to enjoy a decent income and get experience that will lead to increased pay and more opportunities.
Where and How Do Radiation Therapists Work?
Doctors may prescribe radiation therapy to treat cancer and some other diseases. Most therapists work in doctor’s office, outpatient treatment centers, and hospitals.
Because therapists work with radiation each day, it’s very important for these professionals to work in a safe setting and to follow proper procedures at all times.
In contrast to some other kinds of healthcare jobs, these therapists usually get to enjoy a regular work schedule.
That is because the majority of these kinds of therapy sessions are planned and scheduled in advance. It’s also usually a full-time job, but some part-time schedules could be available, particularly for experienced therapists.
Is Radiation Therapy The Right Healthcare Job?
There’s little doubt that this career is booming. Still, it’s wise to research the job to determine if it’s a good fit for you.
The job may require a lot of standing and walking. In some cases, the therapist may have to help disabled patients move around. To be crystal clear, the work is mildly demanding, so it’s best when therapists enjoy reasonably good health and can stay fairly fit. Radiation therapy isn’t a desk job, but it’s great for people who prefer to remain active.
Like other healthcare professionals, radiation therapists should enjoy spending their day helping people get well. Of course, therapists should like to work with patients. Because these professionals may work with very sick people and potentially dangerous radiation, it’s critical for medical students to value both their patient’s well-being and their own well-being.