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Career profile: Therapeutic radiographer

Career profile: Therapeutic radiographerGet the lowdown on what the job involves, what qualifications you need and how long it takes to train.

A what?

A therapeutic radiographer treats cancer and other conditions through the use of targeted, high-energy radiation.

On the job

Therapeutic radiographers are increasingly known as radiotherapy radiographers and work closely with doctors, nurses, physicists and other members of the oncology team to treat patients with cancer.

They deliver doses of x-rays and other ionising radiation to patients, most of whom are suffering from various forms of cancer. The aim of the treatment is to deliver an accurate dose of radiation to the tumour/cancer whilst minimising the dose received by the surrounding tissues. They establish where the area to be treated is located and work out the exact dosage required with doctors and medical physicists.

Therapeutic radiographers may be involved in the care of the cancer patient from the initial referral clinic stage, where pre-treatment information is given, through the planning process, treatment and eventually post-treatment review (follow-up) stages.

Course entry requirements

The minimum academic entry requirements for degree courses in radiography are three GCSEs grades A to C and three A-levels including a science, or Scottish Higher grades BBCC. Alternatives to these are also considered, such as approved access courses.

Always check entry requirements with the institution of your choice as entry levels may vary.

What does the training involve?

All qualifying radiography courses are at degree level. Most are three-year courses (or four years in Scotland) and students are normally based in a university and in hospital departments for an equal amount of time.

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