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Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Radiation Therapy)
Radiation therapy is one of the main treatment options for patients diagnosed with cancer. Radiation therapists are responsible for designing and implementing courses of treatment for patients with malignant disease. Those working in this field use medical imaging and computer modelling to map the sites of disease and the surrounding anatomy, and develop treatments that target the affected area without harming surrounding organs and tissues.
Radiation therapy integrates high end technology with patient focussed treatment and care. This field of health care and study plays an important role in the testing, implementation and researching of new imaging and treatment equipment into practice.
Radiation therapists have high levels of patient contact during a major life and health event, and they must possess advanced communication skills to meet the quality of life needs of the patients who they work with. Opportunities exist in graduate or research roles to develop new technologies and treatments for patients.
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of Honours, Research Higher Degrees (RHD), Postgraduate Coursework and additional study options available. These options may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the future options following a Diagnostic Radiography degree include:
Honours is a one year stand-alone program, completed after successfully fulfilling the requirements of the undergraduate degree
After completing a degree there are a broad range of postgraduate options available in a variety of fields which can allow you to specialise in a particular area of interest or build upon your existing knowledge base. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook at http://www.newcastle.edu.au/program/postgraduate/
Radiation Therapy is a highly specialised degree and graduates will generally move into roles in public and private hospitals or private radiology practices, treating cancer patients. The job listing below includes more detailed information on the profession. Some roles within Radiation Therapy may require further qualifications or experience beyond the degree level.
Not everyone uses their degree in the same way and the transferable skills gained through university study may allow graduates to pursue a range of careers that might not be directly linked to their study. Below is a sample list of job titles that might be suitable for someone with the skills gained during the Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Radiation Therapy).
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
Employment opportunities exist in a variety of public and private health clinics, hospitals and practices. Below is an example of some organisations that recruit graduates in Radiation Therapy.
- ACT Health (Australia)
- Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (Australia)
- Department of Health and Human Services Tasmania (Australia)
- Department of Health Northern Territory (Australia)
- Eastern Health (Australia)
- NSW Department of Health (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
Graduate attributes for the Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Radiation Therapy) are the skills, abilities and knowledge sets that are highly sought after in the industry. Below is the complete list of attributes that graduates will have demonstrated upon the completion of the degree.
Graduate Profile Statements
- Have developed knowledge, attitudes and clinical skills allowing them to evaluate and implement modern and evolving diagnostic imaging and treatment strategies into professional practice.
- Be able to take responsibility when working independently or as part of a multi-disciplinary health care team.
- Be able to communicate effectively with individuals, families, significant others and members of the health care team in order to promote meaningful interpersonal relationships and to facilitate health care delivery and team work.
- Have developed a set of health professional skills that will enable them to gather and critique evidence to inform clinical practice and health service delivery.
- Be adaptive to change, be able to solve problems, and make sound clinical decisions about the provision of health care.
- Reflect on their own clinical practice, and recognise the need for ongoing professional development to ensure currency of clinical practice.
- Be able to use a range of technology; to enhance their own clinical practice, or their own learning, or the learning of others, or the presentation of information in a range of forums.
- Be able to participate in research.
- Demonstrate professional and personal behaviours consistent with a commitment to legal and ethical behaviour, accountability in practice, and the promotion and development of the profession