Top 10 Radiation Therapists Interview Questions

Do you have a high level of tolerance for being around patients that may appear unhealthy from their chemotherapy?
Best way to prepare for your Radiation Therapists interview starts here. Practice over 10 Radiation Therapists Interview Questions.

  Radiation Therapists

Radiation therapy is used to treat cancer in the human body. As part of a medical radiation oncology team, radiation therapists use machines called linear accelerators to administer radiation treatment to patients. Linear accelerators are most commonly used in a procedure called external beam therapy, which projects high-energy X rays at targeted cancer cells. As the X rays collide with human tissue, they produce highly energized ions that can shrink and eliminate cancerous tumors. Radiation ...


Description Source: bls.gov/oco/ocos299.htm

Interview Questions and Answers List

1. Do you have a high level of tolerance for being around patients that may appear unhealthy from their chemotherapy?
Best Answer
Absolutely. I want a career in this field to help cure patients who are battling cancer, and a part of that is being around the patients who are all in different stages of cancer.
2.
Yes, although it is an uneasy situation I feel that empathy for someone going through such difficult situation. They might not look healthy but they are human just like you and I and deserve the utmost respect.
3.
Yes, I do have a high tolerance of unhealthy patients.
4.
Yes, I have a very strong mentality and have built my strength up for dealing with patients that appear unhealthy.
5.
I have been in this field for 11 years and have a great deal of patience and understanding for our sick tired and overwhelmed patients.
Was this question useful? Yes / No
2. What does palliative treatment mean?
Best Answer
Palliative treatment is a term used when a patient is receiving radiation treatments to help ease the pain when their cancer has spread throughout their body especially bones.
2.
Palliative treatment means that the intent of the treatment is for symptom relief and to improve quality of life.
3.
The simplest answer is that palliative treatment is not radical treatment; the doses are lower and the intent of the treatment is not necessarily to cure the patient. Palliative treatment covers a wide variety of radiation therapy, it could be for pain control, or emergency situations such as a svc or spinal cord compression. Improving the patients quality of life while creating the least amount of interuption.
4.
Palliative treatment is used to improve quality of life and is not intended to cure. Palliative radiation therapy treatment can aid in reducing pain or intervening on an emergency for example a bleed or compression are two cases radiation could be applied.
5.
Palliative treatment is used to improve quality of life and is not intended to cure. Palliative radiation therapy treatment can aid in reducing pain or intervening on an emergency for example a bleed or compression are two cases radiation could be applied.
Was this question useful? Yes / No
3. If a patient can not sit still during treatment, or prior to treatment, what would you do?
Best Answer
If a patient were to keep shifting around prior to or during treatment, I would utilize the different pieces of equipment available, such as the hand ring or the leg bolus to keep the patient in the correct position. To keep the patient from feeling like they were being restrained, I would also remind them about the importance of them remaining still during treatment for safety reasons.
2.
If the patient would have to get any pain medication, I would first make sure patient got it before he enters the treatment room. Make sure I give enough time to the pain medication to work. If the patient is nervous and accordingly, he is struggling to stay still on the bed I would talk to the patient and calm him self down. I would ask him to relax and explain him the importance of staying still during the treatment. If the patient can not manage to say still at all, I would use other supporting immobilization devises to keep the patient in a stable position.
3.
I would use the objects available to hold the patient in position.
4.
Make him as much comfortable to maitain the right position.
5.
I would explain to them the importance of sitting still and run through the safety guide lines. If necessary I would use the available equipment.
Was this question useful? Yes / No
4. Can you explain to me, why patients receive radiation therapy?
Best Answer
Radiation therapy is chosen asd it is a localised treatment as opposed to chemotherapy being systemic. The advantage of this is that the patient will not experience hairloss, vomiting etc and should only experience sideeffects in the area being treated. (patients may experience fatigue) Radiation therapy is.
2.
Patients receive radiation therapy to help control or cure their disease. Some patients need pain relief and are too advanced to be cured by our help but some radiation would help with their pain control. Otherwise we are trying to eliminate the disease alone with radiation therapy or in conjuncture with chemotherapy and or surgery.
3.
To cure their cancer or to control/shrink the cancer and provide symptom relief.
4.
Patients receive radiation therapy for complete radical treatment or as paliative treatment for malignacies.
5.
Patients receive radiation therapy to cure the cancer.
Was this question useful? Yes / No
5. If you do not understand the radiation oncologist's plan, what would you do?
Best Answer
If I receive anything from the radiation oncologist that I do not fully comprehend then I would not hesitate to ask them to elaborate more on the treatment plan because at the end of the day , this is not about me but it is about the patient receiving the best accurate care.
2.
If there is ever any doubt concerning a patients treatment or care I would immediately consult the Doctor.
3.
I will ask the consultant again and if they are not available I will ask someone else in the team who would know and can explain.
4.
Consult with the radiation oncologists to confirm the course of action.
5.
Ask questions and discuss with physician, dosimetry, and the other therapists.
Was this question useful? Yes / No
6. Why is it important that the patient remain in the same position during each treatment?
Best Answer
Radiation therapy is a field that focuses on very precise and accurate treatments. Thinking back to the process of how the patient goes from the CT Simulation to their treatments, it is important to remember that the treatment we deliver and the plan that is approved to deliver the treatment is based on the CT Scan and all the doses and calculations are based on that position from their scan. If they were treated not in the same position, we would not be able to deliver the treatment as per treatment plan.
2.
The patients treatment plan is based on the original CT and positioning that went along with it. For best results it is crucial that the patient remain in the same position daily to target the tumor area and deliver the full dose to maximize chance of survival.
3.
So that they get appropriate dose in the target area where treatment is required.
4.
To make sure that the radiation is going to the exact spot where it needs to be going which was measured accordingly in their treatment plan and must be consistent throughout treatments.
5.
We want to make sure we are treating the target as accurately as possible and part of doing that is ensuring the patient is in the same poistion. A difference in positon could mean potential underdosing of the target and/or overdosing of critical structures.
Was this question useful? Yes / No
7. Can you explain to me how radiation therapy kills cancer cells?
Best Answer
Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells by damaging their DNA. It can either damage the DNA directly or create charged particles within the cells that will in turn damage the DNA. However, it is important that the radiation only be delivered to cancer cells because normal cells can be damaged too.
2.
Radiation kills cells that are damaged by cancer so that they cannot divide and spread keeping them localized.
3.
What radiation does is it targets the DNA of cells and induces damage that way and it works in two ways. It can damage the DNA to promote cell killing and it can damage the DNA to prevent stop DNA replication so that the cancer cells do not multiply.
4.
Radiation therapy targets dividing cells, majority of them in M phase and damages their DNA. When this has been damaged, cells are unable to divide and are killed.
5.
Radiotherapy works by damaging the DNA inside the tumor cells, destroying their ability to reproduce. It uses high-energy particles to destroy or damage cancer cells.
Was this question useful? Yes / No
8. How do you deal with stress?
Best Answer
I am very calm and collective. I can handle any situation without getting stressed or at least showing stress.
2.
I just take a deep breath and concentrate on whats important and deal with it.
3.
I am a very logical person so I stop and think about what it is that I'm stressing about. I will make a plan to fix whatever it is that is making me stressed. If it is something beyond my control, I do whatever I can to not allow the stressor to get to me.
4.
When stress arises, I always take the time to stop take a deep breath and think about the problems and items that need to be accomplished. I gather all my thoughts and make an organized plan as to what is to be done and what things need to be done first.
5.
When im faced with a stressful situation I don't let it take control of my emotions instead I stay focused on the final goal and thinking positive always calms me down, personal motivation.
Was this question useful? Yes / No
9. What is the difference between a CT and an MRI?
Best Answer
Basically, a CT scan is used more for bony anatomy and internal organs, while an MRI is used to view soft tissue.
2.
A CT exam uses radiation to obtain images and MRI does not use radiation but electromagnetic waves. CT exams are much quicker than MRI exams. Each have there benefits and downfalls.
3.
A CT uses kV radiation to take images and it displays the image based on the electron densities of the tissues that the xrays have passed through. An MRI uses magnetic fields and not xrays to take the image.
4.
Ct uses ionizing radiation and mri uses magnetic resonance for imaging. Mri is usually good at looking at soft tissues and ct is good at boney anatomy.
5.
Computerised tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
Was this question useful? Yes / No
10. Do you enjoy working with a team? Specifically the radiation oncologist?
Best Answer
I enjoy teamwork. The doctor was great that I worked with.
2.
Yes I do. Growing up I played soccer and was nominated captain by my teammates. I enjoy working with others to not only create a strong team but to better each other.
3.
Yes, I enjoy working with a team. While I was doing my observation hours, I recognized that working well as a team being led by the radiation oncologist created a great environment for work as well as a comfortable environment for the patients.
4.
Yes, I thrive the best when working with a team. I loved the oncologist whom I worked with.
5.
I am a very team oriented person and I worked very well as part of a team for 11 years.
Was this question useful? Yes / No
Career Field
Job Satisfaction
Interview Difficulty
Healthcare
Vacation
Hours per Week
Health
90%
Average
Provided
Two Weeks
40 Hrs/Wk
Education Requirements

Radiation Therapist have completed an associate's degree, or bachelor's degree in radiation therapy. Most states require a license to practice Radiation Therapy. Some Radiation Therapist get by, by completing a 12 month certification. However, most employers require at least an associate's degree.

Work Environment

Radiation therapists are on their feet for long periods and may need to lift or turn disabled patients. Because they work with radiation and radioactive material, radiation therapists must follow safety procedures to make sure that they are not exposed to a potentially harmful amount of radiation. These procedures usually require therapists to stand in a different room while the patient undergoes radiation procedures.

Jun 16, 2014
Why did you choose this profession?
At a very young age I was convinced I wanted to work in the medical and I went through many different fields of medicine however, I could never put my finger on exactly which field of medicine I thought would best suit me as well as one in which I could impact the greatest. That was, until I came across radiation therapy. Radiation therapy has the perfect balance between technology and hands on practice. But, my biggest factor when choosing this career was how much patient exposure I would have and I wanted a job that would allow me to directly impact the lives of others.
Jun 16, 2014
Why did you choose this profession?
I have a knack for interacting with people in extreme or high stress situations.
What do you enjoy about being a Radiation Therapists?
Its a thankful job. I have the opportunity to help someone feel better and even be cured.
What areas do you dislike about being a Radiation Therapists?
Pediatrics is always very heart breaking and it can upsetting when a patient you think is doing well takes a turn for the worst.
What special skills does it take to be a Radiation Therapists?
I have great interpersonal skills and can usually put nervous patients at ease fairly quickly.
What do you find to be the most challenging part of your job?
Dealing with the loss of a patient I may have come to know & like very much.
Tell me about the hours you are used to working and your schedule.
Normally a regular day is 7-3 but I have stayed when necessary until much later when there have been issues with the machine or a therapist couldnt make it in.
What are some of the benefits you are custom to as a Radiation Therapists?
I have medical benefits so they are not necessary.
What are some of your most memorable experiences as a Radiation Therapists?
Having a patient return and hug me saying she thought I was very helpful in her healing process.
What do you wish you knew starting out in your profession that you know now?
I dont always deal with extremely sick individuals, some are newly diagnosed and highly treatable. It makes the job worth it when you know your part of the recovery and treatment process.
What advancements do you expect in the future?
Upon review I think recognition in salary and experience would be a step toward promotion.
Jul 6, 2014
What do you enjoy about being a Radiation Therapists?
The satisfaction and the feeling I get when I helped a patient and seeing their smile and gratitude.
What areas do you dislike about being a Radiation Therapists?
When I see children with cancer or somebody in a lot of pain.
Jul 10, 2014
Why did you choose this profession?
I wanted a rewarding career within a healthcare environment.
What do you enjoy about being a Radiation Therapists?
Patient contact, varied workflow and dealing with challengies.
What special skills does it take to be a Radiation Therapists?
I can problem solve in a logical way taking into account the bigger picture and I enjoy patient contact.
What do you find to be the most challenging part of your job?
Image matching and dealing with difficult situations.
Tell me about the hours you are used to working and your schedule.
I rotate through various shift patterns between 7am and 7pm.
What are some of the benefits you are custom to as a Radiation Therapists?
I feel that I would make more of a contribution to the team as my scope of practice increased.
What are some of your most memorable experiences as a Radiation Therapists?
Patients that thank you or come back just to see us.
What advancements do you expect in the future?
This is a very forward thinking progressive department - 4D and gating is currently being implemented.
How often did you work in teams as a Radiation Therapists?
Most of the time - all of my previous jobs involved working within a team.
What types of customer engagement have you experienced?
I took great pride in providing excellent customer service and going the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction.
What type of stressful, high pressure situations, have you experienced?
Machine breakdowns resulting in long delays, highly emotional patients either angry or distressed.
If you had to start over, what career would you choose instead of being a Radiation Therapists?
As an alternative I would choose occupational therapy.
Jul 12, 2014
What do you enjoy about being a Radiation Therapists?
I love talking to patients and making them feel comfortable. I also love the teamwork and bond with other coworkers.