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Radiation Therapists Interview Questions

1. Do you have a high level of tolerance for being around patients that may appear unhealthy from their chemotherapy?
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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 therapy is sometimes used as the sole treatment fo...
Source: bls.gov/oco/ocos299.htm

Radiation Therapists Interview Questions

2 of 17

What does palliative treatment mean?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
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.
 

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Question
#3 of 17

If a patient can not sit still during treatment, or prior to treatment, what would you do?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
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.
 

Question
#4 of 17

If you do not understand the radiation oncologist's plan, what would you do?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
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.
 

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.

Question
#5 of 17

Can you explain to me, why patients receive radiation therapy?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
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.
 
2.
To cure their cancer or to control/shrink the cancer and provide symptom relief.
 

Question
#6 of 17

Why is it important that the patient remain in the same position during each treatment?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
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.
 
2.
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.
 

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.

Question
#7 of 17

Can you explain to me how radiation therapy kills cancer cells?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
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.
 

Question
#8 of 17

Do you enjoy working with a team? Specifically the radiation oncologist?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
Yes I love working in a team and having the support of others.
 
2.
I am very team oriented and enjoy working with others. I have always worked in a team setting from playing soccer all my life, working in a service industry, and then going through clinicals as a student. I love working with the radiation oncologist and learning new things everyday.
 

Radiation Therapists Pros

1. You will be able to meet so many amazing people and see how they are coping when their lives have been turned upside down by cancer. Also, you get to help them fight cancer, something amazing that few people can say. May 30th, 2012

2. I will be able to help and assist in the treatment to help fight cancer in patients and keep them living longer. July 19th, 2012

3. The joy of being able to comfort and heal your patients. July 19th, 2012

Question
#9 of 17

How do you deal with stress?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
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.
 

Question
#10 of 17

How did you perform in your anatomy classes?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
I got straight A's in anatomy.
 
2.
I did quite well in my anatomy classes besides struggling a little bit with all the different muscles.
 

Top 10 Radiation Therapists
Interview Questions

Our top Radiation Therapist interview questions, voted as the best, by our users. Created on February 25th, 2016

Question
#11 of 17

Did you enter Radiation Therapy for the financial benefits, or do you genuinely care about helping patients?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
When I chose this career I had no idea what the salary was. I watched a relative receive their treatment and was determined that this was what I wanted to do.
 
2.
I have an extreme desire to help and care for patients particularly cancer patients.
 

Question
#12 of 17

What is the difference between a CT and an MRI?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
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.
 

Question
#13 of 17

How long has radiation therapy been around?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
If I remember correctly the use of radiation for treatments started around 1890s immediatly after the discovery of the potential of xrays for diagnostic imaging.
 
2.
A long time! At least since the very early 1900s. The administration techniques have changed vastly over the years and there continues to be futher developments in treatment delivery. I think this is part of what makes it such an interesting career; there is the potential for so much development and differnt studies, different technologies.
 

Question
#14 of 17

How do you handle dealing with a patient that is obviously deathly ill?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
I am a caring and loving person and willing to try to make any patient happy regardless of what the situation may be.
 
2.
You do everything you can to make them feel comfortable. You also cannot show that you are sadden by their condition, you have to stay strong for them.
 

Question
#15 of 17

Tell me about your education. Do you feel well prepared for this career?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
Yes, I have had much education throughout my years and I feel ready to advance.
 
2.
Yes I feel I am well prepared for this career. I applied last year straight out of school but did not get accepted, so I took the pathway of doing health science to get in. I feel this course has helped me grow immensely in both knowledge of the body but also the clinical setting.
 

Question
#16 of 17

When did you realize you wanted to be a radiation therapist?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
I realized it when I lost a loved who was very close to me to cancer and I wanted to be able to help people.
 
2.
I was looking online for a good career and the more I read about what you do and how much you help people, the more interested I was.
 

Question
#17 of 17

Describe how you observe a patient for unintended radiation consequences?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
Ask them how they are doing / if they've noticed any changes. Assess the problem, source of problem, how many treatments they've had, timing and severity of problems.
 
2.
The most important thing I can do is listen to the patient. As we build rapport, I am usually the first person they will tell about unusual symptoms. I will always check for weight loss, especially if they are wearing a mask as an immobilization device because it will fit differently. I will also check for skin changes and if the patient is not verbal, I will make sure to ask if they observe unusual effects at least once or twice a week.