Yes, it is possible to transition from being an X-ray tech to a radiation therapist. However, it would require additional education and training, as the two professions have different responsibilities and expertise.
As an X-ray tech, your primary responsibility is to take radiographic images of various parts of the body using X-ray equipment. You would work with patients to position them correctly, ensure the equipment is functioning properly, and develop the images for interpretation by a radiologist. On the other hand, as a radiation therapist, your primary responsibility would be to administer radiation therapy to cancer patients based on the treatment plan prescribed by a radiation oncologist. You would also monitor patients for any side effects and adjust the treatment plan as necessary.
To become a radiation therapist, you would need to complete a radiation therapy program, which typically takes 12-24 months to complete. Many community colleges and technical schools offer these programs, which cover topics such as radiation therapy physics, radiation biology, patient care, and treatment planning. Some programs may require prerequisite courses in anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology.
After completing a radiation therapy program, you would need to become licensed or certified in your state. This usually involves passing a certification exam offered by a professional organization such as the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Some states may also have their own licensing requirements.
Transitioning from an X-ray tech to a radiation therapist can be a challenging but rewarding career move. It would require additional education and training, but it could provide opportunities for advancement and increased responsibility. If you are interested in pursuing this path, it is important to research different radiation therapy programs and certification requirements in your state to ensure that you meet all the necessary qualifications.