Dosimetrists work primarily in the oncology field and administer care to cancer patients. This job often requires collaborating with physicians, nurses, and other medical personnel, so strong teamwork and communication skills are essential. It is important to be professional, but also a caring individual in order to help patients feel at ease.
Dosimetrists generate radiation when it is prescribed by an oncologist. They may work with and even advise an oncologist regarding how many sessions should be carried out. It is important to be able to determine the correct doses of radiation and how it should be administered, such as through beam or implantation techniques. Machinery and software are used in this job to create digital maps which show where radiation should be distributed. Beams may need to be manipulated with machinery in order to focus them and prevent damage to the surrounding tissue, cells, and other body parts. Prior to carrying out therapy, the preferred plan should be tested via software to ensure that it will work.
Basic troubleshooting skills and periodic maintenance of machines are important in this position. This job is usually carried out in a hospital or clinical setting; because the work involves potential exposure to radiation, safety precautions must be observed at all times. Aspiring dosimetrists should have successfully completed and graduated from a radiation therapy program, and current certification through the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists is also required.
Monitor radioactive exposure, equipment settings and patients' reactions records and files.
Measure, gather and analyze data to calculate dosage for treatment planning, in collaboration with the radiation oncologist.
Maintain quality assurance program in compliance with safety standards and regulations.
Perform radiation dosimetry services.
Oversee radiation therapy equipment maintenance to ensure proper operation.