Health Magazine

Your Radiation Oncology Team

Posted on the 24 March 2012 by Jean Campbell

radiationRadiation treatment involves a team of health care professionals, each with a specific role in your care.

The Radiation Oncologist is a doctor trained to treat cancer patients with radiation. He or she is the one who will manage your radiation therapy. The Radiation Oncologist will work with other members of the radiation therapy team to develop your treatment plan and ensure each treatment is given as prescribed.

The Nurse Practitioner is a registered nurse with advanced education and training. He or she will work with the radiation oncologist, helping with the management of your care. The nurse practitioner can perform physical exams, order tests and write prescriptions.

The Radiation Therapy Nurse will work with your radiation oncologist to care for you while in treatment.  He or she will educate you about possible side effects from your treatment and how to manage them. The radiation therapy nurse is the first “go to” person when you have questions or concerns about your treatment.

The Radiation Therapist will administer your daily radiation treatment as prescribed by the doctor. He or she will position you on the treatment table and operate the radiation treatment machine. He or she will also maintain daily records of your treatment.

The Radiation Physicists work with your radiation oncologist on treatment planning and delivery. They oversee the work of the dosimetrist and check complex treatments. They make sure the machines are working properly by taking measurements of the radiation beam and performing safety tests on a regular basis.

The Dosimetrists work with the radiation oncologist and physicists to develop your treatment plan. They calculate the dose of radiation and with the use of computers develop a plan to maximize tumor destruction while sparing normal tissue.

The Social Worker provides support services to you and your family including: supportive counseling, support groups, seminars and workshops, home  health care referrals, and referrals to community resources, such as transportation and lodging.

The Nutritionist/Dietician works with you to help you maintain your diet during treatment. He or she will help you adjust your eating plan if the side effects of treatment are causing loss of appetite or you are experiencing nausea or other discomforts. The nutritionist/dietician can also suggest nutritional supplements.

If or when you experience problems, concerns or issues with your radiation, your team is there to help you through treatment.

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