Chemotherapy Technicians are health care professionals who are experienced working with a variety of chemotherapy drugs used in a therapeutic treatment plan that will help eradicate cancer cells from patients suffering from this disease.
These professionals are specialized Pharmacy Technicians that works specifically with chemotherapy concoctions.
Chemotherapy Technicians are responsible for mixing and managing a variety of intravenous drugs that will be administered to their patients after a treatment plan has been prescribed by an oncology doctor.
Individuals who want to become a Chemotherapy Technician will need a combination of personal traits and a background in the health care field in order to enter this profession.
Individuals interested in pursuing this career path can learn more information about this field by reading below.
Education Requirements to Become a Chemotherapy Technician
Individuals who would like to become a Chemotherapy Technician will need to complete a minimum of a high school degree.
In addition, individuals will need to gain on the job experience and earn a certification in order to pursue a career in this field.
Chemotherapy Technicians must also have personal characteristics that will them interact with patients diagnosed with a deadly disease.
During their high school career, individuals will need a strong background in math and science classes in order to prepare themselves for the health care field.
In addition, individuals will also need to place an emphasis in gaining basic computer skills and understanding general programs.
Basic programs include being familiar with Microsoft Office which will prepare individuals to prepare and keep electronic health care records.
Individuals preparing to become a Chemotherapy Technician can seek a program in Chemotherapy Technology to earn a certificate in this area.
Although not a requirement, employers prefer to hire individuals who have completed a formal program and who do not require additional training.
Individuals can seek certification from a vocational school or a community college.
Individuals interested in learning more information on a typical program may visit NPTA .
Chemotherapy Technician Job Description
Chemotherapy Technicians work in the health care industry and are responsible for many administrative, drug preparation and office management duties.
These professionals typically work in oncology treatment centers or in a pharmacy setting being run at a hospital.
Their skills are a specialized form of Pharmacy Technician focusing on creating concoctions for chemotherapy treatments.
Chemotherapy Technicians will work under the direct supervision of a physician or leading pharmacist.
They will assist various personal in a clinic of pharmacy setting including assisting: nurses, physicians, pharmacists and other medical personnel.
Their main duties are to prepare and manage a variety of chemotherapy drugs for oncology patients.
Chemotherapy Technicians will begin to prepare a chemotherapy drug once they receive a prescription from one of these supervising professionals.
This includes being able to read the amounts of chemotherapy drugs needed to mix a concoction.
They will also use specialized equipment in order to mix the chemotherapy drugs that needs to be done is a clean and sterilized environment.
They will perform these duties using stringent rules to prevent accidents such as spilling.
Because Chemotherapy Technicians are responsible for mixing chemotherapy concoctions, they will need to assure that their work area is up to standards in regards to its sanitary conditions.
This includes assuring patient areas are sanitized as well.
Chemotherapy Technicians are also responsible for administrative duties including ordering a variety of supplies and managing and restocking pharmaceutical inventory.
They will also be responsible for keeping track of a patient’s medical record including patient doses and mixtures using electronic systems.
Chemotherapy Technician Salary and Career Path
The average salary for Chemotherapy Technicians is approximately $34,000 per year.
Exact wages will depend on years of experience.
The job outlook for Chemotherapy Technicians looks promising and is expected to increase by approximately 32 percent through the year 2020.
This fast growth is attributed to the growing health care sector.
The health care sector is expected to grow because of the expansion of health care as well as the aging baby boomer population, a group that is more prone to cancer.
Individuals interested in a career as a Chemotherapy Technician can look forward to a challenging career, healthy wages and a healthy job market.
Many individuals may also enter this profession in a relatively short amount of time with some programs taking a year to complete.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a chemotherapy technician?
Chemotherapy technicians are specialized pharmacy technicians who work in cancer treatment centers or hospitals and have the responsibility of managing drug inventory and preparing medication for cancer treatments.
They work with dangerous chemicals and substances and need to wear gloves and protective equipment and must follow very strict safety protocols to avoid contamination.
This is a rewarding job because you get to help treat cancer patients but the work environment can be very stressful and a mistake can result in health problems.
Chemotherapy technicians work under the supervision of other healthcare professionals.
As a chemotherapy technician, you will need a variety of skills, including attention to detail, dexterity, compassion, and communication skills.
How much does a chemotherapy technician make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for pharmacy technicians, in general, was $33,060 as of May 2018.
Salaries in this field vary based on different factors, including the technician’s level of experience, the region of employment, the employer and the technician’s education.
A chemotherapy technician can make anywhere between less than $25,000 and more than $45,000 a year.
How much does it cost to become a chemotherapy technician?
In order to become a chemotherapy technician, you will need at least a high school diploma and on-the-job training.
However, a post-secondary diploma in chemotherapy tech can give you better job prospects.
Tuition costs vary widely depending on the school you choose and the program itself.
For example, a pharmacy technician certification course will cost you somewhere in the range of $500-$5,000, while an associate’s degree in this field can cost anywhere between $10,000-$25,000.
Most states also require chemotherapy technicians to be licensed as pharmacy technicians.
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the National Healthcare Association offer certification for pharmacy technicians.
What is the demand for chemotherapy technicians?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment for pharmacy technicians, in general, is expected to grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028.
As the population is aging, the demand for medicines will grow and more pharmacy technicians will be needed to perform a variety of pharmacy operations.
Chemotherapy technicians will continue to be needed in cancer treatment centers and hospitals to prepare medication for patients who undergo chemotherapy.
Employment opportunities vary depending on the region and completing post-secondary training and earning a diploma or associate’s degree from a reputable institution should give you better job prospects.
How long does it take to become a chemotherapy technician?
The answer to this question depends on the level of education you are seeking.
If you want to find employment as a chemotherapy technician, a high school diploma, some on-the-job training, and a state license could be enough in some cases.
However, many technicians hold a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree in chemotherapy or pharmacy tech.
Certification programs require around 1 year of training while associate’s degree programs are typically 2 years long.