The radiation therapy department consists of a team of radiation therapists who administer daily radiation treatments under the supervision of a Radiation Oncologist. They maintain daily treatment records and provide extensive quality assurance on the treatment machines to ensure they are working properly.
The radiation therapy team works together with the physicians, medical physicist, dosimetrist, and nurses to care for the patient and the potential side effects from treatment. As part of a medical radiation oncology team, radiation therapists use machines called linear accelerators to administer radiation to patients throughout their treatment plan.
Radiation therapists have daily contact with patients during the course of their treatment, educating them about treatment and potential radiation side effects. The radiation therapist helps monitor and observe each patient’s clinical progress and emotional needs – referring the patients to physicians, nurses or social service professionals when necessary. Radiation therapists are responsible for accurately recording, interpreting and administering the treatment prescribed by the Radiation Oncologist.
Melissa, Radiation Therapy Manager
Started at Bismarck Cancer Center: 2006
Previous Experience: Coastal Radiation Oncology (Salinas, CA), Roger Maris Cancer Center (Fargo)
Education: University of Mary, St. Alexius, and University of Minnesota Radiation Therapy School
First motivated to work in the field while working as an x-ray student, Melissa held a rotation with BCC, where she enjoyed her work very much. It was during this time that Melissa grew to love the one-on-one time she spent with patients – who appreciated her so much. She cherishes the time a patient crocheted crosses for staff; she still has hers. Melissa feels grateful to be part of the BCC staff and finds it rewarding to help walk patients through their cancer journey.
Melissa’s most memorable experiences happen each year at Applefest, where staff organize and carry out several events. The event allows staff an opportunity to greet cancer survivors as well as encourage them to mingle or participate in the Survivor Ice Cream Celebration – a celebration of survivorship.
Margo, Lead Radiation Therapist
Started at Bismarck Cancer Center: 2011
Previous Experience: Lake Cumberland Cancer Treatment Center (Somerset, KY)
Education: Minnesota State University Moorhead, Argosy University School of
Motivated by her desire to work with people, Margo joined the BCC team to work with those fighting cancer; she finds they inspire her greatly. Additionally, Margo hopes to help them through their challenging journey as much as she is able. Her most memorable moment of working with BCC thus far has been the opportunity to experience the results of serious planning and attention to Applefest 2012, where BCC staff raised money for the foundation; she knows the moment of hearing the total amount raised will be unforgettable to her. Margo looks forward to working each day – where she will work with a number of special co-workers.
Kari, Radiation Therapist
Started at Bismarck Cancer Center: 2003
Previous Experience: Unimed (Minot), Altru (Grand Forks), Trinity (Minot) and St. Alexius
Education: University of Mary, Mayo Clinic School of Radiation Therapy
Kari first became motivated to work in the cancer field to help people with the utmost of compassion as well as to be able to use her skills in science, math and technology to treat them. Her patients ultimately motivate her. She enjoys working with some of the world’s best technology at Bismarck Cancer Center as well as with a mix of the best people in the field of oncology; additionally, she finds the foundation a wonderful support to the BCC patients. Kari’s favorite memories at BCC include the heartwarming moments of working Applefest.
Janet, Radiation Therapist
Started at Bismarck Cancer Center: 1998
Education: Sanford X-ray technology school, School of Radiation therapy at Topeka, Kansas
Janet first became motivated to work in the cancer field after her mother passed away from cancer when Janet was only 16 years old. Her favorite part of working at Bismarck Cancer Center is getting to know the patients on a personal level and she also enjoys her great co-workers. Janet’s favorite memory of Bismarck Cancer was years back when they would have ‘hurry up summer days’ in the winter and staff would dress up in summer attire, haul a swimming pool and sand into the facility.
Amanda, Radiation Therapist
Started at Bismarck Cancer Center: 2014
Education: B.S. in Radiologic technology from University of Mary; Mayo Clinic School of Radiation Therapy, Rochester, MN
Amanda fell in love with radiation therapy when she shadowed the BCC as an x-ray student and knew then what career path she wanted to take. She loves getting to know the patients and being a part of their journey. She feels blessed to be a part of the BCC and feels fortunate to have such a great group of people to work with.
Hillary, Radiation Therapist
Started at Bismarck Cancer Center: 2013
Previous Experience: Rad Tech in Billings, MT.
Education: B.S. in Radiologic technology from University of Mary and a B.A.S. in radiation therapy from Mayo Clinic/University of Minnesota.
Hillary completed a job-shadow at BCC while she was in college, and it made her decide that radiation therapy was the right career for her. She always knew that if she ever came back to North Dakota, BCC would be the place she would work, and she was overjoyed when she was hired here. She loves meeting each of the patients and helping them through their cancer journey, and she’s proud to work with an amazing group of people.
Holli, Radiation Therapist
Started at Bismarck Cancer Center: 2014
Previous Experience: Avera Flandreau Hospital, SD; Sandford USD Medical Center, Sioux Falls, SD
Education: B.S from NDSU, Fargo; Sandford School of Radiology, Sioux Falls, SD; and University of Minnesota Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN
Holli enjoys being in a career that allows her to help individuals through their cancer journey. Therapists spend a lot of time with patients and their families during treatment, and the relationships that she develops with these individuals motivates Holli and makes her feel like a critical part of their support network.
Carissa, Radiation Therapist
Started at Bismarck Cancer Center: 2016
Previous Experience: CHI St. Alexius Health
Education: B.S. in Radiologic technology from University of Mary, Radiation Therapy from Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences
Carissa first became interested in radiation therapy after job shadowing the BCC as a student. Not long after, her dad was diagnosed with cancer and went through radiation therapy. She heard him express how much the radiation therapists made an impact on his cancer journey and she knew she wanted to be able to do the same for others. She enjoys making a difference and being able to bring a smile to people’s faces when they are going through a difficult time.
Macy, Radiation Therapist
Started at Bismarck Cancer Center: 2016
Previous Experience: Prairie Lakes Healthcare System, Watertown, SD
Education: B.S. in radiological technology from Mount Mary College, Yankton, SD
Radiologic Technology & Radiation Therapy at Mitchell Technical Institute, Mitchell, SD
After having family members diagnosed with cancer, Macy heard how much they appreciated the radiation therapists’ support. Hearing these stories motivated her to job shadow radiation therapy and she fell in love with it. She enjoys the relationships and being a person individuals can lean on during their fight with cancer.
Brittany, Radiation Therapist
Started at Bismarck Cancer Center: 2018
Previous Experience: North Dallas Radiation Oncology Center in Plano, TX
Education: Radiation Therapy from Argosy University Associates
Brittany was motivated to work at the Bismarck Cancer Center because she felt that the patient was the main focus and they always put their patients first. She appreciates the fact that the staff is very involved in fundraising activities and enjoys volunteering. She loves outdoor activities, spending time with her family, and her favorite BCC event is Applefest!