Thomas Jefferson UniversityJefferson School of Health Professions

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Radiation Therapy

Overview

Radiation Therapy, also known as x-ray therapy, is part of radiation oncology. Radiation Therapists use linear accelerators to administer radiation to treat cancer. They work closely with the medical dosimetrist, radiation oncologist and radiation physicist.

Jefferson is the only Radiation Therapy program on the east coast that offers Virtual Environment Radiotherapy Training (VERT) for student training. VERT is a life-size replica of a real linear accelerator used by radiation therapists to treat cancer patients. Students learn key skills by controlling the virtual machine with real controls. 3D visualization of patient images, organs, treatment beams and dose makes complex theoretical concepts easy to understand.

Tasks

  • administer, record, and interpret cancer treatment prescribed by radiation oncologists
  • easily adapt to stressful environment
  • know about alternate imaging modalities
  • tattoo patients

Technology

  • penetrating beams of high-energy, ionizing radiation
  • CT scanners

Patient Interaction

  • direct patient contact
  • critically ill inpatients and outpatients
  • all ages from pediatrics to geriatrics

Work Conditions

  • stand for most of day
  • move and lift patients to and from treatment rooms

Mission

The Mission of the Radiation Therapy Program and the Department of Radiologic Sciences is to provide a comprehensive education preparing students for entry-level practice into radiation therapy and the radiologic and imaging sciences, as competent, caring professionals, cultivating professionalism, interprofessional practice and life-long learning. Through innovative pedagogy, critical thinking and problem-solving skills are developed and enhanced.

Program Goals & Student Learning Outcomes

Student learning outcomes

1-A. Students will demonstrate proper patient positioning techniques.

1-B. Students will operate treatment units safely.

Student learning outcomes

2-A. Students will effectively communicate with patients and staff.

2-B. Students will demonstrate oral presentation skills.

Student learning outcomes

3-A. Students will exhibit critical thinking and problem solving skills evaluating a variety of treatment plans in the medical dosimetry workshop.

3-B. Students will be able to perform the necessary steps for creating a treatment set up.

3-C. Students will identify key components of set ups, recognize variances and address patient reactions to radiation.

Student learning outcomes

4-A. Students will acquire interpersonal communication tools that will enhance their effectiveness in a professional, patient care environment.

4-B. Students will demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.

Program Effectiveness Data

Credentialing Examination Pass Rates

Academic Program

5 Year Average(2009 -2013)

Number

Pass Rates

Took

Passed

JSHP

National

Radiation Therapy

78

68

87%

89%

Taken from 2013 Thomas Jefferson University Annual Report with anecdotal update from Program Directors in May 2014.

Click here to view data for class of 2011-2013

 

Job Placement Rates

Academic Program

5 Year Average (2009 - 2013)

Number of Students

Job Placement Rate

Seeking Job

Employed in 6 months

JSHP

Radiation Therapy

65

60

92%

Taken from 2013 Thomas Jefferson University Annual Report with anecdotal update from Program Directors in May 2014.

Click here to view data for class of 2011-2013

 

Program Completion Rates

Academic Program

5 Year Average (2009 - 2013)

Number of Students

Program Completion Rate

Entered

Grad.

JSHP

Radiation Therapy

76

73

96%

Data from Program Directors (updated annually). Data shared May 2014.

Click here to view data for class of 2011-2013

 

Accreditation

The Radiation Therapy program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). JRCERT can be contacted at 20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 2850, Chicago, IL 60606-3182, (312) 704-5300, (312) 704-5304 (fax) or mail@jrcert.org. Visit jrcert.org for more information.

Credentialing Exams

Upon successful completion of the Radiation Therapy program, graduates are eligible to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) Radiation Therapy certification examination. Multicompetency students are not able to take the board exam until the degree is awarded at the completion of the 2-year program. Students who pass this examination receive national certification.

Visit the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) website for more information.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 20% increase in the number of jobs for Radiation Therapists by 2020.

If you ...   then consider...
are in High School   2+2 PACE program
or 3+1 Advanced Placement BS/BS with
Immaculata University
have 50 prerequisite credits   2-year Multicompetency BS*option
or 2+1 BS/MS*
have a baccalaureate degree
and 50 prerequisite credits
  1-year Advanced Placement BS option
or 1+1 BS/MS
or 2-year Multicompetency BS* or 2+1 BS/MS*
have certification in or graduated from an accredited program* in
Radiologic Sciences or allied health and have 50 prerequisite credits 
  1-year Advanced Placement BS option
or 1+1 BS/MS
or 2-year Multicompetency BS* or 2+1 BS/MS*
are certified in radiation therapy
or medical dosimetry
and do not have a bachelor’s degree
  Part-time Advanced Placement BS
Radiation Therapy or Medical Dosimetry

It is recommended that students take Radiation Therapy the second year unless pursuing completion of the Medical Dosimetry program. Acceptance into the second year program of choice is not guaranteed.

First Year Second Year
Radiography Radiation Therapy