RADIATION THERAPY TECHNOLOGY

Associate of Applied Science Degree

Program Description

Established in 1978, the Radiation Therapy Program at Galveston College is the state’s oldest radiation therapy program.   The Associate of Applied Science Degree in Radiation Therapy is designed for general studies students.  This associate program consists of five semesters and is twenty one months in length.  Total cost of the program is approximately $5,000.00 with books and fees.

 The radiation therapy program integrates new treatment procedures as they become available.  Currently, students enrolled in the programs are afforded the opportunities to assist in intensity modulated radiation therapy treatments, applications of brachytherapy, image guidance radiation therapy, tomotherapy, stereotactic radiosurgery and cyber knife treatment procedures.  Students will learn the most advanced treatment techniques using cutting edge technology. 

 Responsibilities of a Radiation Therapist

Radiation therapists treat patients diagnosed with cancer.  They work with physicians, physicists, dosimetrists and nurses in the radiation oncology department to develop and administer a treatment plan customized to the patients’ diagnosis.  Radiation therapist operates the linear accelerators, the machines that deliver the radiation doses, monitor the patients throughout the treatment process and assists patient and families with their needs.

 Characteristics of a Radiation Therapist

Radiation oncology is a medical specialty that attracts a very special type of person.  Radiation therapists are critical thinkers who possess the analytical skills necessary to work in a highly complex and rapidly evolving field.  Communication skills, oral and written, are essential.  The therapist must possess the compassion and sensitivity necessary to provide for the physical and psychological comfort of the patient.  Radiation therapists must communicate and cooperate with other allied health professions and institutions.

 Radiation Therapy Mission Statement

The mission statement of the Radiation Therapy Program is committed to providing its students a very diverse clinical and education of the highest quality.  The program is competency based to ensure students success in the clinic as well as the classroom.  Graduates of the program will be prespared to deliver excellent patient care while pursuiing a lifelong learning career in the field of radiation therapy.

Program Goals

  • Provide graduates with academic and clinical skills necessary to secure employment in an entry level position in the field of radiation therapy.
  • Provide graduates with effective communication skills pertinent to the field of radiation therapy.
  • Produce graduates who are critical thinkers with good problem solving skills.
  • Achieve a program registry pass rate of 75% or greater over the past five years for graduates first attempts on taking the registry.
  • Achieve a program employment rate, within 1 year of graduation of 75% or greater over the past five years for graduates actively seeking employment.
  • Produce graduates who actively and accurately practice acceptable standards of practice in radiation therapy.

GOALS AND STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

Goal: Students will be clinically competent.
1. Student will demonstrate accurate charting skills.
2. Student will accurately deliver patient treatments.
3. Students will perform treatment related tasks.

Goal: Students will communicate effectively.
1. Students will demonstrate oral presentation skills.
2. Students will demonstrate written communication skills.

Goal: Students will think critically.
1. Students will modify patient treatments based on changes in patient’s medical or mental condition.
2. Students will solve a variety of problems in patient treatment scenarios.

Goal: Students will demonstrate professionalism.
1. Students will comprehend ethics.
2. Student will demonstrate professional behavior.

The radiation therapy program has established student goals for success.

  • Prepare student for entry level position in the field of radiation therapy.
  • Develop effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Learn to apply critical thinking skills in a clinical setting.
  • Teach student to recognize and manage ethical issues both in an academic and clinical setting.
  • Graduates are qualified and eligible to apply for the national credentialing examination.
  • Promote and embrace a commitment to lifelong learning.

 Five-year average credentialing examination (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists Radiation Therapy examination). Benchmark is 75% passing on first attempt. 

Program Overview:  July 1, 2014

 Year Percent passing on 1st attempt Number of students
2010 71% 5 of 7 students passed on 1st attempt
2011 80% 4 of 5 students passed on 1st attempt
2 students did not take registry
2012 100%

4 of 5 students passed on 1st attempt
1 student did not take registry

2013 50% 2 of 4 students passed on 1st attempt
1 student did not take registry
2014  100%  7 of 7 students passed on first attempt

 5 year average = 80.2%

Program completion rate
Program completion rate is defined as the number of students who were accepted into the program versus the number of students who completed the program.

 Year Percent Completion Number of students
 
2010 100% 7 students were accepted into the program, 7 graduated
2011 87% 8 students were accepted into the program, 7 graduated
1 student voluntarily withdrawal
2012 71% 7 students were accepted into the program, 5 graduated
2 dismissed for grades
2013 83% 6 students were accecpted into the program, 5 graduated
1 student dismissed for grades
2014  100% 7 students were accepted into the program, 7 graduated

 5 year average = 88.2%

Five-year average job placement rate. Benchmark 75% secured employment within 6 months post graduation.

 Year Percent job placement Number of students
 2009 100% 4 of 4 students secured employment
2010 100% 5 of 5 students secured employment
2 students failed registry did not seek employment
2011 80% 4 of 5 students secured employment
2 students did not take registry, did not seek employment, 1 failed to secure employment
2012 100%

4 students secured employment
1 did not take registry, not seeking employment

2013 100% 3 students secured employment
1 pursuing higher education, not actively seeking employment.  1 did not take registry, not seeking employment
Five year average   28 students graduated over the 5 year period.  7 students not actively seeking employment and 1 failed to secure employment.  20 out 21 = 96%

All program courses are taught at Galveston College.  The student’s clinical education is obtained through five clinical affiliates of Galveston College which are located throughout the greater Houston area.

 
   Programmatic Accreditation

The radiation therapy program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) and recognized by the American Registry of Radiologic Technology (ARRT).

jrcert      

Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology                                

20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 2850

Chicago, IL 60606-3182

www.jrcert.org

 mail@jrcert.org

312-704-5304

ARRT
American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
1255 Northland Drive
St. Paul, MN 55120-1155
651-687-0048

Articulation agreement with:
Midwestern State University

ASSOCIATE OF APPLIED SCIENCE DEGREE

ADMISSION CRITERIA

Non-Academic Program Requirements:  Because of the inherent requirements of the profession, certain minimum physical abilities are expected.  An otherwise qualified individual for admission is someone who, with or without an accommodation can perform and/or possess the following non-academic program requirements.

1.      Vision and Observation Skills

  • Visual acuity corrected to 20/20
  • View computer screens and for extended periods of time.
  • Visually discern details in treatment procedures and equipment operations in low light settings.
  • Hear low tones, distinguish background noises associated with patients and equipment.

2.      Physical and Motor Skill Requirements

  • Possess sufficient motor function skills to operate all equipment associated with patient care and administration of treatments.
  • Ambulate sufficiently to participate in patient treatments and perform all other related clinical responsibilities.
  • Demonstrate manual dexterity to perform all clinical duties.
  • Lift 30 pounds for placement of treatment blocks, wedges and other treatment devices.
  • Transport patients in wheelchairs and stretchers.
  • Transfer immobile patients from wheelchairs and stretchers to treatment and simulation couches.

3.   Communication Requirements

  • Must be able to communicate and articulate in English proficiently.
  • Communicate effectively both orally and written formats in English.
  • Communicate proficiently and effectively with patients and coworkers. 
           

        4. Critical Thinking Skills

  • Must be able to interpret and process clinical data pertinent to clinical responsibilities.
  • Ability to make correct decisions applying critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to solve clinic situations applying assessment and critical thinking skills.
  • Prioritize clinical and didactic information.
  • Solve situational problems associated with patient care in classroom and clinic.

          5.  Professional Behavior

  • Adhere to Radiation Therapy Code of Ethics.
  • Respect all aspects of the Patient’s Bill of Rights.
  • Adhere to radiation therapy program policies and procedures.
  • Follow clinical guidelines of affiliates.
  • Maintain a professional appearance at all times.
  • Respect others and maintain personal integrity.

Program Requirements for Application Process

Applicants wishing to make application to the program are required to:

  • Submit TSI scores for TSI-eligible students or placement scores for TSI-exempt students which permit enrollment in college level courses must appear on official transcript.
  • Make application to Galveston College.
  • Submit program application prior to the application deadline which is April 15th of each year.  Program applications are only available through the program director’s office. Submission of program application does not guarantee admission into the radiation therapy program.
  • Complete the program prerequisites prior to the application deadline with a minimum GPA of 2.5.
  • Schedule a meeting with the program director.
  • Overall a minimum GPA of 2.5.
  • Math and science courses must be completed within 5 years of acceptance into the program.
  • Program applications are accepted September 15 through April 15.
  • Minimum of 8 hours observation or job shadowing at a cancer center

 Criteria for Acceptance into the Program

Galveston College cannot accept all applicants due to limited clinical space in the program.  Criteria for student selection is based on following but not limited to:

  • GPA of prerequisites.
  • Overall GPA.
  • Overall academic profile
  • Terminal awards and/or degrees form academic institutions.
  • Interview process:  Only those students who are rated in the upper 50% of the applicant pool will be extended an interview by the admissions committee.
  • Program interviews are conducted during the month of June.
  • Notification of program application status deadline is June 30.

 Acceptance into the Program

Once the applicant has been accepted into the program they are responsible for the following:

  • Provide proof or complete the Hepatitis B immunization series including titer or show proof of illness prior to clinical attendance deadline of June 1, summer semester.
  • Complete Varicella immunization (Chicken Pox) or show proof of illness prior to the clinical attendance deadline of June 1, summer semester.
  • Complete a background check through Galveston College, at student’s expense, upon acceptance into the program.
  • Complete a drug screening test through Galveston College, at student’s expense, upon acceptance into the program.
  • Attend mandatory program orientation prior to enrolling in program courses.

 Curriculum

The curriculum for the radiation therapy program is based on the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) curriculum grid.  The ASRT curriculum grid is approved by the program’s accrediting agency, the JRCERT.  All program courses must be completed with a minimum grade of 75% to progress in the program.

Upon completion of program requirements the student receives an Associate of Applied Science Degree from Galveston College.  The student is now eligible, upon graduation, to apply to the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) to sit for the national certification examination.

PREREQUISITES

HPRS    1206    Essentials of Medical Term.           2

BIOL    2401    Anatomy & Physiology I                  4

MATH  1414    College Algebra                                 3

                                                                       9


Program Curriculum for Associate of Applied Science Degree

Fall Semester:

Introduction to Radiation Therapy             3 credit hours

Radiation Biology and Safety                    3 credit hours

Patient Care in Radiation Therapy              2 credit hours

Physics in Radiation Therapy                     3 credit hours

 

Spring Semester

Oncology I                                               3 credit hours

Dosimetery I                                            3 credit hours

Instrumentation and Methodology               3 credit hours

Special Topics: Trends                               1 credit hour

 

Summer Semester

Dosimetry II                                             3 credit hours

Oncology II                                              3 credit hours

Clinical Practicum I                                    2 credit hours

 

Fall Semester

CT Instrumentation and Methodology           3 credit courses

CT Cross-sectional Anatomy                        3 credit courses

Clinical Practicum II                                   4 credit courses

 

Spring Semester

Clinical Practicum III                                   4 credit courses

Special Topics: Seminar                               2 credit courses     

*Program curriculum if all prerequisites and non-program courses are completed.

 Transfer of Credit

Students who wish to transfer course credits from another radiation therapy program will be evaluated on an individual basis for their entry status.  Transfer grades below a “C” are not accepted for credit.  The student requesting transfer credit must:

  • Meet admissions requirements for Galveston College.
  • Meet admissions requirements for the radiation therapy program.
  • Currently have a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the previous program.
  • Submit all course work completed with syllabus and course descriptions from transferring program.
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from the previous program director.
  • Submit 2 letters of recommendation from clinical personnel associated with the previous radiation therapy program.

Upon completion of the evaluation process, the program director will determine the student’s entry level placement in the program.  The student is not guaranteed that acceptance in to the radiation therapy program at Galveston College automatically places the student at the same level of their previous program.

For more informationabout the Radiation Therapy Program, contact Hubert Callahan at (409) 944-1492, or the Allied Health Office at (409) 944-1490.
Updated 12/10/2014 - Content Author eiles