Radiation Sciences Programs

  • modulRTT
  • Radiation Therapy

    Career/Program Information and Outlook

    Students completing the Radiation Therapy Program (RTT’s) are trained to deliver therapeutic radiation. The program is a two-plus-two design with the first two years being pre-requisites. Upon application, interview, and acceptance - the final two years are an intensive practical program. Training is provided by University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics faculty in the Department of Radiation Oncology, with the hands-on component under the close guidance of licensed Radiation Therapists. In conjunction with clinical rotations, students complete coursework in patient care, radiation safety, pathology, medical physics, radiation therapy principles, medical ethics, sectional and vascular anatomy, research methodologies, CT principles, and CT procedures.

    Upon completion, students will graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in the Radiation Sciences and be eligible for certification by sitting for the national board exam offered through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). This program is accredited through the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).

    The radiation therapist functions as a member of the team of physician (Radiation Oncologist), physicist, dosimetrist, and nurse to provide treatment using ionizing radiation sources for patients with malignant and some benign diseases. The radiation therapist is responsible for the daily delivery of the prescribed treatment according to the treatment plan prepared by the Radiologic Technologyphysician in consultation with the medical physicist. The therapist works with the oncology nurse in the daily assessment of the patient's status and needs during their course of therapy.

    Radiation therapists are employed in radiation therapy facilities located in hospitals and freestanding centers. Individuals who have the necessary qualifications may be employed in educational programs sponsored by hospitals, colleges, or other qualified centers. Therapists can function as dosimetrists with additional education or experience. A limited number of positions for certified therapist are available in research facilities of various types.

    Visit the U.S. Department of Labor's O*NET (29-1124.00 - Radiation Therapists) for additional career information.

    2010 - 2011 Bureau of Labor Statistics Outlook

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics occupational outlook for radiation therapists is expected to increase by 27 percent from 2008 to 2018, faster than the average for all occupations. The growing elderly population is expected to cause an increase in the number of people needing treatment. In addition, as radiation therapy becomes safer and more effective it will be prescribed more often, leading to an increased demand for radiation therapists.

    For statistics on salary expectations and additional information on a career in Radiation Therapy visit the Bureau of Labor and Statistics website.

    Commitment to the Pursuit of Quality

    The Radiation Therapy Program takes great care in its pursuit to select and educate top quality technologists. The items below provide verification of our commitment to this pursuit.

    Certification Examination Rates

    Program graduates sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) examination. Since 2006, the program has maintained a 100% first attempt pass rate on the ARRT. Below are the average scores of the graduates from the past 5 years. A scaled score of 75 is the minimum passing scores for both exams.

    ARRT Certification Rates:

    Year
     
    Program 1st Attempt Passing Rate
    National 1st Attempt Passing Rate
    Program Mean Scaled Score
    National Mean Scaled Score
    Number
    Taking
    Number
    Passed
    Percent
    2014
    7
    7
    100%
    90.6%
    85.3
    82.9
    2013
    7
    7
    100%
    90.2%
    82.7
    82.7
    2012
    7
    6
    86%
    91.4%
    85
    83.5
    2011
    7
    7
    100%
    90.3%
    88
    83.2
    2010
    6
    6
    100%
    85.2%
    88
    82
    5-year averages
       
    97%
    88.54%
    85.8
    82.86

    Program Placement Rates:

    Graduating Year
    Number seeking employment
    Number who found employment
    Placement Rate
    2013
    4 4 100%
    2012
    4 4 100%
    2011
    5 5 75%
    2010
    5 4 80%
    2009
    5 4 80%
    5-year average
        87%

    Program effectiveness criteria is defined by JCERT at: https://portal.jrcertaccreditation.org/summary/programannualreportlist.aspx

    Program Completion Rate

    Graduating Year Number entering program Number graduating program Placement Rate
    2014 7 7 100%
    2013 7 7 100%
    2012 7 7 100%
    2011 7 7 100%
    2010 7 6 80%
    5-year average
        97%

    Program On-Time Completion Rate and Median Student Debt Load Information

    Program on-time completion rate and median student debt load information are not listed for the Radiation Therapy Program because of federal privacy issues that state when less than 10 people start or graduate from the program this data cannot be listed. If you have questions or concerns about these topics, please contact Mindi Ten Napel, Program Director (319) 356-8286.

    Mission, Goals and Learning Outcomes

    The program has as its goal the preparation of the individual student radiation therapist to assume duties as a member of the health care team of radiation therapist, radiation oncologist, nurse, and physicist. This health care team provides total quality care for each patient undergoing a prescribed course of treatment using ionizing radiation.

    Goal #1 Students will perform the responsibilities of a Radiation Therapist in competent manner

    • Administer radiation as prescribed by the physician
    • Perform simulation as directed by the physician
    • Safe and correct equipment utilization

    Goal #2 Students will demonstrate effective communication skills

    • Demonstrate effective patient contact and communication in the clinical setting
    • Effectively communicate the components of a prescribed course of radiation therapy
    • Students will use presentation skills

    Goal #3 Students will demonstrate critical thinking skills

    • Observe the clinical progress of the radiation oncology patient; use clinical decision making skills
    • Demonstrate ability to adapt and learn from new situations
    • Properly employ accessory and immobilization equipment

    Goal #4 Students will possess professionalism

    • Students will demonstrate professional behavior
    • Students will understand ethical behavior