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Students admitted to the Radiation Therapy Program (RTT’s) are provided the education 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/didactic program. Education is provided by University of Iowa College of Medicine faculty in the Department of Radiation Oncology, with the hands-on component at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics 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, and CT and/or MRI courses.
Upon completion, students will graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in the Radiation Sciences and be eligible to apply to sit for the national board certification 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 Technology physician 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.
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.
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.
The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) Radiation Therapy Program had outstanding achievement on The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists' (ARRT) Certification exam, consistently performing above the national mean. In 2014, sponsorship was transferred to the University of Iowa and the terminal award for the program became solely a baccalaureate degree. Therefore, UIHC’s program effectiveness data is no longer available on the JRCERT web-site. Data for the University of Iowa sponsored program will be reported by JRCERT in 2017. The initial baccalaureate class graduated in May of 2016. Program effectiveness criteria are defined by JCERT at: http://www.jrcert.org/resources/program-effectiveness-data/
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.
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.
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