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Radiation Therapy Program Information

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Radiation Therapy Program Information

Gwynedd Mercy University offers both a twenty (20) month Certificate program in Radiation Therapy and a four-year Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy. The 20-month Certificate program is available for registered or registry eligible radiographers, who have graduated from a JRCERT accredited program in radiography and who meet the admissions criteria of the Radiation Therapy program and the University, and who wish to pursue this profession.

The four-year Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy degree is for the high school graduate or college transfer students   who meet the admission criteria of the University and the Radiation Therapy Program. Applicants must be proficient in math and science with biology, algebra I & II and geometry, physics and/or chemistry required; trigonometry, recommended. Minimum acceptable grade is a C+.

Graduates of the 20-month Certificate program may choose the degree completion option and earn their Bachelor of Health Science degree. Graduates of both programs are eligible to apply to the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) to sit for the certifying examination in Radiation Therapy.

For information on Radiation Therapy Program contact Rose Troutman, Program Director at 267-448-1429 or e-mail at troutman.r@gmercyu.edu or for Admissions information contact Paul Rymal at 1-800-342-5462.

What is Radiaition Therapy

Mission and Goals

Renowned Program History

Major

Program Effectiveness Data

Career Opportunites

Internet Resources

Radiation Therapy Student's Information

 

What is Radiation Therapy?

Radiation Therapy is a highly specialized field in oncologic medicine. It is the use of high energy x-rays, radioactive materials and other sources of ionizing radiation in the treatment of disease, most commonly cancer. Sophisticated state-of-the-art equipment is utilized by skilled, professional therapists in conjunction with the radiation oncologist and radiation physicist to treat cancer.
Radiation therapy is a profession that is as challenging as it is rewarding. The radiation therapist professional is primarily responsible for the treatment of the cancer patient by administering the prescribed radiation treatment. Other procedures performed by the radiation therapist include simulation and dosimetry procedures; performing and assisting in various quality assurance procedures; participating in nursing and follow up care of the patient, assisting the radiation oncologist and physicist with other assigned procedures.

Mission and Goals

The mission of the Radiation Therapy Program is consistent with the mission of the University in that it offers a career-oriented program that prepares competent entry-level radiation therapists who provide empathetic patient-centered care.

Program Philosophy and Goals - Radiation Therapy:

Consistent with the Mission of Gwynedd Mercy University, it is the goal of the Radiation Therapy Program to offer a career-oriented program that provides moral, social, intellectual, cultural and spiritual development of the individual.

We believe that it is necessary that our graduates not only view patients as whole persons requiring medical assistance but who will also support them with regard for the dignity of the individual.

In order to fulfill this belief and philosophy we offer a fully integrated curriculum that encourages interest in the humanities as well as theory and clinical experience in the current technology of radiation therapy.

Theory within the concentration is strengthened throughout the program with everyday practical experience that permits the individual to enter the job market immediately following graduation.

For those students who complete the Certicicate Program and are interested may apply for the Bachlor of Health Science degree in Radiation Therapy.

Goals:

  • Graduates will be competent entry level radiation therapists.
  • Students will demonstrate critical thinking.
  • Students will demonstrate effective communication skills.
  • The students/graduates will demonstrate professionalism.

Learning Outcomes
At the completion of the radiation therapy program, the students/graduates will demonstrate:

  • Empathic patient centered care
  • Application of appropriate radiation safety principles
  • Accuracy in performing radiation therapy procedures
  • Effective oral and written communication skills
  • Appropriate critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Appropriate professional behaviors
  •  

Renowned Program History

The Gwynedd Mercy University programs were established in 1975 (associate degree) and 1976 (Certificate program) respectively and were modeled after The Philadelphia School of Radiotherapeutic Technology which was the first radiation therapy program in the U.S. to be accredited by the A.M.A. In 2013, Gwynedd Mercy University was awarded University status by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Our program was the first accredited (JRCERT) Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy program in the Philadelphia area. Our 20-month Certificate Program is one of two JRCERT accredited programs in the Philadelphia area. This means that our program subscribes to following the STANDARDS and professional curriculum developed and approved by the professional community. Both our Bachelor of Science and Certificate programs recently were awarded the maximum eight-year accreditation by the JRCERT.

The University has affiliation agreements with 30 cancer management centers (hospital-based and freestanding facilities) in PA & DE, which offer our students the most well-rounded clinical education experience available. All students have the opportunity to complete their clinical education in at least three of our affiliates.

To date we have graduated approximately 470 radiation therapists who are employed in approximately 25 states across the country and who hold a variety of positions that include: direct patient care, research, administration, education, and industry.

Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technoloy

20 N. Walker Dr. Suite 2850
Chicago, IL 60606-3182
Tel: (312)704-5300, Fax: (312)704-5304, website: www.JRCERT.org

Major

Pre Requisites:  All students must complete these prerequisite General Education requirements prior to enrollment in the Radiation Therapy Core Courses:

BIO 107 Anatomy & Physiology I 3 credits
BIO 107L Anatomy & Physiology I Lab 1 credits
BIO 108 Anatomy & Physiology II 3 credits
BIO 108L Anatomy & Physiology II Lab 1 credits
ENG 101 College English   3 Credits
COM 101 Public Speaking  3 credits
CIT 101 Intro to Desktop Computing  3 credits

Prerequisites – 16 credits
All students must complete these 16 credits.  Radiographers transferring into the program will have completed these in their radiography program

HS 100 Introduction to Allied Health  2 credits
RTS 100 Introduction to Radiation Therapy 3 credits
RTS 101 Orientation to Clinical Education  2 credits
RTS 107 Principles of Medical Imaging & Rad. Positioning  3 credits
RTS 110 Orientation to Clinical Education II  3 credits
PHY 111 Physics for AH Sciences  3 credits

Radiation Therapy Core 53 (BS) credits

RTS 200* Radiation Biology  3 credits
RTS 202* Principles of Radiation Oncology Patient Care  2 credits
RTS 203* Principles of Technical RT  2 credits
RTS 204* Clinical Education I  3 credits
RTS 208* Tech Radiation Therapy I  3 credits
RTS 209* Clincial Oncology I  3 credits
RTS 303* Clinical Eduaction II  3 credits
RTS 304* Tech Radiation Therapy II  3 credits
RTS 305* Clinical Oncology II  3 credits
RTS 306* Applied Radiation Physics I  3 credits
RTS 307* Principles of Medical Dosimetry  3 credits
RTS 308*  Cross-Sectional Anatomy  2 credits
RTS 320* Clincial Education III  3 credits
RTS 400* Tech Radiation Therapy III  1 credit
RTS 402* Applied Radiation Physics II  3 credits
RTS 403* Clinical Education IV  3 credits
RTS 404* Advanced Medical Dosimetry  2 credits
RTS 406*

TQM in Radiation Oncology  1 credit

RTS 407* Clinical Education V  4 credits
RTS 408* Applied Physics of Advanced Treat Tech  2 credits
RTS 410* Capstone Seminar in RT  2 credits
RTS 4000* Capstone Research Project  3 credits

Additional Courses - 9 credits                
  HS 305*             Teaching in Health Profession   3 credits
  HS 403*             Current Topics Healthcare     3 credits
  HS 208*             Basic Pathophysiology         3 credits

 
General Education and Core Curriculum**
Skills for Exploring – 6 credits for BS
Exploring Society and Global Diversity – 12 credits for BS
Exploring the Natural World, Mathematics and Technology – 14 credits for BS
Exploring the Spiritual World – 9 credits for BS
Exploring the Arts and Imagination – 9 credits for BS
 
General Education Elective – 3 credits in History, Sociology, Psychology, Art, Music
*Course requirements for the certificate program.
** Please contact the Office of Admissions at 1- 800-342-5462 for general education course requirements.

Credit Requirement
A minimum of 131 credits are required for this degree.

Grade Requirement
The minimum passing grade within the major is C (a grade of C- is not acceptable).
 

Program Effectiveness Data

Year

Number of Students

Percent completion

2009

10 enrolled and 8 graduated

80%

2010

11 enrolled 9 graduated

82%

2011

8 enrolled 7 graduated

88%

2012

9 enrolled 7 graduated

78%

2013

13 enrolled 11 graduated

85%

Five Year Average Pass Rate of graduates who passed the American Registry of Radiologic Technology (ARRT) exam in Radiation Therapy on the first time attempt

Year

Number of Students

Total Pass Percentage 

2009

8 took the exam

87.5%

2010

9 took the exam

88.9%

2011

7 took the exam

100%

2012

7 took the exam

80%

2013

10 took the exam**

100%

** One student from the class of 2013 did graduate however never applied to take the registry exam.

Five Year average job placement rate of not less than 75 percent within six months of graduation- Note most recently students have been employed however not all on a full time basis.

Year

Number of Students

Percent who were employed six months after graduation

 

2009

8

86%

2010

11

87%

2011

7

100%

2012

9

89%

2013

10

100%

11 students graduated in 2013 however one student never sat for the registry exam therefore never sought employment, 10 of the graduates were employed within six months of graduation.

 

Career Opportunities

Employment opportunities in radiation therapy exist in hospital based and free standing cancer management centers throughout the U.S. Post-Graduate education affords the therapist the opportunity for career advancement in: dosimetry, administration, education, research and commercial medical equipment sales and training.

If you are a people person who likes to work with computers and large pieces of medical equipment and you have an aptitude for science and math, radiation therapy may be the profession for you.

Internet Resources

Please click on links below for more information

American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
American Society of Radiologic Technologists
The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
Pennsylvania Chapter Lambda Nu Honor Society

Alpha Eta Society

 

 

Radiation Therapy Student's Information