Radiation Therapy Schools
Radiation therapy is used for treating cancer. Radiation therapy involves the use of machines like linear accelerators to target high energy x-rays to destroy the cancer cells in a patient’s body. These high-energy x-rays destroy the cancerous cells by shrinking or removing them. Radiation therapists are responsible for operating linear accelerators, and administering, interpreting, and recording patient data in cancer centers and hospitals. They are also responsible for simulating the procedure for determining the proper placement of the patient and the linear accelerator. Radiation therapists are required to follow strict safety procedures to avoid over exposure to radiation. They develop a treatment plan in consultation with the physician specializing in radiation therapy.
Radiation therapy offers numerous exciting opportunities in the field of medicine. Those interested in pursuing radiation therapy as a career need to have a knack for helping others and should be comfortable using technology to help in the eradication of cancer.
Requirements for Enrolling with a Radiation Therapy School
To become a radiotherapist, a two-year or a four-year degree or certificate in radiation therapy from an accredited radiotherapy school is required followed by the ARRT certification as a radiotherapist.
There are various programs available that offer a Bachelor of Science degree for advanced studies in radiotherapy. Most states in the U.S. require licensing and certification by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Some states even require radiotherapists to pass the ARRT’s certification examination to be allowed to practice. Therefore while selecting a radiotherapy school, it is important to ensure if the school is accredited by the ARRT.
To gain admission in a radiation therapy school, students need to complete their general educational requirements followed by pre-professional courses in radiation therapy. Two years of intensive radiation core courses are normally required for a bachelor’s degree. Some programs require students to graduate from an accredited course in radiography coupled with a required passing score in the ARRT’s certification examination.
Evaluating Radiation Therapy Schools
Before enrolling with a radiation therapy school, it is advisable to evaluate the following criteria:
- Accreditation: Ensure that the program is accredited by the ARRT.
- Class structure: Inquire about the class structure to ensure that optimal learning is facilitated.
- Focus: Evaluate whether the program offered prepares students for the ARRT certification.
- Tuition fee and financial aid: Evaluate the tuition fee and financial aid available in terms of grants, scholarships, and loans to help with the tuition fee.
- Success history: Investigate the success rate of the graduates who were able to get the ARRT’s certification in radiation therapy over the past couple of years. It is recommended to inquire if placement assistance is provided to passing graduates from the radiation therapy school.
Radiation Therapy Schools: Tuition Costs
The tuition costs for different radiation therapy schools vary depending on the program structure and reputation of the institute. The average tuition costs are expected to range between $9,700 and $12,000 per semester. The course length in a radiation therapy program is 12 months to two years, depending on the institute. Students who have graduated from a radiography program might opt for a 12-month course. However, those who want to major in radiotherapy might want to pursue a two-year program to become qualified as a radiotherapist.
Radiotherapy Schools: Classes
Radiation therapy schools offer classes providing information on radiotherapy procedures, human anatomy, human physiology, scientific theories underlying the radiotherapy process, research methodology, pre-calculus, algebra, computer science, and patient assessment. The classes also include medical terminology and radiation safety. Radiation therapy schools also teach students about how to safely operate radiation equipments.