Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Radiation Therapist?
Radiation Therapists are highly skilled medical specialists educated in physics, radiation safety, patient anatomy and patient care. Radiation Therapists administer targeted doses of radiation to the patient's body to treat cancer and other diseases. As the radiation strikes human tissue, it produces highly energized ions that gradually shrink and destroy the nucleus of malignant tumor cells.
What does a Radiation Therapist do?
Duties of Radiation Therapists may include reviewing prescription and diagnosis; acting as a liaison with the physician and supportive care personnel; preparing equipment, such as immobilization, treatment and protection devices; and maintaining records, reports and files. They may also assist in dosimetry procedures and tumor localization. Radiation Therapists typically see their patients three to five days a week throughout a four- to seven-week treatment plan.
Where do Radiation Therapists work?
Members of this profession mainly work in hospitals, clinics and treatment centers under the supervision of two other medical specialists, namely Medical Dosimetrists and Radiation Oncologists, to determine how much radiation will be delivered to a tumor site, the best course of therapy and to plan a treatment.
What is the starting salary for a Radiation Therapist?
According to the Radiologic Technologist Wage and Salary Survey – 2004, conducted by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, full-time salaries nationwide for Radiation Therapists averaged $72,300, with a range reported of between $49,751 and $103,585. In Illinois, the full-time salary averaged $66,438, with a range between $48,047 and $91,273. As with most other professions, salaries increase as the length of time in the profession increases.
What is the current job outlook for this profession?
The U.S. Department of Labor, BLS 2006-2007 Occupational Outlook Handbook projects faster than average employment increases through at least the year 2014.
Can you provide some general information on the Radiation Therapy program at COD?
The Radiation Therapy advanced certificate program at College of DuPage is a one-year, 39-credit program that starts each fall semester and requires students to attend full-time. To complete this certificate, students must also complete general education requirements outlined in the Academic Information page on this web site. In order to be considered for admission to this program, students must be graduates of an accredited Radiology or Nuclear Medicine program.
Is there a separate application process for the Radiation Therapy program?
Yes, in addition to enrolling at College of DuPage, a student must also complete a separate admissions process for this program. For details about this process, see the Radiation Therapy Admissions Packet. The Radiation Therapy Technology program has a limited enrollment (approximately 20 to 25 students) and has an early admission deadline of July 1 of each year.
When do classes take place?
This one-year program starts fall semester, with clinicals on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (eight-hour days) and didactic class work at the College of DuPage main campus on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Is the Radiation Therapy program at COD accredited?
Yes, the program curriculum incorporates the National Radiation Therapy curriculum established by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). The curriculum includes all didactic and clinical competencies required for eligibility to sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) national certification examination and/or individual state licensure examinations.
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