Radiation Therapy Technology Certificate - Additional Information

General Information

The Radiation Therapy Technology program is a twelve month certificate program that begins in the fall. It is designed to provide specialty education for registered radiologic technologists (or registry-eligible technologists) and prepares them to take the ARRT certification examination in radiation therapy technology. Clinical education is performed in an affiliated clinic site in the Southeast region. The program schedule rotates:

  • week one, clinic is Monday–Friday 8:00 am-4:30 pm
  • week two, clinic is Monday and Tuesday 8:00 am–4:30 pm; clinic on Wednesday from 8:00 am–2:30 pm; classes are Thursday and Friday 8:00 am–4:30 pm

Full-time student status is required.

Radiologic technologists who have worked in radiation therapy technology for a minimum of two years and can document their employment may apply for the advanced-standing course of study. Advanced-standing students must complete all didactic coursework and clinical competencies.

Faculty

The courses are taught by radiation therapists, radiation oncologists, radiation physicists, dosimetrists, oncology nurses and others qualified to teach the designated subjects.

Clinical Placement

The goal of the program is to place accepted students in clinical affiliates near their hometowns. However, based on the program’s approved clinical affiliate listing, it is not always possible. Students must understand that if they accept a position in the program, they may be asked to commute in excess of one hour (one direction) to their clinical site or relocate to an area near an approved clinical site.

Courses of Study

Education of the radiation therapist is an integrated plan of classroom, laboratory, and clinical education components. The program’s courses of study include, but are not limited to:

 Basic Clinical Dosimetry

  • Clinical Oncology (study of tumors)
  • Human Structure and Function
  • Introduction to Computers
  • Medical Ethics and Law
  • Methods of Patient Care
  • Medical Terminology
  • Radiobiology (to include hyperthermia)
  • Radiation Physics (to include Quality Assurance)
  • Radiographic Imaging
  • Technical Radiation Oncology (study of tumor treatments)

Policies for Class Attendance

Progression Policy

In the didactic portion of the program, an average of 75% or better is required in all courses for progression through the program. Any student who does not meet the didactic education criteria will be dismissed from the program.

In the clinical portion of the program, students must:

  • Achieve a semester average of 85% on monthly evaluations.
  • Achieve an academic score of 85% or better on the technical component of each final competency (treatment, simulation, or dosimetry).
  • Submit all documentation as required.

Any student who does not achieve a semester average of 85% on a monthly evaluation will be dismissed from the program. Any student who does not meet the clinical education criteria in relation to clinical competency evaluations/submission of required paperwork may be given a grade of Incomplete (I). A grade of I is treated as an F in the computing grade point average. A grade of I becomes an F if the work is not satisfactorily completed and submitted within the first two weeks of the following semester and the student will be dismissed from the program.

Retention Policy

Students will be immediately withdrawn from the program if they:

  • do not meet the progression criteria
  • do not attain a semester average of 85% on clinical monthly evaluations
  • do not receive a grade of 75% or better in any course within the program
  • are found in flagrant violation of clinical affiliate, program, division, and/or college policies**

Such individuals will be allowed to reapply and will be given consideration for articulation back into the program the following year. Readmitted students who are dismissed for a second time will be permanently terminated from the program.

**Students who are dismissed from the program for violating college, division, or program policies will not be allowed to re-enter the program.

Re-entrance Policy

A student may re-enter the program on the following conditions:

  • His/her acceptance will not exceed the approved program/clinical capacity for the given year.
  • The student was not previously dismissed from the program for flagrantly violating clinical affiliate, program, division, or college policies.
  • The student has not missed more than one month of the program and the didactic education and clinical hours can be made up.
  • He/she was in good academic standing before leaving the program.
  • A leave of absence has been requested and granted by the program and does not exceed the one month limitation.
  • The student agrees to extend the time of the end of the program year in order to cover time missed and meet attendance requirements.

Additional Program Requirements and Expectations

CPR Certification

The Radiation Therapy Technology program requires students to be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Students are NOT allowed to enter the clinical setting without proper CPR documentation.

Criminal Background Checks

Following acceptance and prior to entering the clinical environment, each student must undergo a criminal background check in order to comply with policies of clinical affiliates. It will be the student’s responsibility to comply with instructions provided upon acceptance and submit results by a designated date. The background check will be at the expense of the student. Students who do not meet the requirement in a timely manner or whose background check does not meet agency standards will not be able to successfully complete the program. Additionally, criminal background results that do not meet agency standards may also preclude licensure and/or employment. Individuals who have questions should contact the program director.

Drug Screening

Chattanooga State is a drug free environment as are clinical affiliates.  Students are expected to abide by the policies of both the college and their assigned clinical affiliate.  To ensure the safety of clinical clients, students will be asked to submit to a urine drug screen prior to beginning their clinical training.

Liability Insurance

All students must purchase liability insurance through Chattanooga State prior to entering the clinical setting.  This policy will cover the student for the program year.  Advance standing students must provide proof of liability insurance or purchase through the college.

Eligibility for ARRT Certification

Individuals who have been convicted of a crime, other than minor traffic violations, could be ineligible for certification by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), even after successfully completing a Radiation Therapy program. Those with questions should file a pre-application with the ARRT in order to obtain a ruling.

Technical Standards

(Major Tasks of Job Performance and Clinical Education)

In compliance with the American with Disabilities Act, students must be, with reason- able accommodation, physically and mentally capable of performing the essential functions of the program.

  • Communicate with patients and others in completion of treatment and simulation procedures.
  • Retrieve and dispatch patients within the department.
  • Provide for the patient’s physical safety and well-being while he/she is under the radiation therapist’s care.
  • Provide basic life support services when directed.
  • Assist with patient movement and perform direct positioning for treatment and simulation procedures.
  • Manipulate and operate simulation equipment and adjunct instrumentation for patient treatment equipment and adjunct instrumentation for patient treatment.
  • Manipulate and operate treatment equipment and adjunct instrumentation for patient treatment.
  • Prepare and use procedural materials, such as instruments, linens and patient care items.
  • Retrieve, secure for filming and dispatch simulation and treatment film holders and recording mechanisms during the process of obtaining port verification and simulation films.
  • Process and/or retrieve film products.
  • Work with various therapeutic and simulation equipment utilized by the facility.
  • Perform basic equipment testing and maintenance on therapeutic and simulation equipment.
  • Receive and schedule patients, file and assist with office and clerical work.
  • Perform radiation therapy tasks for an eight-hour assignment for a full-time curriculum.
  • Prepare accessory devices (alloy block, tissue compensator, etc.) for use in patient treatment procedures.
  • Perform monitor unit/time calculations and other specific math functions used for individual patient treatments.
  • Prepare and maintain accurate records of treatment procedures administered.
  • Prepare and maintain accurate records of simulation procedures performed.
  • Apply departmental and nationally recognized rules and regulations for radiation safety.
  • Prepare and utilize immobilization devices for simulation and treatment procedures.
  • Recognize patients’ clinical progress and complications, and demonstrate knowledge of when to consult the physician.

An applicant or student who is considered to be unable to meet the minimum technical standards necessary for job performance must demonstrate compliance with the standards in order to be considered for admittance/continuance in the program.

Approved Clinical Affiliates:

Facility

City

State

Alice and Carl Kirkland Cancer Center

Jackson

TN

Alliance Cancer Care - Clearview Cancer Institute

Huntsville

AL

Barren River Cancer Center

Glasgow

KY

Blount Memorial Hospital

Maryville

TN

Bristol Regional Medical Center

Bristol

TN

Cleveland Regional Cancer Center

Cleveland

TN

Cookeville Regional Cancer Center

Crossville

TN

Cumberland Med Center Regional Cancer Center

Crossville

TN

East Alabama Cancer Center

Opelika

AL

Erlanger Medical Center

Chattanooga

TN

Greenville Hospital System-Seneca Office

Seneca

SC

Hamilton Medical Center

Dalton

GA

Holston Valley Medical Center

Kingsport

TN

Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital Cancer Treatment Center 

Somerset

KY

Mahr Cancer Center

Madisonville

KY

Maury Regional Medical Center

Columbia

TN

Medical Center at Bowling Green

Bowling Green

TN

Memorial Hospital

Chattanooga

TN

Montgomery Cancer Center

Montgomery

AL

Northside Hospital

Atlanta

GA

St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital

Murfreesboro

TN

St. Vincent's Bruno Cancer Center

Birmingham

AL

Thompson Cancer Survival Center

Knoxville

TN

Thompson Cancer Survival Center - Methodist

Oak Ridge

TN

UT Medical Center

Knoxville

TN

Hotel Accommodations

You may wish to look online at www.travelocity.com for hotel rates. Presently, the closest hotels to the campus are: Holiday Inn Express, Hixson, TN, (423) 877-8388 and Hampton Inn in Hixson, TN, (423) 877-3100. Though Chattanooga State has no contracts with area hotels for special rates, traditionally, when our students explain that they will be staying on a consistent basis throughout the year, promotional rates have been provided.