Radiation Therapy is an allied health profession that employs radiation in the treatment of disease, especially cancer. The radiation therapist works closely with the radiation oncologist and physicist in planning and delivering the course of treatment for each cancer patient. Radiation therapists also develop a close rapport with the patient and must be able to provide support and understanding to the cancer patient and family.
The Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy is a 2+2 program. Students first complete two years of liberal and pre-professional science education courses at the University of St. Francis, then apply for admission to the professional education component of the program.
Successful completion of the professional education component of the program, makes the graduate eligible to take the national certification examination of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
Students are accepted into the professional sequence of courses every spring and begin coursework in the fall semester. Applications into the professional component are due by December 15th yearly.
The program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education and includes didactic, laboratory, and clinical education. Some didactic courses are available online.
General Plan for Clinical Education
The clinical education portion of the program is designed to assure that graduates are prepared to successfully complete the ARRT exam in radiation therapy technology, meet licensure requirements, and assume the duties and responsibilities of an entry level therapist.
Students are given a copy of the clinical handbook during program orientation. Students also will review the components of the clinical handbook on the first day of their clinical rotation. Students will be assigned to a minimum of 2 affiliated clinical sites during the program according to geographic proximity to residence; rotation through 3 sites may be scheduled for each student completing objectives successfully.
At each clinical site, students will spend time in the following areas of the radiation oncology department:
- Linear accelerator
- Physics and Dosimetry
- Patient Care and Nursing
A clinical supervisor is designated for each affiliated clinical site. Further, each student is assigned to at least one clinical instructor during a rotation. Students are under the direct supervision of their clinical instructor and are evaluated periodically by instructor(s) and supervisor. The student shall report to his/her clinical instructor at the beginning of each clinical day. It is the students’ responsibility to inform the clinical supervisor and instructor of any scheduled class or activity, which will require release from the clinical area. Under no circumstance will a student be substituted for paid staff nor take on the responsibilities of staff in the clinical area.
The components of clinical evaluation are: completion of semester specific clinical objectives, written performance evaluations, clinical competency examinations, journals, case studies and laboratory assignments. More detailed information may be found in course descriptions for Radiotherapy Clinical Experience I- IV listed in the program catalogue.
Affiliated clinical sites include:
Rockford Memorial hospital: Rockford, Illinois
OSF St. Anthony hospital: Rockford, Illinois
South Suburban Cancer Center: Hazel Crest, Illinois
Morris Hospital/Cancer Center: Morris, Illinois
Presence Health/St. Joseph’s hospital: Joliet, Illinois
Southland Oncology: Mokena, Illinois
University of Chicago: Chicago, Illinois
MCSO Radiation Oncology Center: Wilmette, Illinois