Radiation Therapy Technology

 

Program Description

Mission Statement

The mission of the Radiation Therapy Technology Program is to provide a comprehensive education and emphasize excellence by incorporating extensive didactic learning, professional courses and clinical experiences necessary to prepare students to: become entry-level radiation therapists; provide quality patient care; be active participants in the profession; and to pursue life-long learning.

The Radiation Therapy Program offered at SUNY Erie is designed to provide students with the knowledge and cognitive skills necessary for the competent performance as an entry-level radiation therapist.

Radiation Therapists and Radiologic technologists, as their job titles imply, both work with radiation equipment. They use X-rays in different ways, however, radiologic technologists perform imaging studies that are used for diagnosis, while radiation therapists treat patients who have cancer. Radiation Therapy applicants are encouraged to examine the various Radiologic and imaging sciences described on American Society of Radiologic Technologists.

The Radiation therapist is directly responsible for the actual daily treatment of patients with the use of sophisticated radiation-producing equipment. The radiation therapist is responsible for delivering ionizing radiation (X-rays, gamma rays, electrons and protons) according to the treatment plan as prescribed by the radiation oncologist.

SUNY Erie's Radiation Therapy program is one of a few Radiation Therapy programs that offer Virtual Environment Radiotherapy Training (VERT) for students. Students learn to set up virtual patients, utilizing real machine controls that operate life size Virtual treatment machine(s). Students can see the radiation beams and treatment prescription dose applied to patient anatomy within the 3D images.

Program graduates will have demonstrated numerous academic and clinical competencies consistent with the individual course objectives required within the program. Course objectives and competencies are developed from information provided by accreditation bodies, licensing agencies, and professional societies.

Career Opportunities/Further Education

Employment opportunities for radiation therapy technologists exist in hospitals, physicians' private practices, specialized veterinary radiation oncology practices and government agencies. With additional training and/or advanced degrees, a therapist has career opportunities in a variety of areas such as medical physics, dosimetry, and management. Opportunities also exist in the field of support, training and sales for major vendors of radiation therapy equipment. BLS Bureau of Labor and Statistics

Program Details

Campus: City

Application to the program is available online September until February 15th.  All required pre reqs must be completed prior to this date for consideration for the following Fall program start.

Pre-Admission Recommendations:
College Applicants:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 at all undergraduate colleges attended within the last 5 years.
    Appropriate college math: MT 125 required or higher (pre Calc, Calc, excl. statistics)
  • Two (2) laboratory science courses within the last five years of anticipated program Fall start each with a minimum grade of "C" 
  • Anatomy and Physiology I with lab or transfer equivalent must be one of the two required pre-req sciences courses. (It is recommended the completion of Anatomy and Physiology be done during a full academic semester)
    Second science courses with a Lab (such as chemistry, physics or anatomy and physiology II )

High School Applicants:

  • Applicant must be a high school graduate or equivalent and have a high school average of at least 88 percent
  • Completed two years of mathematics with a minimum grade of "C." (Algebra and geometry are required; trigonometry is recommended.)
  • Applicant should have completed two years of high school laboratory science courses (such as chemistry with lab, or physics with lab) with a minimum grade of "C"; or completed  anatomy and physiology course with lab within the past five years of anticipated program start date;

*"Qualified applicants" (meeting prerequisites by December 31st) may be invited to interview with the program in Spring for final selection.

Admission Requirements:
High School and College Applicants: It is strongly recommended interested students meet with the program director or program counselor, as admission into the program is based on academic qualifications and interview process. SUNY Erie college application must be completed through the Admissions Department.

(**Application to the program is ONLY available online mid September-December 31st for consideration for the following FALL program start);

Meeting program admission requirements does NOT guarantee acceptance into the Radiation Therapy Program. Qualified candidates (meeting the above pre-reqs) are invited for an interview to help determine final selection for admission.

Admission is based on the academic qualifications of the student (transcript rubric, entrance essay rubric, three character reference forms (sent to qualified candidates in interview packet) as well as soft skills of the candidate (as determined through interview rubric). Admission is also based on space availability.

  • Students are required to purchase health and accident insurance;
  • All Students accepted into the program must submit a completed Allied Health Report and Physician's Certificate. The college reserves the right to deny acceptance into the Radiation Therapy Technology Program to students who have incomplete or unacceptable physical reports;
  • Students should initiate the processing of all transfer credits for any courses indicated in the Radiation Therapy Curriculum Outline while in General Studies and/or before acceptance into the Radiation Therapy Program. Students should meet with a General Studies advisor for advisement and processing of transfer credits. Acceptance into General Studies does not guarantee future entrance into the Radiation Therapy Program; and
  • The Radiation Therapy Program is committed to accepting the most qualified candidates regardless of gender, religion, age, race and other demographic factors. The departments acceptance committee shall be charged with screening applicants, reviewing and evaluating application files, interviewing the applicants, rating and ranking each candidate to establish a new class.

Admission and Retention Requirements:
Safety and Technical Skills:
Candidates seeking enrollment into the Radiation Therapy Program must meet the safety and technical skills in the following areas: observation-communication, motor and behavioral-social attributes.

Observation-Communication:
The student must possess the ability to communicate effectively and read, write and use the English language. In addition, the student must have the functional use of the senses of vision, touch, hearing, and smell which are essential in assisting patients, gathering data, and maintaining their safety. Examples of observation-communication include but are not limited to:

  • appraise and report, within the Scope of Practice for Radiation Therapists, the clinical progress of the patient undergoing radiation therapy;
  • accurately interpret data from medical records and treatment plan; and
  • demonstrate professional attitudes in the work environment (e.g. cooperation, teamwork, attendance and punctuality).

Sensory/Motor:

The student is required to perform gross and fine motor movements, maintain consciousness and equilibrium, and possess the physical strength and stamina which are necessary to provide safe delivery of radiation treatments. Examples of sensory/motor skills include but are not limited to:

  • transferring patients;
    responding rapidly to emergency situations (cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest, falls);
  • protect and remove patients from an area in the event of a fire or disaster;
  • utilize a keyboard to input data;
  • distinguish equipment and background sounds and hear a variety of pitches;
  • see in dim light;
  • visually monitor patients via video monitors;
  • monitor patients via audio monitors;
  • read and apply appropriate instructions in patient charts, notes, and records;
  • lift 30 pounds of weight from the floor to shoulder height;
    push a patient in a standard wheelchair;
  • have good strength in both upper extremities; and
  • use good body mechanics to bend, stretch, reach, stoop, kneel, and twist in performance of job duties.

Behavioral-Social attributes:
The student must possess emotional stability and flexibility, which will enable him/her to develop the ability to function effectively in stressful situations. This includes the ability to adapt to changing environments, exercise sound judgment, complete assessment and intervention activities and develop sensitive interpersonal relationship with patients, families and other responsible for health care. Examples of these behavioral and social attributes include but are not limited to:

  • ability to think and act rationally during a crisis;
  • demonstrate appropriate behavior towards staff, peers and patients according to societal norms; and
  • apply principles of confidentiality of medical records and HIPPA regulations.

Unsafe Practice:
Unsatisfactory clinical practice is defined as a failure to perform up to the minimum standards established for the specific clinical experience. Unsafe or unethical clinical practice is defined as behavior observed by or reported to faculty that is actually or potentially detrimental to the patient, the patient's family and/or to the health care facility and staff. Every student in the program is expected to act in a safe and ethical manner consistent with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) Code of Ethics for all Radiologic Technology Medical Fields.


Trajecsys Clinical Management System: $150
Textbooks: Approximately $500 
Uniforms Scrubs: Approximately $250
NYS License Application Fee: $120
ARRT Examination Fee: $200
ASRT Student Membership: $35
Review Sessions: $30
CPR: $35
Liability insurance: Varies           
Travel expenses to and from off-campus clinical sites

Cancer Care of WNY
3085 Harlem Road
Cheektowaga, NY 14225
 
Cancer Care of WNY                          
117 Foote Avenue                                                                    
Jamestown, NY 14701     
                                                     
Cancer Care of WNY  
3850 Saunders Settlement Road
Suite 100
Cambria, NY 14132
 
Rochester General Hospital                      
1425 Portland Avenue                                                             
Rochester, NY 14621     
 
Linden Oaks
20 Hagen Drive                                                                     
Suite 100                                                                              
Rochester, NY 14625   
                                                     
UPMC Erie
2500 West 12th street
Erie, PA 16505


An Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S) degree is granted to each student who successfully completes all coursework, required clinical hours and ARRT competencies with grades of "C" or better defined by the program. 

New York State licensure is required for employment in New York State. Upon graduation from the program, an individual is eligible to apply for licensure. Passing the national ARRT certification exam is recognized in numerous states but some states require separate applications for additional/required state licensure which must be filed within that state. 

New York State DOH requires passing of the national American Registry of Radiologic Technologists Certification Exam (ARRT) for employment in New York State.


SUNY Erie Community College Radiation Therapy Technology curriculum and its program of study meets the educational requirements by the Board of Regents in New York State to award an Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) with a major in Radiation Therapy Technology.  Graduates are eligible to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) credentialing exam for Licensure as a Registered therapist and apply for Radiation Therapy licensure in New York. Other states may have different educational requirements for program completion and licensure requirements. SUNY Erie Radiation Therapy Program has not made a determination of whether the curriculum meets the educational requirements for licensure in states other than in New York. If seeking licensure in a state other than New York, please review the requirement of that American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. To search a particular State’s licensure information please visit: ASRT State Licensures

Program is currently accredited for a 3 year term 2018 -2021 by JRCERT: JRCERT Accredited Programs

Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology JRCERT
20 N Wacker Dr. Suite 2850, Chicago, IL. 60606-3182.
Phone: 312-704-5300    
Fax: 312-704-5304   
Email: mail@jrcert.org
Website: www.jrcert.org JRCERT

New York Department of Health
Website: NYS DOH

SUNY Erie Community College is an accredited institution and a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) www.msche.org. SUNY Erie Community College's accreditation status is Accreditation Reaffirmed. The Commission’s most recent action on the institution’s accreditation status on November 21, 2019 was to reaffirm accreditation.

MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).


The following is the most current program effectiveness data. Our programmatic accreditation agency, the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), defines and publishes this information. Click here to go directly to the JRCERT webpage.

Credentialing Examination: The number of students who pass, on the first attempt, the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination, or an unrestricted state licensing examination, compared with the number of graduates who take the examination within six months of graduation. The five-year average benchmark established by the JRCERT is 75%.

Credentialing Examination Rate:

Year Number passed on 1st attempt divided by number attempted within 6 months of graduation
2016 10/13 - 77%
2017 11/12 - 92%
2018 6/7 - 86%
2019 7/7 - 100%
2020 4/4 - 100%
Program 5 Year Average 38/43 - 88.4%

 

Job Placement: The number of graduates employed in the radiologic sciences compared to the number of graduates actively seeking employment in the radiologic sciences within twelve months of graduating. The five-year average benchmark established by the JRCERT is 75%.

Job Placement Rate:

Year Number employed divided by number actively seeking employment within 12 months of graduation
2016 6/6 - 100%
2017 7/9 - 78%
2018 5/5 - 100%
2019 7/7 - 100%
2020 4/4 - 100%
Program 5 Year Average 29/31 - 93.5%

 

Program Completion: The number of students who complete the program within the stated program length. The annual benchmark established by the program is 75%.

Program Completion Rate:

Year Number graduated divided by number started the program
2020 5/7
Annual Completion Rate 71.4%

 

*Job placement rate is defined as the number of graduates employed in the radiologic sciences compared to the number of graduates actively seeking employment in radiation therapy. The JRCERT has defined not actively seeking employment as: 1) graduate fails to communicate with program officials regarding employment status after multiple attempts, 2) graduate is unwilling to seek employment that requires relocation, 3) graduate is unwilling to accept employment due to salary or hours, 4) graduate is on active military duty, and/or 5) graduate is continuing education


For more information:
Jean Wood, City Campus
Room O147
45 Oak Street
Buffalo, NY 14203
(716) 270-4726