Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy utilizes ionizing radiation in a strictly controlled environment to treat disease, primarily cancer. High energy x-rays, gamma rays, and electron beams are common forms of ionizing radiation used. Ionizing radiation can be administered using external beam therapy or by placing a radioactive material directly into a body tissue or cavity. The ultimate goal of radiation therapy is to destroy all abnormal cells while sparing the surrounding normal tissue as much as possible.

Radiation therapists are part of a multi-disciplinary cancer management team of physicians, physicists, dosimetrists, nurses, and other support staff. They are responsible for accurately positioning the patient for treatment, operating equipment which delivers the ionizing radiation, and making calculations to determine the radiation dosage to be delivered. Radiation therapists also have considerable responsibility for providing competent, concerned patient care. The therapist monitors patients throughout treatment, which often lasts several weeks.

Course work in the radiation therapy concentration includes:
Radiation Therapy Techniques and Applications
Radiation Therapy Physics
Pathology and Rreatment Principles
Coping and Adaptation
and General Electives

Entry level program prerequisites

To be eligible for admission into any of the entry level concentrations, students must have completed the following:
Semester Credits VCU Equivalent
6 of Composition and Rhetoric UNIV 111-112*
3 of College Algebra MATH 141
8 of Human Anatomy & Physiology BIOL 205, PHIS 206
4 of Physics PHYS 101 & PHYZ 101***
3 of General Psychology PSYC 101*
3 of Humanities Elective
* Students outside of VCU must complete 2 semesters (6 credits) of freshman composition.

Students may focus elective coursework on business, education, basic sciences, or other areas of interest.

Students will spend 3 years in the professional program upon entering in the fall semester. The program at VCU leads to a Bachelor of Science degree in Clinical Radiation Sciences (Radiation Therapy track).

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