Radiation therapy is a branch of medicine that focuses on the operation of an X-ray or computer tomography scanning machine to determine the location of harmful tumors in the body and how to treat them with the aid of linear accelerator. The treatment involves gradually shrinking of the tumors with X-rays.
Radiation therapy is mostly accompanied by both surgery and chemotherapy. Places where the services of radiation therapy practitioners are needed are diagnostic laboratories, medical laboratories, universities, colleges, oncology centers, and surgical hospitals.
Like every other profession, becoming a radiation therapist in New Jersey requires thorough academic study and a couple of professional certificates. The three organizations in charge of the radiation therapy are American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) and American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). They are the three bodies that set examinations for prospective and current radiation therapists. They also issue license of operations. No radiation therapist can operate in New Jersey or any other state in United States without getting a license from either of them.
But before then, you have to study in a college or any other tertiary institution with an accredited radiation therapy program. Radiation therapy requires coursework in fields like research methodology, computer science, algebra, physics, human anatomy and physiology.
Radiation therapy students also need to cover courses like college writing, ethics & law in radiation therapy, radiation protection and introduction to radiation therapy. You can either get a bachelor’s degree or associates degree in radiation therapy or even a one-year certificate program. Radiation therapy practitioners with Bachelors of Science, Associates Degree or post-baccalaureate specialization should take the JRCERT and ARRT examinations to get an operating license. Besides, most employers in New Jersey employ only certified radiation therapy practitioners. Some of the accredited radiation therapy schools are listed below.
1. Bergen Community College
The radiation therapy program of this college is available for graduates of Radiologic Sciences. The school offers a 12-month certificate program. This program qualifies students for ARRT examinations. According to radiationtherapyschools.org, Bergen Community College has a remarkable pass rate of 83 percent, 100 percent completion rate and 79 percent job placement rate. What is most striking about the college is its completion rate. 100 percent completion rate implies that no student of the program has ever dropped out halfway. The program is JRCERT accredited.
To be eligible for this program, you have to be registered or eligible for registry and also have a good standing with ARRT apart from being a graduate of Radiologic Sciences. You should also be a licensed radiographer in New Jersey. Below are the courses you should have completed.
- Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II
- Intermediate Algebra
- Introduction to Physics
You should have also completed any three of the following five courses.
- Introduction to Information Technology
- Statistical Analysis
- College Algebra and Trigonometry
- English Composition
- Speech Communication
The clinical locations of the school are:
- The Valley Hospital, Luckow Pavilion Ridgewood
- St. Joseph Hospital and Medical Center Paterson
- Holy Name Hospital Teaneck
- Englewood Hospital and Medical Center Englewood
- Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack
Deadline for application is 12th May and there are only 14 slots available.
400 Paramus Road
Paramus, NJ 7652
Phone: (201) 493-5034
2. Cooper University Hospital
Cooper University Hospital offers a 12-month certificate program in radiation therapy. The program is for students who already have a degree in Radiologic Technology or students who are about to complete a degree program in Radiologic Technology. It also has a traditional 100 percent completion rate and an impressive 97 percent ARRT pass rate. What is most attractive about this school is its 100 percent job placement rate. The statistics was culled from radiationtherapyschools.org.
What could be more encouraging and motivating to students than being sure of a job placement? It is normal for every school to have its requirements. Cooper University Hospital has the following acceptance requirements.
- Every applicant must be at least 18 years old before applying.
- Applicants must have either a High school Diploma or GED
- Students must be registered in Medical Radiography within 45 days of graduation or less than that.
Every eligible applicant must have completed the following courses
- Medical Radiography School Physics
- College level Algebra
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Algebra II or Geometry or Pre-calculus mathematics
- Computer Science
- Verbal and Written Communication
- Every applicant must also complete a one-week, 40-hour observation rotation in a well equipped and well utilized Radiation Therapy Department
Since there are always more applicants than the available slots you are advised to take any of the following steps to gain priority over other applicants.
- Your academic record has to be impressive as that is one of the yardsticks used to offer admission
- A letter of recommendation will go a long way in boosting your chances of getting a place
- Although your total academic performance will be evaluated, results of a mathematical skill analysis examination will take a higher precedence.
- Your grades in all the mathematics courses you did are also considered
- Your ability to convince the judges during your interview will also be considered.
The clinical locations for Cooper University Hospital are:
- St. Peter’s University Hospital, new Brunswick
- Cooper University Hospital, Camden New Jersey
- Cooper University Hospital , Voorhees New Jersey
- AtlantiCare Cancer Care Institute, Egg Harbor Township
- Virtua Memorial Hospital of Burlington County, Mt. Holly New Jersey
- Cape Regional Medical Center Cape, May Court House New Jersey
- Capital Health System, Pennington New Jersey
Deadline for application is 6th April and classes begin in September. Prospective students should also note that only 18 slots are available.
One Cooper Plaza
Camden, NJ 8103
Phone: (856) 342-2734
3. St. Barnabas Medical Center
This school is about the oldest school in United States. It has been offering courses in radiation oncology and therapy since 1968. The school must have produced thousands of graduates since then. It offers a 12 month certificate in Radiation Therapy technology. Another remarkable feature of this school is that it has state of the art equipment with which students are taught.
The program has been accredited by both JRCERT and New Jersey Radiologic Technology Board of Examiners. It has a 100 percent completion rate, 88 percent ARRT pass rate and 80 percent job placement rate.
Admission requirements of St. Barnabas Medical Center are as follows:
- Completion of the following general education courses: Verbal Communication, Written Communication, Pre-calculus Mathematics, Algebra, Human Anatomy and Human Physiology
- Completion of a program in Radiologic Technology from an accredited institution
- Passing the interview by Admissions Committee
- Passing of Pre-Admission Tests
Clinical locations of St. Barnabas Medical Center are:
- St. Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston New Jersey
- Clara Maass Medical Center, Belleville New Jersey
- Community Medical Center, Toms River New Jersey
- Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch New Jersey
- Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Newark New Jersey
The deadline for application is 16th of April and classes commence in September and only 16 slots are available for each session.
Old Short Hls Rd
Livingston, NJ 7039
Phone: (973) 322-5628
In conclusion, it is quite obvious that there are very few schools of radiation therapy in New Jersey, so it is very competitive and admission is usually treated as the “battle of the fittest” so prospective students have to tighten their belts from the beginning.