Radiation Therapy

Earn your degree in the high-demand field of Radiation Therapy.

Radiation Therapists are highly trained medical professionals who collaborate with the Radiation Oncologist to deliver ionizing radiation to patients for the eradication of pathology, primarily cancer. Radiation Therapy practice includes treatment delivery, treatment simulation, medical dosimetry and patient care. These activities require a solid background in anatomy and physiology, physics, chemistry and mathematics to work in this highly specialized and rapidly advancing field.

Besides the Radiation Therapist, the radiation oncology treatment team includes a physician, who specializes in radiation oncology, medical physicist, medical dosimetrist, oncology nurse and other health care professionals such as social workers and nutritionists. These individuals work together to treat patients, with treatments lasting from several days to several weeks.

Program Highlights

The Bachelor in Health Science in Radiation Therapy includes coursework in radiation therapy physics, medical dosimetry, radiation biology, oncology pathology, patient care and clinical radiation oncology. Clinical rotations are performed at a variety of centers giving the student a full range of clinical procedures. Coursework and clinical experiences prepare students to work as entry-level radiation therapists. Students may apply to take the national board exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists once all coursework is completed.

  • Student-to-Faculty ratio – 4:1
  • Student-to-Clinician ratio – 1:1

VERT: Real World Experience

Virtual Environment Radiotherapy Trainer (VERT) is a state of the art 3D linear accelerator and patient data set which creates a real world experience for students in a safe, laboratory setting on campus. The VERT allows students to master psychomotor skills before clinical placement creating a better learning experience with clinicians. VERT bridges the gap between academic learning and clinical practice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How long is the program and is there a summer term?
A: The program is 5 continuous semesters and you must attend one summer session in between the first and second year.

Q. When will I be involved with classes and clinicals?
A: The first semester is just didactic classes with some clinical observations after fall break. You can expect to be in class on Mondays and Wednesdays all day, with some clinicals, 3-4 days maximum, on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays. In the second semester, class will be on Mondays and Wednesdays with clinicals on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The last 3 semesters, class will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with clinicals on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Q. If I am a radiographer, do I still need to take medical imaging and radiobiology?
A. These courses tackle specific topics and issues that pertain solely to Radiation Oncology which were not covered in your radiography education.

Q. Are there additional expenses besides tuition?
A: Yes. You are responsible for your books and classroom supplies (pens, pencils, calculator, notebooks, binders, etc), scrubs, background check and transportation to clinical sites.

Q. Where are clinical sites located?
A: Our clinical sites are in Louisville, KY, Jeffersonville, IN, Elizabethtown, KY.

Q. Is the program accredited?
A: Yes. The program has programmatic accreditation through the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology, the only programmatic accreditor for Radiation Therapy Programs.

Q. Will students be able to attend any professional meetings?
A. Yes. Our students attend our national annual radiation therapy conference. In 2018, faculty and students attended the conference in San Antonio, TX and in 2019, we will be attending the conference in Chicago, IL.

Student Learning Outcomes

Goal # 1: Students will develop critical thinking skills.
Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will synthesize didactic and clinical information in clinical case studies.
  • Students will complete a research project in radiation therapy.
  • Students will perform treatment calculations.

Goal # 2: Students will communicate effectively with patients and the oncology health care team.
Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will communicate effectively with their patients.
  • Students will communicate effectively with the health care team.
  • Students will demonstrate written communication skills.
  • Students will demonstrate oral presentation skills.

Goal # 3: Students will demonstrate professionalism during the program.
Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will develop and maintain professional behavior.
  • Students will demonstrate ethical behavior in clinical situations.
  • Students will demonstrate ethical decision making about social issues in oncology.

Goal #4: Students will perform as competent, entry level radiation therapists.
Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will perform Treatment Delivery.
  • Students will perform Simulation.
  • Students will perform General Patient Care Skills.
  • Students will demonstrate consistency and efficiency while working in the clinic.

Goal # 5: The program will demonstrate programmatic effectiveness.
Student Learning Outcomes

  • Graduates will function as a competent entry level radiation therapist.
  • Graduates will be satisfied with their education.
  • Students enrolled in the program will complete the program.
  • Students will pass the ARRT exam in Radiation Therapy.
  • Graduates will gain employment.

Faculty Profiles

Carol Scherbak, M.S.R.S., R.T.(T)

Carol Scherbak, M.S.R.S., R.T.(T) previously taught at the University of Kentucky Department of Radiation Medicine (Lexington, KY), University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center School of Health Professions (Dallas, TX), Northern Kentucky University (Highland Heights, KY) and St. Catharine College (St. Catharine, KY) before arriving at Bellarmine University. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX), a Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL) and a Masters of Science in Radiologic Sciences from Midwestern State University (Wichita Falls, TX). Her research interests include Student Therapist interactions and Virtual Environment Radiotherapy Trainer.

Ms. Scherbak has presented at international, national, state and local conferences on Improving Clinical Performance, IMRT, Qualitative Research in Radiologic Science Education, Integrating Treatment Planning and VERT, Curriculum Upheaval or How to Stress an Educator, Gaming with VERT and Active Learning Education.

Shelley McGuire

Shelley McGuire, is the Clinical Coordinator for the Radiation Therapy Program. She has a Master’s degree in Health Services Administration (2014) and a Bachelor’s in Health Arts (2007). She received her Associate’s degree in Radiologic Technology from the University of Louisville in 2001. She trained in Radiation Therapy at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, completing in 2002. Shelley worked in Radiation Therapy for 14.5 years before coming to Bellarmine.

Interests: Cancer survival, pediatric cancers.

Dickerson Moreno

Dickerson Moreno finished his Ph.D. in Medical Physics at the University of Missouri-Columbia under a Fulbright Fellowship. He completed his Medical Physics Residency at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Hospital and Post Doctoral Fellowship on Monte Carlo Analysis at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He previously taught medical physics courses at De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines, and has presented papers at the World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering. He is currently the Engineering Manager for Nuclear Applications at Emerson Corporation.

Mission Statement of the Radiation Therapy Program

The Mission of the Radiation Therapy Program in the Lansing School of Nursing and Clinical Sciences is to develop entry-level radiation therapists who adhere to the Catholic traditions imbedded in Bellarmine University which promote intellectual, moral and ethical decision making in completing professional competencies with a patient centered approach. The program will encourage professional growth and development to improve outcomes, advance radiation therapy practice and create a safe working environment.

Accreditation

The Radiation Therapy Program is programmatically accredited by:

Joint Review Committee on Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)
20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 2850
Chicago, IL 60606-3182
Phone: 312.704.5300
Fax: 312.704.5304
mail@jrcert.org

Contact Information

Carol Scherbak, M.S.R.S., R.T.(T), Dept. Chair
cscherbak@bellarmine.edu or 502.272.8355

Shelley McGuire, MSHA, R.T. (R)(T), Clinical Coordinator
smcguire@bellarmine.edu or 502.272.8352

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