Radiation Therapy Technology — BS

Program director
Carol A. L. Davis

Clinical coordinator
Noriece Kisinger

Radiation therapy, or radiation oncology, is the medical use of ionizing radiation to treat cancer and control malignant cell growth.  Radiation therapy is commonly combined with other modes of treatment for cancer, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy. Radiation therapists should be able to think critically, be proficient with computers, and able to work with a treatment team. Patient care and empathy are also important assets. The program is intended for radiographers or other allied health, patient-centered professionals who seek additional specialization, or for students with an A.S. degree in a science-based subject who meet the prerequisites. 

Mission

The mission of the Bachelor of Science degree in radiation therapy program is to prepare professionals in the field of radiation therapy who have received broad education and training in all aspects of the profession. This will include critical thinking, clinical competence, effective communication, and professionalism as they apply to the field of radiation therapy. The program encourages intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual development by emphasizing these in its curriculum—all of which reflect the motto of Loma Linda University Health, "To Make Man Whole."

Program learning outcomes

By the end of this program, the graduate should be able to:

  1. Monitor changes in patient condition;
  2. Interpret the isocenter shift from CT simulation data to treatment-planning data;
  3. Apply critical thinking skills to analyze complex issues;
  4. Perform daily QA;
  5. Check that dosimetry data are accurately transferred to the electronic chart;
  6. Recognize treatment changes;
  7. Demonstrate effective verbal communications skills;
  8. Demonstrate effective written communication skills;
  9. Treat all persons with respect;
  10. Demonstrate knowledge of HIPAA;
  11. Accept responsibility and accountability for actions;
  12. Demonstrates quantitative reasoning. 

CPR certification

Students are required to have current health-care provider adult, child, and infant cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification for all scheduled clinical experience. CPR certification must be completed at the American Heart Association health-care provider level and must be completed prior to beginning the program of study. Classes are available on campus at Life Support Education, University Arts building, 24887 Taylor Street, Suite 102.

The program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), 20 North Wacker Drive, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60606-2901; telephone: 312/704-5300; website: <www.jrcert.org>.

Admission is based on a selective process.  In addition to Loma Linda University and School of Allied Health Professions admissions requirements, the applicant must also complete the following requirements:

  • Prerequisite courses as listed below.
  • Must be either an ARRT registered radiographer (two-year minimum degree), a graduate of an accredited Allied Health Program with patient care experience (two-year minimum degree), or an associate degree (science area preferred), or the equivalent, and complete the following subjects at an accredited college or university prior to entering the program.
  • 24 hours of career observation in a radiation oncology department.
  • GPA of 3.0 or better, higher is more competitive.
  • Admissions essay.
  • Interview.

Prerequisite courses

Applicants must complete the following subjects at an accredited college or university prior to entering the program. C- grades are not transferable for credit.

Humanities – 20 units minimum are needed prior to program entry.  Choose a minimum of three areas from the following subjects: history, literature, philosophy, foreign language, art/music appreciation/history.  Included in this minimum are four units of religion per year of attendance at a Seventh-day Adventist college or university.  Eight units of religion are included in the B.S. degree core as a co-requisite.  A total of 28 quarter units are required.

Natural Sciences – The study of natural sciences must include a minimum of 12 units.

  • Human anatomy and physiology with laboratory, complete sequence (required). 
  • College algebra (within three years with a minimum grade of B) (required). 
  • Introduction to physics (required).
  • Select from the following content areas: biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics, physics, and statistics.

Social Science – must have a total of 12 quarter units of social science.

  • General psychology (required) 
  • Select additional units from: economics, geography, political science, psychology, sociology, or anthropology.

Communication – A minimum of nine units are needed to complete this area.

  • English composition, complete sequence.
  • Speech 

Health and Wellness – Personal health or nutrition and two physical activity courses are required to meet the minimum of three quarter units.

Other required courses:

  • Medical terminology
  • Radiation physics, radiation protection, principles of radiography, and patient care methods - available, as part of the program, for non-ARRT students the first Summer Quarter (ARRT students start Autumn Quarter).

Electives – may be needed to meet the minimum requirements of 192 quarter units.  A minimum of 68 quarter units must be taken from general education areas listed above (i.e., humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, communication, and health and wellness).  A maximum of 105 quarter units may be transferred from a community/junior college.

  • ARRT-certified students will earn 89 units in the program. (prerequisite units required:  102 quarter/68 semester)
  • non-ARRT-certified students will earn 103 units in the program. (prerequisite units required:  90 quarter/60 semester)

For total unit requirements for graduation, see LLU General Education Requirements.

ARRT certified students

First Year
Autumn Quarter
AHCJ 493Senior Portfolio I3
RTTH 344Radiation Therapy Procedures2
RTTH 355Physical Principles of Radiation Therapy I3
RTTH 364Radiation Oncology I2
RTTH 371Radiation Therapy Affiliation I2
Winter Quarter
RTCH 387Writing for Health-Care Professionals3
RTTH 342Patient-Care Practices in Radiation Therapy2
RTTH 356Physical Principles of Radiation Therapy II3
RTTH 365Radiation Oncology II2
RTTH 372Radiation Therapy Affiliation II3
Spring Quarter
AHCJ 403Pathology II3
AHRM 475Health-Care Research and Statistics4
RTTH 332Radiation Biology2
RTTH 357Applied Dosimetry2
RTTH 366Radiation Oncology III2
RTTH 373Radiation Therapy Affiliation III3
Second Year
Summer Quarter
RELT 406Adventist Beliefs and Life3
RTCH 467Management of a Radiologic Service3
RTTH 354Quality Assurance in Radiation Therapy2
RTTH 474Radiation Therapy Affiliation IV5
Autumn Quarter
RELR 409Christian Perspectives on Death and Dying3
RTSI 3671Cross-sectional Radiographic Anatomy2
RTSI 3691CT Physics2
RTTH 475Radiation Therapy Affiliation V5
Winter Quarter
AHCJ 318Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Skills for Health-Care Professionals3
RELT 415Christian Theology and Popular Culture2
RTCH 464Moral Leadership3
RTSI 3641CT Patient Care and Procedures2
RTTH 476Radiation Therapy Affiliation VI4
Spring Quarter
AHCJ 4942Senior Portfolio II3
RTTH 348Radiation Therapy Review2
RTTH 477Radiation Therapy Affiliation VII4
 Total Units: 89

Non-ARRT certified students

First Year
Summer QuarterUnits
AHCJ 326Fundamentals of Health Care2
RTCH 283Basic Imaging2
RTCH 283LRadiation Clinical Basics Laboratory1
RTCH 285The Principles and Physics of Radiation4
RTMR 224Legal Issues in Medical Radiography1
RTMR 284Radiation Protection and Biology2
RTCH 305CT Fundamentals2
Autumn Quarter
AHCJ 493Senior Portfolio I3
RTTH 344Radiation Therapy Procedures2
RTTH 355Physical Principles of Radiation Therapy I3
RTTH 364Radiation Oncology I2
RTTH 371Radiation Therapy Affiliation I2
Winter Quarter
RTCH 387Writing for Health-Care Professionals3
RTTH 342Patient-Care Practices in Radiation Therapy2
RTTH 356Physical Principles of Radiation Therapy II3
RTTH 365Radiation Oncology II2
RTTH 372Radiation Therapy Affiliation II3
Spring Quarter
AHCJ 403Pathology II3
AHRM 475Health-Care Research and Statistics4
RTTH 332Radiation Biology2
RTTH 357Applied Dosimetry2
RTTH 366Radiation Oncology III2
RTTH 373Radiation Therapy Affiliation III3
Second Year
Summer Quarter
AHCJ 318Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Skills for Health-Care Professionals3
RELT 406Adventist Beliefs and Life3
RTTH 474Radiation Therapy Affiliation IV5
RTTH 354Quality Assurance in Radiation Therapy2
Autumn Quarter
RELR 409Christian Perspectives on Death and Dying3
RTSI 367Cross-sectional Radiographic Anatomy2
RTSI 369CT Physics2
RTTH 475Radiation Therapy Affiliation V5
Winter Quarter
RELT 415Christian Theology and Popular Culture2
RTCH 464Moral Leadership3
RTCH 467Management of a Radiologic Service3
RTSI 364CT Patient Care and Procedures2
RTTH 476Radiation Therapy Affiliation VI4
Spring Quarter
AHCJ 494Senior Portfolio II3
RTTH 348Radiation Therapy Review2
RTTH 477Radiation Therapy Affiliation VII4
 Total Units: 103

A minimum grade of C (2.0) is required for all courses in this program.

Normal time to complete the program

Four (4) years — Based on full-time enrollment, a student who is a radiologic technologist (ARRT)  completes the LLU portion of the program in seven (7) quarters.  A student who is not a radiologic technologist (Non-ARRT) starts one quarter earlier and will complete in eight (8) quarters.

Courses

RTTH 332. Radiation Biology. 2 Units.

The effects of radiation on living systems.

RTTH 342. Patient-Care Practices in Radiation Therapy. 2 Units.

Aspects of radiation therapy patient care. Emphasizes equipment, treatment, and psychological support of the patient. Transmission and prevention of AIDS and other communicable diseases, with specific application to radiation therapy.

RTTH 344. Radiation Therapy Procedures. 2 Units.

Study and/or practical applications of patient support and immobilization devices. Principles of choosing patient-treatment modalities. Methods of tumor localization. Purposes and utilization of beam direction and modification equipment.

RTTH 348. Radiation Therapy Review. 2 Units.

Comprehensively reviews radiation physics, protection, and dosimetry. Applies radioactive materials. Radiobiology. Technical aspects of radiation oncology.

RTTH 354. Quality Assurance in Radiation Therapy. 2 Units.

Focuses on quality improvement in radiation oncology. Emphasizes development of a culture of safety through continuous quality improvement (CQI) for clinical and technical aspects of patient care, including treatment delivery and localization equipment, treatment planning equipment, and electronic medical records. Discusses the role of various radiation therapy team members in CQI, and legal and regulatory implications for provision of services.

RTTH 355. Physical Principles of Radiation Therapy I. 3 Units.

Nature and description of the structure of matter and energy. Radioactive decay schemes and interaction of photons and gamma radiation. Instrumentation involved in measurement of ionizing radiation, beam quality, and dose. Laboratory.
Cross-listing: RTMD 355.

RTTH 356. Physical Principles of Radiation Therapy II. 3 Units.

Discusses the following areas: calibration techniques of photon, particulate, and electron beams; percentage depth dose, tissue-air ratios, treatment planning, scatter functions, field flatness, and symmetry; field shaping, arc therapy, and tissue inhomogeneities; and clinical dosimetric considerations. Includes laboratory.
Prerequisite: RTTH 364, RTTH 365.
Cross-listing: RTMD 356.

RTTH 357. Applied Dosimetry. 2 Units.

Brachytherapy sources, isotope calibration, protection, and implantation techniques. Teletherapy equipment and protection. Quality assurance for external and brachytherapy procedures. Laboratory.

RTTH 364. Radiation Oncology I. 2 Units.

A three-term course covering pathology, etiology, epidemiology, histopathology, metastasis, staging, and treatment of major types of malignant neoplasms. Includes technique/simulation laboratory.

RTTH 365. Radiation Oncology II. 2 Units.

A three-term course covering pathology, etiology, epidemiology, histopathology, metastasis staging, and treatment of major types of malignant neoplasms.
Prerequisite: RTTH 364.

RTTH 366. Radiation Oncology III. 2 Units.

The third in a three-quarter course covering pathology, etiology, epidemiology, histopathology, metastasis, staging, and treatment of major types of malignant neoplasms.

RTTH 371. Radiation Therapy Affiliation I. 2 Units.

First of seven clinical affiliations.

RTTH 372. Radiation Therapy Affiliation II. 3 Units.

Continues RTTH 371.

RTTH 373. Radiation Therapy Affiliation III. 3 Units.

Continues RTTH 371, 372.

RTTH 474. Radiation Therapy Affiliation IV. 5 Units.

Continues RTTH 371-373.

RTTH 475. Radiation Therapy Affiliation V. 5 Units.

Continues RTTH 371-373, 474.

RTTH 476. Radiation Therapy Affiliation VI. 4 Units.

Continues RTTH 371-373, 474-475.

RTTH 477. Radiation Therapy Affiliation VII. 4 Units.

Continues RTTH 371-373, 474-476.