The Department of Radiation Sciences offers a B.S. in Clinical Radiation Sciences with concentrations in nuclear medicine technology, radiation therapy, radiography, and diagnostic medical sonography. As Virginia's only B.S. program with concentrations specific to radiography, radiation therapy and diagnostic medical sonography plus the only nuclear medicine program in central Virginia, you have the opportunity to prepare for the technical and professional demands of the 21st century. Curricula for each concentration include both theoretical and practical course work and substantial clinical experience in a variety of high quality health care settings. Students gain clinical experience in a wide variety of clinical sites including academic medical centers, Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, outpatient centers, and community hospitals and facilities.
Our entry level programs are fully accredited by JRCERT for Radiation Therapy and Radiography; and JRCNMT for Nuclear Medicine) and meet high national standards. We are currently seeking programmatic accreditation for the Diagnostic Medical Sonography concentration. Graduates from our programs are eligible for national certification exams in their discipline. Our facility provides multimedia classrooms, a fully energized radiographic and fluoroscopic lab with both digital imaging and computed radiography, multiple radiation therapy treatment planning systems, an immersive radiation therapy simulation system, dual head nuclear medicine gamma camera, a working radiopharmaceutical ‘hotlab’, and sonography units. Equally impressive are the department faculty who are leaders in their professions and who have expertise and experience in a wide range of specialties within the radiologic sciences.
The department offers second modality B.S. degree concentrations for American Registry of Radiologic Technologists-certified radiographers who desire to continue their professional education and concentrate in radiation therapy, nuclear medicine technology or diagnostic medical sonography.
The department offers degree completion B.S. degree concentrations, with full- or part-time opportunities, for technologists or therapists certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board and/or American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
Radiologic technologists (radiographers) use radiography (x-ray),computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). to help diagnose diseases or injuries. They work under the direction of a physician. Radiographers work in hospitals, clinics, imaging centers or physicians’ offices. Some operate mobile X-ray equipment at the patient’s bedside, in the emergency room or in surgery. Others work in medical laboratories or for private industry.
Radiation therapists deliver radiation therapy treatments, with a high degree of technical expertise, to patients as prescribed by a radiation oncologist according to established practices and standards. Other responsibilities / duties include reviewing prescription and diagnosis; performing CT simulation; constructing immobilization and treatment devices; educating patient / family; acting as liaison with physician and supportive care personnel; participating in quality and safety activities; and maintaining records, reports, and files. May assist in tumor localization and treatment planning. Nuclear medicine technology evaluates the body’s physiological processes via the administration of radioactive compounds known as radiopharmaceuticals. After the radioisotope is administered, the technologist will image the biodistribution of the radiotracer with a gamma camera to determine the presence of disease. Sophisticated computer software applications can further investigate and quantify radiopharmaceutical uptake to determine the presence of disease.
Sonographers are skilled technologists that use medical equipment and ultrasound technology to view internal structures of the body like organs, tissues, blood vessels and musculature. Unlike other department programs, sonography is a career field that does not use radiation. The skilled technologists must use professional judgement and problem solving skills.
Students who wish to major in Clinical Radiation Sciences must apply to the program in spring (applications open November 1 and the application deadline is February 1). In addition to completing specific prerequisite coursework students must also meet technical standards. An interview is part of the admissions process.
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