Online Radiation Oncology Degree Programs
A career in radiation oncology involves using high-tech equipment to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cancer. If attending school on campus is not possible, you may be able to earn a degree online. Read on to learn about online radiology oncology degree programs and what you'll study.
What Will I Learn in an Online Radiology Oncology Degree Program?
A radiation oncologist plays a vital role in a cancer patient's treatment, from determining and administering the radiation dosage to helping develop new methods of therapy. As a student enrolled in a radiology oncology program, you'll complete general education courses, medical dosimetry-related courses and an internship. You may also be required to participate in seminars and complete a practicum. Topics of study may include:
- Developing a radiation treatment plan
- Methods and instruments for brachytherapy treatment
- Diagnosis, treatment and physiological effects of cancer
- Professional & ethical issues for the medical dosimetrists
- Role of physics in medical dosimetry
- Examining, assessing and monitoring patients
- Clinical radiation oncology
|Common Study Topics||Radiobiology, role of physics in medical dosimetry, clinical radiation oncology, developing a radiation treatment plan, professional & ethical issues for the medical dosimetrists|
|Degree Types||Bachelor's and master's|
|Technology Requirements||Computer, Internet access, email account|
|Median Salary (2018)||$82,330 (for all radiation therapists)*|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||13% growth (for all radiation therapists)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Kind of Radiology Oncology Degrees Can I Earn Online?
Some schools offer online bachelor's and master's degree programs in medical dosimetry. Medical dosimetry is a field involving calculating and administering the correct treatment dosage for cancer patients. These distance-learning programs are typically hybrid in nature. While you can complete the didactic portion online, you'll need to participate in clinical internships at affiliated sites.
What Do Online Programs Entail?
Online programs require you to have a computer with Internet access and an e-mail account for correspondence. Your courses and assignments are delivered through various methods, including recorded media, closed-circuit television, streaming video or a learning course management system. You'll have the same courses online as you'd have in an on-campus program; schools often use the same faculty for online and on-campus programs. Depending on the program, you may be required to complete on-the-job training while in the program.
What Are My Career Options?
Employment opportunities for medical dosimetrists and radiation therapists are strong. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment outlook for radiation therapists was projected to increase 13% from 2016-2026 (www.bls.gov). Upon successful completion of your radiology oncology degree program, you may need to become licensed or certified as a radiology technologist, depending on the state. With further training, radiologist therapists can become medical dosimetrists. Certification for medical dosimetrists requires passing an examination through the Medical Dosimetrist Certification Board.
Certification and licensure are obtained by meeting certain requirements, including passing the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) examination, completion of an accredited radiation therapy program and compliance with ethical standards set by the ARRT. Continuing education is required for ARRT recertification, which is valid for one year.