BSc Radiation Therapy

Learning Environment

The Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy (BScRT) in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta is a four-year, competency-based program that combines classroom learning, laboratory experiences, simulated scenarios and real clinical experiences to teach the concepts and theories behind radiation therapy, patient care and professional practice.

Year 1 of the Radiation Therapy program is the pre-professional year.

Students wishing to apply to the Radiation Therapy program must first complete one year of pre-professional course work. The selection process is competitive, and applicants will be ranked primarily on academic achievement in the prerequisite courses. Get details.

  • Classroom

    All radiation therapy courses aim to create an active and engaging classroom environment for students. Curriculum has been designed to allow for the incorporation of social media, SMART boards, e-portfolios and various medical software systems to support the achievement of student learning outcomes.

  • Skills Lab

    Labs are conducted through a multitude of different techniques, including an advanced computer lab that offers students access to medical software systems and the VERT simulator, which brings theoretical course concepts to life.

    The Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton is also used as required, to learn about specific clinical equipment housed there.

  • Simulation

    Immersive Simulation

    VERT is a virtual simulator, similar to a flight simulator, which allows students to practice skills in a highly realistic environment. Students use 3D glasses and a life-size virtual representation of a treatment machine and its physical hand controls.

    This simulation experience allows students to visualize and interact with real-world equipment in a safe space where they can build their skills before entering clinical environments.

    For more information please visit the VERT (“Vertual”) website.

     

    State-of-the-Art Treatment Training Suite

    Students also learn and practice hands-on skills in a state-of-the-art simulation training suite located within the Cross Cancer Institute (Edmonton). This suite features a mock, full-size Varian True Beam machine – a linear accelerator that does not deliver radiation therapy treatment but does have full imaging capabilities.

    This training suite provides students with an opportunity for active learning within a comfortable, safe and controlled learning environment. They have the opportunity to enhance their performance by applying key skills, concepts and behaviours to case-based patient scenarios, practicing on an anatomical mannequin and with standardized patients.

    The training suite offers the latest in linear accelerator technology used in radiation therapy treatment for oncology patients. Additionally, this suite is possibly the only radiation therapy training suite in the world that has Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) capabilities, using video capture for both testing and training purposes.  

  • Clinical

    The students will complete 36 weeks of clinical practicum as they progress through the program. These clinical components have been designed to bridge academic theory and practice, allowing students to develop essential hands-on skills in a real-life context.

    Students are immersed in a health care role where they foster core skill sets to become practice-ready radiation therapy practitioners.

    Clinical faculty members are present at each site to guide students’ learning and support them through their entire clinical journey. The process brings students’ performance to an advanced level and prepares them to successfully challenge the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) professional licensing exam.

    YEAR 2

    At the end of Year 2, students are placed at an affiliated Alberta Health Services clinical site for Clinical Practicum I (RADTH 260), where they work with radiation therapists and clinical faculty members.

    The main focus of this practicum is to learn basic clinical skills and gain a greater understanding of a patient’s journey through oncology.

    RADTH 260: Radiation Therapy Clinical Practicum I (May - June, Year 2)

    This clinical course provides an introduction to the patient experience through the radiation therapy planning and treatment trajectory. It enables and requires introductory participation in a variety of clinical environments.

    YEAR 3

    At the end of Year 3, Clinical Simulation (RADTH 360) then further develops students’ acquired clinical skills from the first practicum, in a focused and controlled learning environment.

    RADTH 360: Clinical Simulation (Spring, Year 3)

    This clinical course facilitates the integration and application of course work in a simulated clinical setting; the transfer of skills/knowledge from site to site or procedure to procedure; confidence-building in a safe practice environment; self-evaluation, and the development of professional and ethical behaviours.

    The application of treatment-planning concepts will also be a focus.

    YEAR 4

    Students then complete Year 4 with Clinical Practicums II (RADTH 460) & III (RADTH 461), each lasting four months.

    These final-year practicums take students’ performance to an advanced level and prepares them to challenge the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists licensing exam.

    RADTH 460: Radiation Therapy Clinical Practicum II (September - December, Year 4)

    In this course, the progressive application and integration of knowledge gained from all academic courses, plus the skills attained in the simulation environment, are put into practice in the clinical environment.

    Skills learned will enable the student to perform safe and accurate treatments and patient interactions under the supervision of qualified health care professionals.

    RADTH 461: Radiation Therapy Clinical Practicum III (January - April, Year 4)

    In this clinical course, students demonstrate critical thinking, clinical reasoning, effective problem-solving and competent performance in all areas of entry-level radiation therapy practice.

    Successful completion of all components is mandatory to be eligible to take the CAMRT national certification examination.

    CLINICAL SITES IN ALBERTA:

    Current:

    • Cross Cancer Institute – Edmonton

    • Tom Baker Cancer Centre – Calgary

    Potential Future Sites:

    • Central Alberta Cancer Centre – Red Deer

    • Jack Addy Cancer Centre – Lethbridge

    • Grande Prairie Cancer Centre – Grande Prairie