Saint Louis University

Radiation Therapy Professional Technical Standards

Purpose: This is a non-discriminatory policy that describes the intellectual, social, and physical capabilities required to perform the tasks of a radiation therapist. The mission of the Program is to educate a therapist in Radiation Therapy. Therefore, students must meet these standards to pursue the program coursework and work within the field.

All applicants and students of the Radiation Therapy Program must be able to perform each of the standards stated in this policy.

In some cases, the use of adaptive devices may be permitted in order for the student to meet selected technical standards.

Radiation Therapists are required to:

  • Intellectually understand the conceptual, integrative and quantitative ability to analyze information and data. Comprehend three-dimensional relationships and the spatial relationships of structure. Understand and apply clinical instructions given by departmental personnel.

  • Think critically: Identify cause and effect relationships, predict outcomes, interpret situation
    contexts and have the ability to make sufficient judgments.

  • Tolerate physical and emotional stress and continue to function effectively. Demonstrate emotional stability and psychological health in day-to-day interaction with patients staff, family members, and others. They must be adaptable, flexible and able to function in the face of uncertainty. A student must be able to develop mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and colleagues. They must have a high level of compassion for others, motivation to serve, integrity and a consciousness of social values. A student must possess sufficient interpersonal skills to interact with people from all levels of society, all ethnic backgrounds and all belief systems.

  • Clearly communicate, verbally and in writing, with the patient, families, personnel and others to disseminate information about patient care and work duties. Candidates must be able to speak and hear at a level that allows them to elicit and convey information, accurately perceive nonverbal communication and describe changes in patient mood, activity posture and recognize and respond to an emergency or urgent situation. Must demonstrate normal or corrected hearing to discern audible signals on accelerators, imaging equipment, phones, and timing devices.

  • See with normal or device corrected vision. They must possess the ability to discriminate among various color combinations in dimly lit conditions including blacks, grays and whites. Must possess the ability to read graphs, scales, computers and oscilloscopes. Recognize emergency signals. Adjust, move and manipulate variety of machines in dimly lit locations and have the ability to see both display devices and recorded images. Observe patient responses. A student must be able to observe patients accurately and completely, both from a distance and at close range.

  • Read, extract and apply appropriate information and instructions contained in patient requisitions, notes and medical charts. Have the ability to read and comprehend technical and medical information.

  • Have the manual dexterity to perform various radiation therapy procedures. Motor skills must
    include the ability to extend hands and arms in any direction. You must be able to hold, grasp
    and turn with the hands, and possess the ability to coordinate eyes, hands, and feet rapidly and

  • Lift, transfer and move patients from wheelchairs/stretchers/beds to treatment tables. Lift, move, reach or push equipment weighing approximately 30-35 lbs. Endure an eight-hour clinical day with a minimum of four to six hours of standing or walking.

  • Submit to and receive a satisfactory report on criminal background checks and drug testing for
    substance abuse.