Program Director: Professor Carol Chovanec, M.S., R.T.T.
Office Location: Room S-214
Program Secretary: Gerri Farrell
Radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer and is prescribed in more than half of all cancer cases. It works on the premise that cancerous cells are more sensitive than normal cells to the damaging effects of radiation. Radiation therapy uses high energy X-rays, gamma rays, electron beams, or other ionizing radiation to produce biologic changes in the DNA of a cancer cell. Altering the DNA in this way causes cell death at the time of division, potentially eliminating the malignancy. Radiation therapy is used either on its own or in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy to achieve a cure for cancer in some patients and to ease the pain from cancer in others. Although Radiation Therapy primarily treats cancer, other disorders and conditions can be managed through the administration of radiation therapy.
Many people become free of cancer after receiving radiation treatment alone or in combination with surgery, chemotherapy and/or immunotherapy (biologic therapy). The Radiation Therapist works with a team of oncology professionals to effectively design and administer a therapeutic dose of radiation to a targeted area. They use advanced computer systems to operate sophisticated radiation therapy equipment such as a Linear Accelerator and a Computed Tomography Simulator. Additionally, the Radiation Therapists assists in managing the patient’s well-being by providing care and support for patients throughout their course of radiotherapy treatment..
The Bergen Community College Radiation Therapy Program is a one year advanced certificate program. Didactic courses are incorporated with formalized lectures and laboratory training followed by actual clinical experience. Upon entry into the program, the candidate must be a registered or registry eligible Diagnostic Radiographer and must have completed an Associate’s degree or higher (Bachelor’s or Master’s) from an accredited college with a minimum overall average GPA of 2.5. Admission is for the Fall semester only. Upon completion of the program, the graduate is eligible to apply for state licensure and national registration in this specialty. A maximum of thirty-six college level credits may be awarded to the graduate.
The educational structure for Bergen Community College’s certificate program in Radiation Therapy Technology has three primary areas of concentration:
- Liberal arts and sciences
- Radiotherapy core courses
- Clinical education
The liberal arts, science and professional components deal with theoretical studies and principles, while the clinical education component concerns itself with its application and the cultivation of sound professional and ethical practices. Since this is an advanced certificate program, student radiotherapists are expected to demonstrate a personal commitment to their education and training. In light of this commitment, the Bergen Community College Radiotherapy Program created its policies to provide the student with the proper didactic and clinical education for success in becoming a contributing professional member of the health care team. The primary purpose of these policies is two-fold: the welfare of the patient and the perpetuation of professional standards.
The BCC Radiation Therapy Program is accredited by:
The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
20 N. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
NJ Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of X-ray Compliance
PO Box 420; Mail Code 25-01
Trenton, NJ 08625-0420