Department of Radiation Therapy
Policies and Procedures
1. Direct Supervision
Students are under direct supervision at all times by a qualified radiation therapist or health care professional in the Upper Division until graduation.
2. Didactic/Clinical Hours
Didactic and clinical practicum are not to exceed 10 hours per day or more than a 40 hour week.
3. Bereavement Leave
Up to three days of excused absence will be granted in case of death of an immediate family member. Request for bereavement leave must be made in writing to the Program Director as soon as the need arises.
4. Health and Medical Information
Applicants must successfully pass a mandatory criminal background check and drug screen as well as a provide proof of the following health and medical information upon acceptance into Howard University for the Upper Division:
*Medical history and a physical exam
* Verified immunization record
* Verification from a doctor of injury or disability requiring special accommodations submitted to Student Special Services prior to upper division enrollment
NOTE: All health-related information is maintained and kept confidential by the Student Health Center
5. Pregnancy Policy
Disclosure of pregnancy by the student is voluntary. Following written disclosure, a radiation safety and pregnancy consultation will be scheduled with the Radiation Safety Officer. An additional radiation badge will be issued to the student to monitor fetal exposure. A safe working environment will be coordinated by the Program Director, Clinical Coordinator, and Radiation Safety Office. Options for student continuation in the program include continuation without any modification in program activities and, any declared pregnant student may withdraw her declaration at any time (Undeclare) with written notice.
6. Physical/Technical Standards
Applicants must have satisfactory abilities and skills to perform medical procedures with accuracy and precision. In order to practice radiation therapy, speed, safety and accuracy are of primary importance. In order to be considered for admission, applicants‟ must be able to perform the following tasks:
*Read and comprehend technical and medical terminology and information
*Communication (oral and written form) using active listening with patients, staff and other personnel clearly and effectively
* Demonstrate ability to follow oral and written directions/instructions
*Sit and stand up to eight hours per day
*Lift or carry up to approximately fifty pounds of weight
* Move or transfer patients safely to and from wheelchairs, stretchers, beds and simulation/treatment couches
* Demonstrate normal or corrected vision and hearing to discern visual/audible signals, sounds on equipment and communication devices (ability to see details at close range or within a few feet of the observer, as well as in a darkened/poorly lit room)
* Show dexterity and strength to perform daily on-the-job tasks
* Work compassionately with individuals that have illnesses and conditions by assisting or caring for patients by providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to patients, staff, classmates, or other customers
* Accurately and efficiently organize and perform tasks as assigned
*Observe patients visually or via monitors during simulation or treatment procedures
*Demonstrate knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, precalculus, statistics, and their applications
* Demonstrate use of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar for verbal or written comprehension
* Ability to apply deductive and inductive reasoning to form general rules or conclusions
* Demonstrate time management skills; ability to multi-task, and work in strenuous environment (s)
* Ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (for example, patterns of numbers, letters, words pictures, mathematical operations)
7. Rules & Responsibilities for Wearing Personnel Monitoring Dosimeters
The privileges of using ionizing radiation require that each individual user strictly adhere to regulations mandated by the regulatory agencies. All individuals who work with radioactive materials or radiation producing devices are required to receive radiation safety training to ensure adherence with regulations. Please remember the following:
*If the personnel dosimeter is lost or damaged, the student must report it immediately to the clinical instructor/supervisor and will be advised regarding the replacement personnel dosimeter. Written notification must also be given to the Program Director immediately.
* Wear only your own designated badge.
* Leave it on designated location when not in use.
* Do not take your badge home.
* Do not launder the badge or get it wet.
* Do not expose to heat, such as in a car in the summer.
* Do not expose the badge to other sources of radiation.
* Do not wear the badge for personal x-ray or nuclear medicine exam.
* Turn in your badge for processing in a timely manner.
* The film badge should be worn such that monitoring is optimized (usually on the collar).
* When wearing a lead apron, the badge should be placed on the collar or belt outside the apron. For individuals monitored using two film badges, one should be worn on the collar (outside the apron) and the other should be worn at the waist level under the apron.
* Body badges and finger rings are worn where the highest exposure is expected; rings are worn underneath gloves to avoid contamination. If you are supplied both types, wear both whenever you are working with radiation.
* A missing or invalid dosimeter reading creates a gap in your radiation dose record and affects the monitoring program‟s ability to provide accurate exposure readings. For a missing dosimeter a “Lost/Damaged Report” must be submitted immediately to his/her Program Director/Clinical Coordinator and clinical supervisor.
* The Program Director and/or Clinical Coordinator must immediately inform the radiation safety office for replacement. Until a new badge is received, the student must not be allowed to work with radiation or radioactive materials.
8.Student Work Policy
Due to the rigorous nature of the Program, students are strongly discouraged from working during their matriculation in the didactic or clinical phase in the Upper Division.
Withdrawal from any professional level course requires written approval from the Program Director and the Associate Dean.
Students are expected to be on time for class and clinical assignments. Students are considered TARDY when arrival is within 10 minutes after the scheduled beginning of the class or clinic. Tardiness for 10% or more of class sessions may result in a 5% reduction in overall course grade at faculty discretion.
Students are required to be on time and attend the entire class session unless there are rare extenuating circumstances, for all scheduled classes and learning activities. Students should be prepared with appropriate supplies, books, and completed assignments. Students are considered ABSENT when arrival is after the first 10 minutes that the class begins. Students are expected to stay for the duration of the class. Students must contact the department at (202) 806-7536 or the appropriate faculty member„s email. It is the student‟s responsibility to ensure that this is done.
Excused absences are granted due to illnesses, hospitalization or death of a student‟s immediate family member or guardian. Written verification of the illness, hospitalization or death is required on the first day of return to class or clinic. If the absence is due to the student‟s illness and the illness is three consecutive days or longer, a written medical clearance and advisor clearance is required to return to class or clinic.
Chronic absenteeism/tardiness will be reported to the student‟s advisor and the program director. Students will be conference by one or both persons with the possibility of recommendation for disciplinary action. STUDENTS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL WORK MISSED DURING ANY PERIOD OF ABSENCE OR TARDINESS.
Absenteeism (other than an excused absence) for 10% or more of scheduled classes may lower a student‟s course grade by 10% at faculty discretion.
Students who do not meet minimum clinic competency in one or more components will be permitted to repeat the rotation. Students will be limited to 1 (one) repeat rotation per clinical year without remediation. If the student is unsuccessful meeting minimum competency on the repeat rotation, the student will be required to complete an assigned remediation curriculum. After completion of the remediation curriculum, the student will be granted an additional opportunity to repeat the rotation. If the student is unsuccessful on the third attempt, an academic action will be recommended by the Radiation Therapy faculty.
Graduation from the program will be extended depending on when the rotation is retaken. Any additional financial obligations incurred as a result of such action rest upon the student(s). (See Division Admission and Retention Policy).
After successful remediation of the repeated rotation, any additional failing rotation will result in the automatic dismissal from the RT Program. Questions regarding this policy should be addressed to the Program Director. The Program Clinical Instructor will make all the arrangements for the repeat rotation. The time and site arranged for repeating a rotation will be at the discretion of the facility clinical instructor and program.
If a student is dismissed from a rotation, the department must be notified immediately; a narrative account of circumstances is to be provided by the student and a conference will be arranged with the faculty.
The clinical faculty can dismiss a student from a rotation for the following reasons:
All students are expected to be neat and clean in appearance and to dress appropriately for all classroom and clinical assignments. Hair should be clean and neatly groomed to avoid contact with the patient.
Students are required to follow the Program‟s clinical affiliate dress code at all times during clinical hours. During didactic hours, unless specified otherwise by the Program Director or faculty member, the student should be dressed in professional casual work attire. No jeans or shorts, tank tops, see-through clothing allowed.
Students wearing inappropriate attire during clinical hours will be sent home to change and will be responsible for making up all missed time.
All students will be issued a University identification badge that should be worn at all times during school hours. Clinical affiliate identification badges are issued at the site and must be worn while on rotation at all times. If the student loses or damages the ID badge, he/she should notify the appropriate party to immediately arrange for a replacement. The ID badge is the property of the University or clinical affiliate and must be returned to the Program Director upon leaving the school because of graduation or otherwise.
In cases of injuries that happen at school or on clinical affiliate property at any time, the student is required to submit written notification to the Program Director for documentation. If the student becomes injured or ill during class or clinic, please report immediately to the instructor and report to the nearest emergency room or Student Health Center where appropriate. The student is responsible for notifying the Program as soon as possible regarding with appropriate documentation where needed. It is the student‟s responsibility to notify the Student Health Center if emergency facilities are sought outside of Howard University in a timely fashion.
During facility/hospital and departmental orientation, all students are informed of the policies and procedures to follow for any incident or exposure. Students are expected to adhere to all policies and procedures as outlined by each clinical affiliate or the Program.
Any student who suspects or has confirmed a communicable disease should contact the Program Director immediately. Information will be obtained and appropriate actions taken to ensure the health and safety of all. Students are expected to be to adhere to all communicable disease policies as outlined at each affiliate.
All students must adhere to bloodborne pathogen related policies and procedures as described during program orientation by the Infection Control Practitioner.