Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center announced today a new remote learning program that will enable students to earn a Bachelor of Science in radiation therapy and dosimetry through the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, while doing most of their studies in the Valley. The program is designed to help meet the growing demand for cancer care experts.
According to a press release, students can complete online courses with faculty in Houston, while conducting research, labs and clinical rotations at Banner MD Anderson in Gilbert.
Radiation therapists and medical dosimetrists play a vital role in treating patients, using innovative approaches that target cancer or other abnormal, diseased cells without damaging surrounding healthy tissue.
“We’re facing a shortage of radiation therapy experts, and Banner MD Anderson has many opportunities that enable recent graduates to launch exciting and rewarding careers that make a difference in the lives of patients,” stated Kate Sorensen, clinical coordinator of Banner MD Anderson in the release. “Having the opportunity to gain certification in both areas of radiation therapy and dosimetry is rare and helpful.”
Data from the American Hospital Association shows there will be a shortage of up to 3.2 million health care workers by 2026. This mounting and critical shortage is driven by factors including the toll on health care teams on the front lines of the pandemic.
The projected growth rate from 2016 to 2026 for employment in the field of radiation therapy is 13%, which is nearly double the average growth rate across all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The minimum qualification to be a radiation therapist is an associate degree, while medical dosimetry usually requires a bachelor’s degree.
Participating students will attend orientation in Houston for six weeks of the first semester of the program and will return for a minimum of four weeks each summer semester.
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