How VERT Helps Radiation Therapy Students Get Ahead
Here we will dive into how VERT helps radiation therapy students get ahead. Radiation Therapy is a rewarding field of healthcare for people who want to change lives working with cancer patients. Radiation therapists need a strong mix of people and technology skills to be successful. Getting practice with the technology before clinicals can help you stand out at your clinical placement. Ultimately, it better prepares you for a successful career.
This is why access to the latest technology and training tools is crucial for aspiring radiation therapists. The Radiation Therapy Program at Northwestern Health Sciences University uses VERT to ensure students enter clinicals feeling confident and prepared.
What is VERT and How Does it Work?
Before a pilot gets into a plane for the first time, they use a flight simulator. VERT is the radiation therapist’s flight simulator. It’s a 3D, life size virtual environment that provides students with a realistic simulation of the clinical setting.
Radiation therapists use linear accelerators to precisely target cancer and other diseases with radiation. Practice using the controls, terminology, and psychomotor skills needed to operate the accelerator is a game changer for students. It allows you to learn in a controlled classroom environment. As a results, you will be able to enter your clinical placement confident in your knowledge and skills.
VERT also allows you to see inside the body to better visualize and understand how the radiation travels and affects organs.
How is VERT Used in the Classroom?
At NWHSU, students gain experience using the 3D linear accelerator. Specifically, to position patients, administer radiation, and see inside the body to understand how the radiation travels. This hands-on experience supplements your book learning. It helps you understand how anatomy, tumor location, and critical structures come into play in clinical practice.
You’ll have ample time practicing with the technology, ensuring you’re confident operating the linear accelerator. “VERT really allows students a sense of preparing patients set ups without the fast-paced environment of the clinic, allowing them to learn at a pace conducive to their learning.” explained Jessica Donahue, program chair at NWSHU.
Enter Your Clinicals with Confidence
NWHSU is proud to have VERT to prepare students for clinicals. Having this technology on campus allows our students advancement in skills and ready to enter clinical education with a wealth of knowledge.
With VERT, you’ll have had time practicing and improving your skills during your coursework—giving you confidence and ensuring you’re prepared to work with patients. You’ll receive feedback from your professors in a more relaxed, classroom environment, helping you learn more quickly and effectively.
Another way NWHSU prepares you for clinic is that here, students complete all their didactics—or textbook learning—before you enter your clinical placement. For five trimesters, you’re on-campus, taking in information and applying it in lab right away. Then, you spend the last 9 months of the program submerged into clinic full-time, with all the knowledge and experience you need to be successful.
Does Extra Practice with VERT Matter?
So, we’ve talked about how VERT will help you be more confident in your clinical placement, but will it really make your education better?
Donahue regularly hears from clinical partners that our students are exceptionally prepared. They’re able to discuss more in-depth topics and engage more deeply in the experience because of all the learning they’ve already completed. If you enter that clinical experience better prepared, you’re likely to learn more, and graduate as an excellent radiation therapist.
The time in lab also allows your professors to observe your work, and get to know you, your preferences, and your goals. This all helps them place you in a clinical experience that fits, and where you’re most likely to be successful.
Ready to take the next step?
You now know how VERT helps radiation therapy students get ahead. Are you ready to partner with your patients during their battle with cancer, making a real difference? If radiation therapy is the career for you, review our Radiation Therapy Program.