When you choose to become a radiation specialist, you're embarking on a challenging but rewarding career. As an allied health professional, you will be working with some of society's most vulnerable individuals and giving them the treatment they need to feel better.
Radiation specialists, or radiation therapists, assume great responsibility in their day-to-day tasks. Students must invest a substantial amount of time and money into studying to join this profession, but sadly, disciplinary sanctions could damage their chances of achieving their goals.
If you're facing disciplinary action at school, you're probably worried about what happens next. Maybe you're even contemplating whether healthcare is right for you. However, Joseph Lento knows that you deserve to pursue your dreams of becoming a radiation therapist. If you're facing misconduct allegations, he wants to help you defend your case, so contact the Lento Law Firm today.
Obtaining a Radiation Therapy Degree
Becoming a radiation therapist is no easy task. Radiation specialists are expected to perform complex, highly targeted procedures on vulnerable patients, and the level of skill required is reflected in the path to qualification.
The most common means to becoming a certified radiation therapist is the path laid out by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). This organization is responsible for certifying and registering radiation specialists, and unless you register with AART, you can't use the prestigious initials R.T.(T.) after your name – initials that indicate your standing as a registered technologist and radiation therapist.
AART sets out three steps to becoming a radiation specialist: education, ethics, and examination. We can break down what's required as follows.
- Education: Students must first complete an ARRT-accredited radiation therapy program (usually a bachelor's degree).
- Ethics: During the degree and before applying for therapist registration, students must abide by ARRT's conduct code, the Standard of Ethics.
- Examination: Students must complete ARRT's own examination before they can register with ARRT and become fully qualified.
Each state also has its own licensing requirements, which students must comply with before they can register to work in the state.
In terms of education, students can't register with AART unless they complete an accredited program that covers topics including patient assessment and management, safe working practices, radiation dosing, and ethics. These are complex topics that require commitment and dedication to master, but unfortunately, even one mistake can cost a student their degree in certain circumstances.
The Value of a Radiation Therapy Degree
Radiation therapists give cancer patients targeted radiation treatments. These therapies are designed to destroy or damage cancer cells, relieving symptoms or even curing the disease entirely. Alongside a team of oncologists, radiologists, and specialist nurses, radiation therapists give seriously ill patients the compassionate care they need – which makes them highly valued members of the healthcare community.
If you choose to become a radiation therapist, it's because you have a passion for helping people. You want to make a difference in people's lives when they're vulnerable, sick, and scared. The value of a radiation therapy degree cannot be overstated – but with any program of study comes sacrifice.
Chances are you've invested heavily in pursuing your degree. You've sacrificed the chance to join the workforce and start earning a solid income, and you're prepared to wait several years before you're a fully qualified professional. However, there's always the chance that life doesn't go to plan. Sickness or injury may prevent you from finishing your degree, or you could find yourself facing misconduct proceedings that prevent you from going any further.
While it's impossible to control every eventuality, you can control what happens if you're accused of professional or academic misconduct. Your first step should be reaching out to an experienced attorney-advisor for support – even if you're already at the appeals stage, the Lento Law Firm can help.
The Risks of Not Graduating
For radiation specialist students, graduation is the first step towards a rewarding career as an allied health professional. However, misconduct allegations can prevent you from completing your program or securing faculty recommendations to help you find employment. The types of accusations which can result in serious sanctions, such as expulsion from a radiation therapy program, include:
- Accessing exam materials without permission
- Falsifying information
- Helping another student behave dishonestly or unethically
- Plagiarizing another person's work
A failure to graduate can seriously affect a student's welfare – here are some of the most significant consequences of not graduating.
- Expulsion is traumatic. Students may develop anxiety or depression because of the accusations and the aftermath.
- Students may feel alienated from their peers, which could cost them friendships or romantic relationships.
- A student may believe they have disappointed their family, which could strain relationships and cause severe emotional distress.
- Students may still be liable for tuition fees and other costs, meaning they end up in debt without a degree to show for it.
- Expulsion can prevent a student from joining a different program or even studying at another institution. These closed doors could severely limit the student's long-term career prospects.
No student contemplates not graduating when they begin a radiation therapy program. Attorney-advisor Joseph Lento will do everything possible to help you retain your place, so contact him for a case evaluation if you're a radiation specialist student who needs help.
Radiation Specialist Student Disciplinary Issues
There are various types of misconduct allegations you could face as a radiation therapist student. The most common disciplinary issues are:
- Academic misconduct, including cheating or plagiarism
- Professional misconduct, such as misrepresentation, tardiness, or excessive absences
- Sexual misconduct, such as harassment
If your school finds that you broke student conduct rules, you could face penalties including:
- Academic probation
- Loss of social privileges
- Written warning
The penalties depend on the alleged misconduct and other factors, such as your student record. In all cases, though, you should have the right to challenge the school's findings against you, which is where an attorney-advisor can help.
When you begin a radiation therapy program, you agree to follow the school's conduct codes as set out in the student handbook. Radiation therapy students at the University of Iowa, for example, must follow the policies described in the Radiation Therapy Program Student Handbook, and students at SUNY Upstate Medical University must follow the school's Student Code of Conduct.
Every school has different policies, and they can be confusing, especially if you decide to appeal a decision or the case against you proceeds to a more formal hearing. Attorney-advisor Joseph Lento specializes in student representation, so he can help you understand what to expect and he will ensure your school applies its own policies fairly.
Radiation therapy is a highly skilled profession. Schools enforce strict academic standards to equip students with the knowledge required to effectively care for patients. They must also ensure that students maintain “satisfactory academic progress” (SAP) to satisfy federal student loan laws.
Every school has a slightly different definition of academic misconduct and unsatisfactory academic progress. However, academic misconduct usually includes the following actions:
- Plagiarism, which means copying someone's work or passing off another person's work or ideas as your own
- Cheating, such as taking unauthorized materials into an exam or copying another person's paper
- Forgery, which includes signing another student's name on an attendance roll
- Tampering, such as changing a grade without permission
- Unauthorized assistance, such as selling exam answers or helping another student cheat
Generally, “satisfactory academic progress” means the student meets the performance requirements set out in the school's handbook. Texas State University, for example, expects all radiation specialist students to maintain at least a C grade average, or they will be expected to repeat a year.
Challenging Academic Misconduct Allegations
Academic misconduct allegations should be firmly challenged. There's always a chance that the school failed to take all relevant factors into consideration and dismissed or punished the student unfairly. For example, if a radiation therapy student suffers a bereavement or illness, and their grades suffer temporarily, this should not automatically affect their chances of progression. And in some cases, the punishment, such as expulsion or zero credit for an assignment, is disproportionate based on the school's findings.
Joseph Lento of the Lento Law Firm is experienced at handling a variety of academic misconduct issues. Contact him for help today.
Society expects allied health professionals to always behave ethically. To meet society's expectations, the ARRT and accredited schools expect students to behave in a certain way as a condition of graduating.
Texas State University, for example, models its own conduct standards on the standards set out by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). TSU's “Standard Twelve” sets out the school's ethical expectations, which include maintaining patient confidentiality, avoiding discrimination, and reporting unsafe practices.
Other behavior which may be considered unsatisfactory from a professional conduct perspective includes excessive tardiness, lateness, or a failure to show respect to colleagues. These standards replicate what is expected of a qualified radiation specialist when they're working in a healthcare setting.
Any behavior which falls short of such expectations or which demonstrates a lack of respect for professional standards could be deemed misconduct.
How to Challenge Professional Misconduct Allegations
Professional or behavioral misconduct allegations can be highly damaging for radiation therapy students. Thankfully, it's normally possible to challenge a school's findings by following the disciplinary procedures described in the relevant handbook. As an example, radiation therapy students at Texas State University can refer to the handbook for a breakdown of the disciplinary procedure which applies to students in all programs.
Radiation therapy students normally have the right to a hearing where they can present their own evidence against professional misconduct accusations. Attorney-advisor Joseph Lento can support you and help you present the most favorable case. Call him at 888-535-3686 to learn more.
Sexual misconduct allegations are especially problematic for students in medical programs. Such accusations could prevent you from completing the program and pursuing your career goals, or they could make it more difficult for you to obtain employment upon graduation.
Sexual misconduct procedures can be difficult to navigate as there may be more than one set of rules in play. Schools often have two policies – a Title IX policy and a more general misconduct policy – which makes it challenging for students to defend themselves effectively.
SUNY Upstate Medical University, for example, has two procedures:
- Upstate Reporting and Investigation Procedure: This policy covers accusations of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment, which does not meet Title IX criteria.
- Title IX Grievance Procedure:The rules for investigating complaints that do meet Title IX criteria.
Under such policies, students may be accused of behavior such as inappropriate touching, dating violence, and gender-based discrimination. Schools typically take sexual misconduct accusations very seriously. Contact attorney-advisor Joseph Lento immediately for advice if you're dealing with such allegations.
Challenging Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Radiation specialists are in direct physical contact with vulnerable individuals. Unsurprisingly, then, schools can punish sexual misconduct allegations severely. Attorney-advisor Joseph Lento can evaluate your case and determine the best way to defend the accusations, and he'll ensure your school upholds due process when investigating matters.
How the Lento Law Firm Can Help
At the Lento Law Firm, we know that every student deserves the chance to defend themselves against misconduct allegations. As an experienced attorney-advisor, Joseph Lento has advised numerous students facing academic and behavioral misconduct problems. He understands how to navigate a school's disciplinary process, and he will ensure you have the fairest shot at securing a favorable outcome.
If you're hoping to become a radiation specialist, Joseph Lento knows that you've worked too hard to let your studies go to waste. He wants to help you achieve your professional goals. Call him at 888-535-3686 or reach him online for a case evaluation.