Technical Standards

Radiation Therapists are highly specialized members of the oncology health professional team who utilize beams of ionizing radiation produced by various specialized units to treat patients with malignant diseases.

Radiation Therapy students are held accountable for the following technical standards:


Students must have sufficient visual capacity to:

  • Visualize information presented in images on paper, computer monitors, slides, and video.
  • Observe laboratory and/or lecture demonstrations.
  • Observe patients accurately at a distance, close at hand and on a video monitor.
  • Observe treatment set up lights and lasers in a darkened treatment or simulation room.
  • Distinguish between red and green colors.


Students must:

  • Speak intelligibly, hear sufficiently, elicit and transmit patient information in oral and written format to members of the healthcare team, and communicate effectively and sensitively with patients.
  • Demonstrate reading skills at a level sufficient to accomplish curricular requirements and provide clinical care to patients.
  • Possess verbal and written communication skills in the English language sufficient to effectively communicate with other members of the healthcare team, and communicate with patients.

Sensory And Motor Function

Students must:

  • Have the functional sensory and motor skills to directly perform the physical set up of patients for treatment.
  • Have sufficient motor function to safely and accurately manipulate the treatment and simulation machines and accessory devices.
  • Possess functional sensory and motor skills to execute quick and purposeful movements during emergency treatment of patients.
  • Able to lift 40 lbs over head.


Critical thinking is a necessary skill for radiation therapists so students must:

  • Have the intellectual capacity to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate and synthesize information from various modalities to effectively treat patients
  • Have the ability to comprehend spatial relationships of structures and three-dimensional images.
  • Be able to accept and learn through a variety of teaching modalities including classroom lecture, cooperative learning, online, small group activities, laboratory exercises, individual and group presentations, and the use of technology assisted learning.

Behavioral And Social Attributes

Students must at all times demonstrate the emotional stability to be able to exercise good judgment, prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the care and treatment of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and other members of the healthcare team. They must:

  • Problem solve in a timely manner.
  • Tolerate physically taxing workloads.
  • Function effectively under stress.
  • Have the ability to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in an environment of uncertainty inherent in the clinical practice of radiation therapy.
  • Treat all patients, families, colleagues and other members of the health care team with dignity and respect.
  • Demonstrate honesty, integrity, dedication, compassion, nondiscrimination and motivation.
  • Be able to accept constructive criticism and respond appropriately with an acceptable modification of behavior

SUNY Upstate Medical University complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. All applicants and students are held to the same academic and technical standards of admissions and training. Reasonable accommodations will be made for qualified individuals with a disability. However, the student is expected to perform these functions in a reasonably independent manner.

Spend time with Radiation Therapy students...

watch the program video

"It's a good feeling. You know you're helping people. For our patients, cancer is still treatable. If they weren't coming to us, they wouldn't be getting better."
Kaylee Voorhies, Class of 2009

Room 1215, Weiskotten Hall
Phone: 315 464-4570