Dissertation Abstract

An Analysis of the Role of the Program Director in Radiation Therapy Technology.

Publication Number:  AT9025839
Author:  Uschold, George
School:  The University of Rochester
Date:  1990
Pages:  153
Subject:  Radiation Therapy, Education

The purpose of this study was to undertake an analysis of the educational program directorship in radiation therapy technology by examining the roles, responsibilities, educational preparation, experiences, and skills necessary to be effective in the position. The trend toward increased standards set by the accrediting agencies, the movement of hospital sponsored diploma schools to the collegiate setting, the increasing academic requirements for obtaining a faculty appointment, and the changing regulations for certification of practitioners have added to the complexity of the program director's role over the past decade. Program directors have the primary responsibility for educating competent practitioners and providing leadership for the profession. The roles and responsibilities of the program director in radiation therapy technology, however, involve a complex set of expectations that may vary considerably dependent upon the type of sponsoring institution, institutional and program missions, philosophies, and the organizational structure of both the institution and program.

Subjects of the study were the one hundred radiation therapy technology program directors and their programs in the United States. Data were collected using a survey questionnaire which was designed to elicit information related to demographics, program type and size, and the roles, responsibilities, educational experiences, and backgrounds of program directors. The results of this study indicated that the directors of radiation therapy programs confirmed the roles and responsibilities identified in the survey questionnaire. They also emphasized the importance of adequate preparation for teaching and administrative roles. These results reinforce earlier findings regarding program directors, chairpersons, and department heads of allied health programs. Differences between directors of academic and hospital programs were also identified.

The information derived from this study will be helpful in determining the educational needs of the program director in both the hospital and collegiate settings and will aid in suggesting appropriate educational experiences for program directors. The findings of this study support the findings of studies in other allied health fields that have identified the importance of preparing individuals for faculty and leadership positions in education, and the need for continuing professional opportunities to enhance career perspectives.

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