Read this email on the Web

Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences - Wayne State University

News from the Radiation Therapy Technology Program • Winter 2022

Jeannetta Greer's letter from the director

As we look ahead to the rest of 2022, I am hopeful this year will bring new possibilities for productivity and prosperity for us all.

We can all agree COVID has brought about many challenges, but also many new ideas and ways of doing things that have been very useful. For example, because sometimes the mask we wear can get in the way, our junior students were given positive affirmation cards to hand out to their patients. This was a new way to encourage compassionate health care among our students. Many students indicated that giving out the affirmation cards helped develop a deeper connection with their patients, who seemed to feel more comfortable about receiving their radiation therapy treatments. As a result, students gained a deeper understanding of being compassionate health care providers and the effects of that compassion on the patients being treated. See the story below for a firsthand account of this assignment.

As Wayne State Warriors, we proved to be stronger than many of us imagined. In particular, our radiation therapy students and faculty must be applauded for their commitment to learning and teaching. We will have 11 students graduating this year. One student recently secured a position at one of our clinical sites as a radiation therapist assistant. I have no doubt the remainder of students will each find a position of their own and do well.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Assistant Clinical Professor Alisa Kagen and Clinical Coordinator Kurt Frederick for all of their hard work in preparing our students on this journey. I look forward to working with faculty and students in making this another successful year. Remember: As radiation therapists, we make the world a brighter place.

Jeannetta Greer
Program Director, Radiation Therapy Technology
Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Wayne State University

Maha Elgarmi with affirmation cards

Spreading joy: Junior Maha Elgarmi reflects on affirmation cards

Sharing affirmation cards with patients most definitely has a positive effect on them. I could tell this little gesture made their day. The first patient I gave a card to was beyond happy and in tears. He was an in-patient and it was his birthday. He told me the card was the candle to his day, which made me feel extremely grateful that I was able to give him this memory. He was a wonderful older gentleman who brought light to our clinic every time he came in.

Another patient was a middle-aged woman in for her first treatment. She came in very anxious and on the verge of tears. I could tell she felt super scared about the entire process. During her treatment setup, the therapists and I tried to comfort her, but it seemed like she was in her own bubble of fear. I got an affirmation card and wrote her a little note on the back, in addition to the saying on the front. When I gave her the card, she broke down in my arms and I comforted her until she calmed down. She thanked me and said it was exactly what she needed. 

Giving these affirmation cards to patients really shows how much a small gesture could mean the world to someone, and creates a positive bond between you and the patient. It shows the patient how much we truly care for them, and that we’re here to help them get better and win this battle. When a patient is comfortable with you, they will open up to you and maybe share how they’re feeling. This benefits both the patient and the therapist. 

Charles Washington alumni profile

An open book: Charles Washington shares his journey

Wayne State University alumnus Charles M. Washington ’87 wrote the book on radiation therapy technology — literally. The textbook he published in 1996, now in its fifth edition, is used by the WSU Applebaum Radiation Therapy Technology program, as well as other RTT programs across the globe. “Prior to my book, the materials used in radiation therapy courses were piecemeal collections of instruction that had been designed for physicians, nurses and other medical disciplines,” Washington said. “Principles and Practice of Radiation Therapy encapsulates our practice and is now considered the definitive work for radiation therapy practitioners by radiation therapy practitioners.” Read more about Washington's career success and community engagement.

Meet 2021 scholarship winner Brianna Zettel

Brianna Zettel's Dean's Scholarship thank-you video

Program snapshots

RTT students and faculty with Dean Brian Cummings

When Dean Brian Cummings joined WSU Applebaum last year, he got acquainted with the college by inviting students and faculty from each program to individual Conversations with the Dean events. Dean Cummings is pictured here, at center, with select RTT students and faculty members. Check out our Flickr page for more photos.

RTT program team building activity

Last August, students and faculty embarked on a team-building experience at TreeRunner Adventure Park to interact and connect before the start of the academic year. The pandemic had kept students apart, but the ropes course offered them a unique way to begin working as a team. Read all about it and see more photos.

RTT faculty and students

At the start of the fall semester, RTT students spent a class focused on diversity and cultural competency in health care. In addition to an interactive discussion and lecture, each student shared something that represented their own culture or background, from food to military awards. Read more about this innovative approach.

More news

Departmental Honors tracks coming to Radiation Therapy Technology and Clinical Laboratory Science next fall

Black experiences in health education: RTT alumna Sandra Hayden

WATCH: RTT Program Director Jeannetta Greer discusses Black women in health education leadership

Dr. Peter Frade retires from 25-year career at alma mater Wayne State with professor emeritus honor

Where are they now: Update from Radiation Therapy Technology alum Shannon Brown ’21

Happy National Radiologic Technology Week to our Radiation Therapy Technology program!

Where are they now: Update from Radiation Therapy Technology alum Quynh Vu '21

Veterans Day Q&A with Radiation Therapy Technology student Trever Henderson

Where are they now: Update from Radiation Therapy Technology alum Ivana Juncaj '21

Radiation Therapy Technology student Mark Sabit featured by Transfer Student Success Center

RTT community care goes beyond cancer

Pandemic Warriors: How WSU Applebaum is helping during COVID-19

RTT students Mark Sabit and Brianna Zettel earn Honorable Mention at College Research Day – watch their project presentation

We want to hear from you!

If you have story ideas for future newsletters or just want to drop us a line, please reach out to Assistant Clinical Professor Alisa Kagen

Program website