Second-year students from NOVA’s MEC radiation oncology program traveled to Virginia Western Community College (VWCC) in Roanoke to gain essential skills in the institution’s laboratory. The two-day lab created a unique experience for students to observe and participate in a preventative maintenance (PM) check on a linear accelerator.
Students viewed the inside of an accelerator to gain knowledge on service engineers safety procedures, quality control testing and preventative maintenance checks. The interactive lab offered each student instructional guidance through the process of changing out a multileaf collimator (MLC) motor, which shapes a radiation beam precisely to a detected tumor and surrounding tissues in the human body.
The radiation oncology program consists of formal classes and clinical experiences conducted at various area facilities where students are exposed to the most modern equipment and techniques available for the treatment of cancer.
“Students rarely get to see the inside of a linear accelerator and participate in maintenance testing,” said MEC Radiation Oncology Clinical Coordinator/Instructor Tara Versluis. “This was truly an incredibly educational experience.”