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The textbook Principles and Practice of Radiation Therapy by Charles M. Washington and Dennis T. Leaver has all the information that is needed to learn what I need to know about radiation therapy. It contains material on how to understand cancer management, improve techniques for delivering radiation, and apply the overall concepts of treatment and delivery. Although the book itself has all this inside, the way it is presented makes reading and learning the material very complicated.
Being a student in radiation therapy I am required to use this book for two courses in my major. I really enjoy radiation therapy and one could assume that I enjoy reading this text. However, this is not the case. The information is presented in a way that really turns me off to reading. For example when reading a chapter, the book tends to jump around with information. Meaning that it is hard for me to pinpoint what exactly I should get out of reading a specific section or chapter. Most of the time I find myself even more confused than I was prior to my reading. Despite this, the book is useful if I need to use the index to look up something. Anytime I need a definition or something specific I can go to the index and get exactly what I’m looking for. But like I said, reading a chapter at a time is a challenge for me.
In addition to these issues, I have a few more with this book; one of them being how the printed text itself looks. Now I understand the text contains a lot of information that one should know, however the way this information has been printed makes me feel overwhelmed. Specifically, the way the text appears on the page does nothing but draw me away from this book. It is printed small and compact so there is a ton of material on one page.Read more ›
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Charles M. Washington and Dennis Leaver’s Principles and Practice of Radiation Therapy, from a student’s point of view, leaves a lot to be desired. As a student of radiation therapy myself, there have been more than a few instances where this book has fallen short of helpful. First of all, many key terms are missing from the index section of the book. For example, the term “central axis,” which reoccurs throughout the book cannot be found there. Another problem lies within the chosen diction used in the book. It seems to have been written for those who are already quite familiar with the principals and practices of radiation therapy, not for students who are new to this field of study. Another issue I have with Washington and Leaver’s text is that they seem to have contradicted themselves between the content and the answers to the review questions found at the end of every chapter. More than a handful of times, my professor has found that their answers to their own questions are incorrect. It is already hard enough to understand what the book is attempting to teach, but to throw more confusion on top of that is the opposite of helpful. How are students expected to pass their board examinations with information that is incorrect? These kinks need to be worked out before the next edition comes to a bookstore near you. Lastly, I want to discuss the organization and overall look of the book. For some odd reason, the authors have chosen to repeat information and pictures in various sections and chapters throughout the entire text. For example, chapter 21 of this book is titled, “Simulator Design,” in which they do a general overview of conventional (fluoroscopy-based) simulation as well as computed tomography simulation.Read more ›
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