Are you interested in the world of cancer registry, but aren’t quite sure if it’s a fit? While cancer trauma registry (CTR) professionals are in high demand, the path to becoming a highly qualified CTR professional is no walk in the park. Understanding the process of becoming a credentialed CTR pro is the first step to setting yourself up for career success. Here’s a breakdown of the education, credentials and training required in the CTR field:

Education. There are CTR associate degree and certification programs available at many community colleges across the country. Through these programs, students receive education on a range of topics, including cancer management, medical terminology, and database record management, among others. It’s best to enter a program that’s accredited by the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA), as this ensures you will have fulfilled all the eligibility requirements to sit for the CTR exam.

Experience. After completing your coursework, you’ll need to get hands-on experience in the field. You’ll want to explore options at cancer registry facilities in which you can undergo a clinical practicum and apply what you’ve learned in a real-life work setting. Many colleges have existing collaborations with facilities looking for cancer registry students, so working with your school on placement is likely your best option. Getting experience is essential before moving on to take the CTR exam, which is important for landing a full-time job.

CTR credential. Most healthcare facilities now require their cancer registrar employees to have the CTR credential obtained by passing the exam. Passing the CTR exam demonstrates that you have a strong scope of knowledge and understanding about the cancer registry, as dictated by NCRA’s certification board which administers the exam. To sit for the CTR exam, you must meet all the stated eligibility requirements, which include formal education and experience in the cancer registry field. Ultimately, obtaining the CTR credential makes you a competitive candidate for jobs and positions you for accelerated growth in your career.

Becoming a credentialed CTR professional can be a very rewarding career path for many. By planning ahead and undergoing the required training, you’ll be well on your way to an exciting new job!

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