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Cancer Information Management Certificate

Frequently Asked Questions

What do Cancer Information Management Professionals do?

Cancer Information Management professionals are data management experts who identify, interpret and record a wide range of demographic and medical information on patients who are diagnosed with cancer. Cancer registrars capture a complete summary of patient history, diagnosis, treatment and status for every cancer patient in the United States. The information is submitted to state and national registries for use in research, treatment and prevention.

What is a Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) and what type of work do they perform?

The credentials of CTR marks achievement, fosters professional pride, and is nationally recognized in recruitment and retention of registry personnel. CTRs work in or supervise cancer registry and organizations or companies that actively support cancer registration. Cancer registration involves collection, management and analysis of cancer incidence data for research, quality management/improvement, cancer program development, cancer prevention and surveillance, survival and outcome data, compliance of reporting standards, and the development of accreditation standards for Cancer Registration.

What do I need to become a CTR?

In order to be qualified to sit for the CTR Exam you qualify, you must have successfully completed a NCRA-Accredited Associate Degree and 160 hours of work practicum in a CTR-staffed Cancer Registry. Or successfully complete of an NCRA-Accredited Formal Education Certificate Program and a minimum of an Associate degree and 160 hours of work practicum in a CTR-staff Cancer Registry. Or one year full-time experience (1,950 hours) in the cancer registry field, and successful completion of a minimum of an Associate Degree or equivalent (60 college-level credits). Must include two semesters of human anatomy and physiology with a grade of C or better.

How long is the certificate program?

Full time students can complete the program in one year (2 semesters). Part-time students are required to complete the program in three years from when they enter the program.

What do I have to do to get into the program?

Apply for admission to Owens Community College
Submit official high school transcript or GED certificate
Submit transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, including Owens Community College
Request evaluation for admission in to the CIM Program through the selective admission process. You will receive notification that your file is complete and if you have been admitted into the program, based on the selective admission criteria.

Will I be able to work while attending the program? Is the program offered in the evenings or weekends?

Students in the program have found having a part-time or full time job is manageable, but does require excellent time management skills. The student must consider that during the second semester of the certificate program, a clinical applications course of 160 hours is required, so it is important to take that into consideration when making a decision about working. The program is offered totally on-line and requires good time management skills.

Where does a CTR find employment?

A CTR may be employed in health care facilities, central registries, special purposes registries, consulting firms and registry software, government agencies, insurance, pharmaceutical and other health care industries.

What type of salary can a CRT expect to receive?

The median level for CIM professionals is $30,000 - $35,000.

What is the job market outlook?

The evidenced-based medicine of today recognizes the skills and abilities of the cancer registrar. Cancer registrars will find a ready market for their skills and the job outlook is positive.

If I decide to continue my education, are there bachelor degree programs available in this field?

Yes, The University of Texas at Brownsville has a bachelor degree program in Cancer Information Management.


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