The mission of the Radiation Health Officer Course is to provide initial training for the knowledge and skills necessary to manage Navy Radiation Health Programs in support of Naval Nuclear Propulsion, Nuclear Weapons, Medical/Dental and Industrial Radiological Controls Programs. Instruction is provided in Radiological Fundamentals, Radiological Controls, Personnel Dosimetry, Medical Surveillance, Medical Casualty Response, Radiation Health Administration, Computer Science, and Radiation Safety at Naval Medical Facilities. Radiation Health Officers and Radiation Specialists serve throughout the world in a wide diversity of assignments:
- Positions are located at medical centers, hospitals, medical research activities, on board Navy ships, maintenance activities (including nuclear shipyards), training and staff activities.
- Radiation health and safety experts are responsible for all aspects of the occupational radiation protection programs at industrial sites and medical treatment facilities, ensuring compliance with Navy, Department of Defense, and Federal radiation exposure regulations. Senior Officers provide leadership and management of Navy's Radiation Safety Program, holding key positions on the Naval Radiation Safety Committee.
- At medical treatment facilities, radiation health officers (RHO's) serve as clinical radiation specialists in radiation oncology, diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine departments. RHO's are the stationed at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences as medical imaging specialists and as head of Environmental Health and Occupational Safety.
- RHO’s provide nonionizing radiation leadership in the Department of Defense (DoD) and our officers fill many key positions on DoD R/F and laser safety committees, in addition to national standards committees. At the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, RHOs support radiological physics and operational health physics research, and fill senior management positions.
- Junior and mid-grade Radiation Health Officer positions require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in science or mathematics and additional Navy training.
- Radiation Specialists and senior Radiation Health Officer positions require a minimum of a master’s degree in science or mathematics with professional board certification strongly recommended.