Skip to main content

ORAU Professional Training Programs in health physics accommodate every learning style

Looking for health physics online courses that allow you to learn at your own pace? Or, are you looking for an in-person classroom experience? Whatever your preferred learning style, ORAU’s Professional Training Programs have a course tailored for you.

ORAU’s Professional Training Programs (PTP) normally instruct about 25 in-person training courses in a year. With the spread of COVID-19, the team quickly transitioned their courses online; but this wasn’t the first time PTP provided online training courses.

“We originally developed our online course content for customers who require employees to take our training programs,” said Justin Spence, ORAU health physicist, referring to government agencies the team has worked with.

All certified health physicists are required to take continuing education courses, explained manager Tonya Bernhardt, PTP program manager. This made the need for virtual courses during the pandemic that much stronger.

For the past eight years, the PTP team has been working to develop interactive online courses that cover the same topics as their in-person training courses. These topics include MARSSIM, MARSSIM for Managers, MARSAME and Introduction to Radiation Safety.

“The types of professionals who attend our courses from all over the world are health physicists, power plant workers and operators, professionals in decontamination and decommissioning, naval shipyards and more,” Spence said. “Now, these professionals can take our courses any time."

According to Bernhardt, the PTP online courses are different than most online training programs. The team developed these courses to be interactive and can be done in the student’s own time.

“Our online courses aren’t synchronous with other students or instructors,” she said. “Each module we developed has 15 to 25 minutes of course material with photos, hyperlinks, animations, exercises and important notes for students.”

In other words, Zoom is not required. But, the PTP team isn’t limiting their training opportunities to online learning modules. They are also working on future webinars and courses that offer a combination of online and in-person learning.

“We were asked to host an Advanced Health Physics course for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in July, and it was the next best thing to in-person learning, given the circumstances,” Bernhardt said.

In addition to planning webinars for later this year, the team is also developing four more online courses that will be coming soon: Occupational Internal Dosimetry, Health Physics Statistics, Site Characterization.

Courses that have a lab component may include an in-person section of the class with smaller groups of students and social distancing guidelines. By providing online courses and in-person learning, there’s now a PTP course available for every type of student.

In a world where virtual learning has become the “norm,” it only takes three easy clicks to begin a PTP course certification and take the next step in a health physics career.

ORAU Media Contacts and Information

About ORAU

ORAU, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, provides science, health, and workforce solutions that address national priorities and serve the public interest. Through our specialized teams of experts and access to a consortium of more than 150 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local, and commercial customers to provide innovative scientific and technical solutions and help advance their missions. ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Media Contacts

Pam BoneeDirector, CommunicationsCell: (865) 603-5142
Wendy WestManager, CommunicationsCell: (865) 207-7953