Nuclear Medicine Technologist Career
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What Nuclear Medicine Technologists do:
Nuclear Medicine is a diagnostic technique that provides information about the structure and function of every organ within the human body.
It is more efficient than an x-ray, as it has the ability to provide more important medical information. Nuclear medicine procedures do not require the use of anesthesia, involve little or no patient discomfort and are safe.
A Nuclear Medicine Technologist is a highly specialized allied healthcare professional, who works closely with the Nuclear Medicine Physician.
The main duties of a Nuclear Medicine Technologist include:
- Preparing and administering radiopharmaceuticals (radioactive chemicals)
- Operating radiation detecting medical equipment
- Performing patient imaging procedures
- Enhancing images
- Analyzing specimens
- Providing patient information, images and data analysis to the physician for diagnosis
- Informing the patient on the procedure
- Monitoring the patient during the procedure
Education & Qualifications:
Nuclear Medicine Technologist programs vary in length from 1 to 4 years. Programs can lead to a certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree.
Certificate Programs are generally run by hospitals, and are aimed at existing healthcare professionals who whish to cross train. Degree Programs are held by community colleges and universities. Many employers in an increasing number of States require certification or licensure to practice.
Certification is available from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and from the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB). You should check the requirements of the state in which you wish to work, before enrolling in a program.
Typical subjects covered in a Nuclear Medicine Program include:
Physical Science, Radiation Protection and Procedures, Biological Effects of Radiation Exposure, the use of Radiopharmaceuticals, Computer Applications and Imaging Techniques.
Salary & Job Prospects:
Salaries for Nuclear Medicine Technologists are in the range of $60,000 – $80,000 depending on location, qualifications and experience. Job prospects are excellent, particularly for certified and experienced technologists. This is mainly due to improvements in nuclear medical imaging technologies such as positron emission tomography (PET).
Find an Allied Health School near you:
Use the Further Your Career zip code search box to find schools and colleges in your area that offer alliedhealth / medical technology programs.
Below is a list of some of the various types of allied health careers / professions: