dcsimg

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

As a nuclear medicine technologist, you will not only seek out diseases, but you'll also play an integral role in trying to defeat them. From heart disease to cancer, you will be on the front lines in the fight against life-threatening illnesses. Nuclear medicine technologists peer into the cellular function and physiology of a patient, rather than just viewing images of the anatomy.

Radioactive isotopes, known as radionuclides are combined with various pharmaceuticals, which are administered to the patient. The way these substances react will help the physician find problems. As a nuclear medicine tech, you will be using cutting-edge technology, combined with the knowledge you've gained through an education degree program about chemical and anatomical interactions.

Nuclear Medicine Technologist Schools

Browse our nuclear medicine technologist schools offering nuclear medicine, medical laboratory, and special pharmaceutical science programs. You can request information directly from schools in order so you'll better understand the specifics of each program, including curriculum, course schedules, online course availability, prerequisites, and career options that may be available to you upon graduating from a program.


How To Become a Nuclear Medicine Technologist

nuclear medicine tech preparing a pharmaceuticalAccording to the World Nuclear Association, tens of millions of nuclear medicine procedures are performed in the U.S. -- and around the world -- every year. Developed in the 1950s, these procedures are now a medical specialty that is practiced in all major countries. And the field continues to evolve: nuclear medicine equipment, procedures, and the development of new radiopharmaceuticals are under constant refinement.

Becoming a nuclear medicine technologist begins with completing a certificate, associate, or bachelor's degree program through an accredited radiology school. Program topics typically covered include nuclear drug administration, equipment operation, as well as general radiology curriculum.

Nuclear medicine certification requirements vary from state to state, so it is important to find out what your state requirements are. Certification is available from two organizations:

  • The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)
  • The Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB)

Who Performs Nuclear Medicine Tests?

The physicians who supervise the procedure and interpret the results are a specially trained and certified. The nuclear medicine technologists who perform the scans and procedures are also specially trained and certified, usually through the NMTCB (The Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board). The usual route to becoming a nuclear medicine tech is a two-year associate program.

How is Nuclear Medicine Technology Used?

Nuclear medicine can be used in a variety of ways:

  • To identify abnormal lesions deep in the body without exploratory surgery.
  • To determine whether or not organs like the heart, kidneys, and stomach are functioning normally.
  • To evaluate a patient's blood volume, lung function, vitamin absorption and bone density.
  • To detect the smallest bone fracture before it can be seen on x-ray.
  • To find cancers and to determine if they are responding to treatment, and determine if infected bones will heal.
  • To identify sites of seizure (epilepsy), Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's.
  • After a heart attack, it can assess the damage to the heart.
  • It can tell physicians how well newly transplanted organs are functioning.

Nuclear medicine is different from an x-ray, a CT scan and ultrasound and MRI. Nuclear medicine can detect the radiation coming from inside a patient's body. All the other procedures expose the patient to radiation from the outside of the body. No other imaging method has the ability to use our body's own functions to determine disease status.


Nuclear Medicine Technologist Job Description

  • Communicate with the patient to prepare them for the procedure.
  • Administer radioactive pharmaceuticals to the patient orally or intravenously.
  • Monitor "gamma cameras," which capture and form images from radiation given off by the pharmaceuticals.
  • Seek out reactions in the body, known as tracers, where the radionuclide chemically binds to the materials in a characteristic manner, which indicates the presence of certain diseases or abnormalities.
  • In some cases, you may work in conjunction with CT or MRI techs to highlight an area of interest in greater depth.
  • Follow strict guidelines for safe dosages and adhering to protocols.
  • Set guidelines for each procedure in order to minimize any possible negative side effects.

Sources:

Radioisotopes in Medicine, World Nuclear Organization, http://world-nuclear.org/information-library/non-power-nuclear-applications/radioisotopes-research/radioisotopes-in-medicine.aspx

Radiology Programs:

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
 
Results:  6
Matching School Ads
X-Ray Technician/Back Office Medical Assistant

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

About Education Corporation of America

Education Corporation of America's institutions broaden access to postsecondary educational opportunities.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Platt College , Alhambra
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
  • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
  • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
  • 3 campuses in Southern California.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Degree - Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
  • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
Show more [+]
  • Financial Aid
Associate of Occupational Science in Surgical Technology
  • At American Career College, we provide hands-on training for students who are ready for change.
  • The diploma and associate programs offered at ACC can change the direction of your healthcare career.
  • 5 campus locations in Southern California and 13 programs in healthcare fields.
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as a 2014-2015 College of Distinction.
  • Average class size of 20, with a student teacher ratio of 10:1.
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
  • Diverse campus life with over 80 student organizations, including Greek-letter societies and academic honor societies.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
MSN Informatics Specialization

The University

With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.

  • Online Courses