Nuclear Medicine Technologist
As a Nuclear Medicine Technologist, you will not only seek out diseases, but also play an integral role in defeating them. From heart disease to cancer, you will be on the front lines in the fight against life threatening illnesses. Nuclear Medicine Technologists are able to 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 gain about chemical and anatomical interactions. Read more about this interesting career and request information from schools offering nuclear medicine programs.
Find Nuclear Medicine Technologist Schools
Browse our nuclear medicine technologist schools offering nuclear medicine, medical laboratory, and special pharaceutical science programs. You can request information directly from schools in order to understand the specifics of each program including curriculum, course schedules, online course availability, prerequisites, and career options upon graduation of their programs.
How To Become a Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Becoming a nuclear medicine technologist begins with completing a certificate, associates, or bachelor's degree through an accredited radiology school offering nuclear medicine programs. While in school you will acquire knowledge about 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 the ARRT (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists) and the NMTCB (Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board). You future in medicine begins with finding the school that fits your needs. Use our directory of radiology schools offering nuclear medicine programs to kickstart your career now.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Careers - A Closer Look
There are nearly 18 million nuclear medicine procedures performed every year in the US
You're probably wondering how many nuclear procedures are performed in the US alone. Well the answer is there are approximately 5,000 nuclear centers in the US. They perform nearly 18 million procedures every year. Additionaly there are nearly that many procedures performed in the rest of the world and the number is increasing. Nuclear medicine is older than CT,MRI and ultrasound. Over 60 years ago it was used in patients for the first time. Now it is a medical specialty practiced in all major countries in the world every day. Now a days the procedure has been performed in the US alone more than 333million times. That is more than every individual living in the United States. New advances are made everyday.
Who Performs Nuclear Medicine Tests : About Nuclear Medicine Technologist Careers
The National Institute of Health (NIH) promotes research and new advaces in nuclear medicine every day. The nuclear medicine equipment and procedures and the development of new radiopharmaceuticals are under constant refinement to serve patients for generations to come. The physicians who supervise the procedure and interprets the results are a specially trained and certified physician. The Nulcear Medicine Technologists performs the scans and procedures and 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 associates program.
How is Nuclear Medicine Technology Used?
Nuclear Medicine can diagnose an array of dieases such as:
- To identify abnormal lesions deep in the body without exporatory surgery.
- Nuclear medicine can determine whether or not certain organs are functioning normally like if the heart is pumping blood adequately for the brain to receive an adequate blood supply and if the brain cells are functioning properly or not.
- It can determine whether or not the kidneys are functioning normally and whether the somach is emptying properly.
- It can determine a patients blood volume, lung function, vitamine absorption and bone density. Nuclear medicine can even detect the smallest bone fracture before it can be seen on x-ray.
- It can find cancers, determine if they are responding to treatment, and determine if infected bones will heal.
- It also identifies sites of seizure (eplilepsy), Parkinsons diease, and Alzheimer's diease.
- After a heart attack, nuclear medicine procedures can asess the damage to the heart and 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 patients 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 funtions to determine disease status.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Job Description
- Patient communication and preparation 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.
- Using strict guidelines for safe dosages and adhering to protocols and set guidelines for each procedure in order to minimize any possible negative side effects.