Nuclear Medicine Technologists Career

There are various processes and equipment used in diagnostic imaging to diagnose illness. In nuclear medicine, radionuclide is used to treat disease. Radionuclide is compounded and purified to form radiopharmaceuticals. The work of nuclear medicine technologists is to manage radiopharmaceuticals to patients. Consequently, these technologists supervise the functions and characteristics of tissues wherein the drugs restrict.

Job Description
Nuclear medicine varies from other diagnostic imaging technologies as it determines the existence of diseases on the foundation of metabolic changes. The job of nuclear medicine technologists is to operate cameras with the intention of detecting and mapping the radioactive drug in the body of a patient to produce diagnostic images. Nuclear medicine technologists describe test procedures to patients. They prepare a dosage of the radiopharmaceutical and oversee it by injection, mouth, inhalation, and other means.

Nuclear medicine technologists position patients and operate a gamma scintillation camera that produces images of the allocation of a radiopharmaceutical as it restrict in and produces signal from the patient's body. These technologists create images using computer screen or film. They produce images with the purpose of getting them interpreted by a physician.

When producing radiopharmaceuticals, nuclear medicine technologists stick to safety and hygiene standards, which help to keep the radiation exposure low to patients and workers. The responsibility of a technologist is to keep document and record of patients.

Work Environment
Generally, nuclear medicine technologists need to have physical stamina as they have to move, turn, and lift disabled patients. Additionally, technologists should operate advanced and complicated equipment that needs manual dexterity and mechanical ability. The potential for radiation, which presence in this area is lessened by the use of gloves, shielded syringes, and other protecting devices.

The ratio of radiation in a procedure of nuclear medicine is similar to that received during the procedure of a diagnostic X-ray. Nuclear medicine technologists need to wear badges with the intention of measuring radiation levels. Nuclear medicine technologists follow safety programs as a result budge measurement hardly ever exceeds customary safety levels.

Usually, nuclear medicine technologists work forty hours a week. Sometimes, they need to work on weekends and evenings. This occupation offers both, shift work as well as part-time. This is one of the good professions for candidates who wish to work part-time. Technologists who serve in hospitals may need to perform on-call duty and those hired by mobile imaging services may require to travel to various locations. Nuclear medicine technologists have to deal with following responsibilities.


Nuclear medicine technologists carry out various tasks such as measure blood volume, glandular activity, radioactivity of patient, and red cell survival using Geiger counters, scintilla-meters, scanners, and other laboratory equipment. They train and evaluate students and assist nuclear medicine technologies. These technologists place radiation beams, radiation fields, and patient to permit effective treatment using computer.

Nuclear medicine technologists adjoin radioactive materials to biological samples such as feces, urine, and blood to determine hormone levels or therapeutic drug. Technologists may need to develop treatment procedures for the program of nuclear medicine treatment.

Educational Qualification
Candidates interested in carving a career in nuclear medicine technology need to complete a certification program or bachelor's degree. Most employers and states need candidates to have licensure or certification to serve as a technologist. Nuclear medicine technology program takes one to four years. Usually, community colleges offer associated degree programs, some hospitals offer certificate programs, and colleges and universities offer a four-year bachelor degree program.

Courses in nuclear medicine technology incorporates various subjects such as biological effects of radiation exposure, physical sciences, radiation procedures and protection, imaging techniques, the use of radiopharmaceuticals, and computer applications. Health professionals who have a degree in diagnostic medical sonography and radiologic technology may pursue one-year certificate program to specialize in nuclear medicine. This program attracts various health professionals such as registered nurses, medical technologists, and others who aspire to change the field.

Certification and Licensure
Educational criteria for nuclear medicine technologists differ from state to state. Therefore, it is mandatory for prospective technologists to check the requirements of the state wherein they decided to work. Almost half of the states require licensing or certification of nuclear technicians.

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