Nuclear Medicine Technologist - How to Become a Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

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Nuclear Medicine Technologist Job Description

 

Nuclear medicine is used to diagnose and treat disease by utilizing radionuclides – unstable atoms that spontaneously emit radiation. Radionuclides undergo a purification and compounding process like other drugs to form useful radiopharmaceuticals. These radiopharmaceuticals are prepared and administered by the nuclear medicine technologist, a highly specialized health care professional.

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Responsibilities

 

The nuclear medicine technologist uses specialized equipment to monitor the characteristics and functioning status of tissues or organs in which the radiopharmaceuticals collect. Abnormal areas are identified by higher or lower than normal concentrations of radioactivity.

The nuclear medicine technologist operates the computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners that are used as a part of nuclear medicine procedures. The main responsibilities of the technologist include:

  • The preparation and administration of medications and radiopharmaceuticals needed for patient imaging and therapeutic procedures

  • Using advanced computer technology to process data and enhance digital images

  • Analysis of data and patient information, along with providing images, used for diagnostic interpretations or therapeutic procedures

  • Assessing the technical quality and calibration of instrumentation by evaluation of images

  • Assessing efficacy of new protocols

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Skills

 

Attention to Detail

Must be careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. Missing small things can have big consequences in this field since you're dealing with radiopharmaceuticals.

Autonomy

Must develop your own ways of doing things since you will mainly work alone. Must be able to guide yourself with little or no supervision, and depend on yourself to get things done.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Monitoring

Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself and patients under your care to make improvements or take corrective action.

Science

Must be able to use scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Concern for Others

Must be sensitive to others' needs and feelings and be understanding and helpful on the job. Patients you encounter will be going through difficult times and you must be empathetic towards them.

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Working Conditions

 

A nuclear medicine technologist will typically work a 40-hour week. Evening or weekend rotations may be included in departments that work on an extended or around-the-clock schedule. Part-time and shift work opportunities are common. There may occasionally be an on-call assignment required.

 


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How to Become a Nuclear Medicine Technologist

 

Beginning in 2015, all programs will start to be offered at the Bachelor Degree level as recommended by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging(SNMMI). Also beginning in 2015, the only programs recognized by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists will be associate degree programs or higher.

The nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board will also begin recognizing only those programs that are programmatically accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT) starting in 2016.

 

1. Complete a Nuclear Medicine Technology Program

 

A program in nuclear medicine technology can range in length from two to four years; either an Associate's program or a Bachelor's program. These programs provide in-class work as well as clinical on-site training and can either be taken at a community college or a 4-year college or university. 

The curriculum includes the following:

  • Radiopharmaceuticals

  • Tomographic imaging,

  • Radiation physics

  • Human anatomy 

 

2. Earn the Required Certification

 

There are two national certification exams you must take after completing your education. They are hosted by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and Nuclear Medicine Technologist Certification Board (NMTCB) and you must pass at least one of these exams to work as a nuclear medicine technician; some professionals choose to acquire both credentials to improve employment prospects.

 The ARRT exam is a 4 hour test that is compiled of 200 questions. It has multiple choice, short answer, negatively worded, combined response, select multiple, illustration, hot-spot, sorted list, and video questions.

The NMTCB test is a computer adaptive test that gauges your knowledge of the following: Radiation Safety, Instrumentation, Clinical Procedures, and Radiopharmacy.

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
12.05.2016
Under general supervision, performs Nuclear Medicine and Positron Emission Tomography procedures. In doing so, assists in calibrating equipment and administering radiation. The age of the patients served range from infants to geriatrics. As the...
12.05.2016
High School/GED RT(N) - Nuclear Medicine Technologist 1 Year of Experience Required Under the direction of a Radiologist and Supervisor (Radiology) or Cardiologist and Lead Tech (Cardiology), performs Nuclear Medicine procedures at a...
12.05.2016
Nuclear Med Tech Baptist New Orleans PRN The Nuclear Medicine Technologist performs various diagnostic imaging and non-imaging procedures, performs quality control on all nuclear medicine equipment, maintains radiopharmaceutical laboratory,...
12.07.2016
Nuclear Med Technologist Nuclear Medicine - PRN The Nuclear Medicine Pet Fusion Technologist performs various diagnostic imaging, non-imaging, and therapeutic procedures; performs quality control on all department equipment daily, weekly,...
12.05.2016
The Best Just Keeps Getting Better Virginia Hospital Center is an independent and progressive, 350-bed not-for-profit teaching hospital in Arlington, VA. Part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, our progressive acute care facility has achieved...
12.05.2016
The Nuclear Medicine Technologist should be registered, certified or registry eligible. The Nuclear Medicine Technologist is expected to perform all diagnostic procedures under the direct supervision of the Lead Tech and Director of Diagnostic...
12.05.2016
The Nuclear Medicine Technologist should be registered, certified or registry eligible. The Nuclear Medicine Technologist is expected to perform all diagnostic procedures under the direct supervision of the Lead Tech and Director of Diagnostic...
12.05.2016
The Nuclear Medicine Technologist provides health care services, applying radioactive isotopes to assist in diagnosis or treatment of human disorders. Performs nuclear medicine procedures and related functions, producing images for the...
12.05.2016
NUCLEAR MEDICINE PRN/VARIABLE/8 HOURS PER PAY Performs diagnostic and therapeutic Nuclear Medicine procedures on patients of all ages using radionuclides. Complies with established policies, procedures, and standards regarding quality,...
12.08.2016
DescriptionRole Purpose: Plan, organize and manage the functions and activities of Nuclear Medicine and PET/CT services for all Oklahoma City Metro locations. Ensures staff are oriented, trained and competent. Maintains staffing patterns at...
12.05.2016
This position is responsible, under the direction of a physician licensed to utilize radioactive materials, for performing or assisting in the performance of diagnostic or therapeutic procedures using radionuclides or brachytherapy sources....
12.05.2016
This position is responsible, under the direction of a physician licensed to utilize radioactive materials, for performing or assisting in the performance of diagnostic or therapeutic procedures using radionuclides or brachytherapy sources....
12.05.2016
- Bachelors degree is required - Certification required per job description - Computer skills are required - Customer service skills are required - Excellent communication skills are required - Experience is required -...
12.05.2016
- Masters degree is preferred - Certification required per job description VCU Health System's Clinical Radiation Safety is seeking a full time Imaging Safety and Compliance Manager. This position assists the Radiology Associate...
12.09.2016
- Masters degree is preferred - Certification required per job description VCU Health System's Clinical Radiation Safety is seeking a full time Radiation Safety Educator (Imaging Safety and Compliance Educator) with certification and...
  1. Nuclear Medicine Technologist Dubuque, IA Mercy Medical Center - Dubuque/Dyersville
    Under general supervision, performs Nuclear Medicine and Positron Emission Tomography procedures. In doing so, assists in calibrating equipment and administering radiation. The age of the patients served range from infants to geriatrics. As the...
  2. Nuclear Medicine Technologist Gainesville, GA Northeast Georgia Health System
    High School/GED RT(N) - Nuclear Medicine Technologist 1 Year of Experience Required Under the direction of a Radiologist and Supervisor (Radiology) or Cardiologist and Lead Tech (Cardiology), performs Nuclear Medicine procedures at a...
  3. Nuclear Medicine Technologist - PRN - Baptist New Orleans, LA Ochsner Health System
    Nuclear Med Tech Baptist New Orleans PRN The Nuclear Medicine Technologist performs various diagnostic imaging and non-imaging procedures, performs quality control on all nuclear medicine equipment, maintains radiopharmaceutical laboratory,...
  4. Nuclear Medicine Technologist - PRN - Baton Rouge New Orleans, LA Ochsner Health System
    Nuclear Med Technologist Nuclear Medicine - PRN The Nuclear Medicine Pet Fusion Technologist performs various diagnostic imaging, non-imaging, and therapeutic procedures; performs quality control on all department equipment daily, weekly,...
  5. Nuclear Medicine Technologist Arlington, VA Virginia Hospital Center
    The Best Just Keeps Getting Better Virginia Hospital Center is an independent and progressive, 350-bed not-for-profit teaching hospital in Arlington, VA. Part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, our progressive acute care facility has achieved...
  6. NUCLEAR MEDICINE TECH - Per Diem Leominster, MA HealthAlliance Hospital
    The Nuclear Medicine Technologist should be registered, certified or registry eligible. The Nuclear Medicine Technologist is expected to perform all diagnostic procedures under the direct supervision of the Lead Tech and Director of Diagnostic...
  7. NUCLEAR MEDICINE TECH - Per Diem Worcester, MA UMass Memorial Medical Center
    The Nuclear Medicine Technologist should be registered, certified or registry eligible. The Nuclear Medicine Technologist is expected to perform all diagnostic procedures under the direct supervision of the Lead Tech and Director of Diagnostic...
  8. Nuclear Medicine Tech Slidell, LA Slidell Memorial Hospital
    The Nuclear Medicine Technologist provides health care services, applying radioactive isotopes to assist in diagnosis or treatment of human disorders. Performs nuclear medicine procedures and related functions, producing images for the...
  9. NUC MED TECH SUPP Dayton, OH Premier Health - Good Samaritan Hospital
    NUCLEAR MEDICINE PRN/VARIABLE/8 HOURS PER PAY Performs diagnostic and therapeutic Nuclear Medicine procedures on patients of all ages using radionuclides. Complies with established policies, procedures, and standards regarding quality,...
  10. Nuclear Medicine Manager Oklahoma City, OK St. Anthony Hospital
    DescriptionRole Purpose: Plan, organize and manage the functions and activities of Nuclear Medicine and PET/CT services for all Oklahoma City Metro locations. Ensures staff are oriented, trained and competent. Maintains staffing patterns at...
  11. Nuclear Medicine Tech Cookeville, TN Cookeville Regional Medical Center
    This position is responsible, under the direction of a physician licensed to utilize radioactive materials, for performing or assisting in the performance of diagnostic or therapeutic procedures using radionuclides or brachytherapy sources....
  12. Nuclear Medicine Tech Cookeville, TN Cookeville Regional Medical Center
    This position is responsible, under the direction of a physician licensed to utilize radioactive materials, for performing or assisting in the performance of diagnostic or therapeutic procedures using radionuclides or brachytherapy sources....
  13. Imaging Location Mgr Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    - Bachelors degree is required - Certification required per job description - Computer skills are required - Customer service skills are required - Excellent communication skills are required - Experience is required -...
  14. Imaging Safety&Compl Mgr Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    - Masters degree is preferred - Certification required per job description VCU Health System's Clinical Radiation Safety is seeking a full time Imaging Safety and Compliance Manager. This position assists the Radiology Associate...
  15. Radiation Safety Educator Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    - Masters degree is preferred - Certification required per job description VCU Health System's Clinical Radiation Safety is seeking a full time Radiation Safety Educator (Imaging Safety and Compliance Educator) with certification and...