What does a Nuclear Medicine Technologist do?
Nuclear Medicine Technologists prepare radioactive drugs and administer them to patients in order to create images that cause abnormal areas of the body to appear different from normal images. They operate the equipment that creates these images in a patient’s body.
Nuclear medicine techs are mainly employed in hospitals, while some can be found working in diagnostic laboratories, physicians’ offices, or imaging clinics on a full-time basis.
How to Become a Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Nuclear medicine technologists need an associate’s degree from an accredited medicine technology program. However, holding a bachelor’s degree is becoming more common. Some people become a nuclear medicine technologist by first attaining a degree in a related health field (such as nursing or radiologic technology) and then they complete a 12 month certification program.
Nuclear medicine technology programs typically have courses in physics, radioactive drugs, human anatomy and physiology, chemistry, and computer science. Clinical experience is also included in these programs which is supervised under a surgeon or physician that specializes in nuclear medicine.
Some states require certification or certification may be required by an employer. High school students interested in this occupation should take courses in science and math.
Job Description of a Nuclear Medicine Technologist
The duties of a nuclear medicine technologist is to answer questions and explain procedures to the patient. They must follow safety procedures to protect the patient and themselves from too much radiation and examine all equipment and machines to be sure they are safe and working properly. He or she would prepare and administer radioactive drugs to the patient and monitor the patient for any unusual reaction to the drugs.
Nuclear medicine technologists must operate the equipment that creates the images of the targeted areas of the patient’s body. Their job would require them to follow radiation safety and disposal procedures. He or she would also be required to keep detailed records of the patient’s procedures.