dcsimg



Schools in the USA
Back to Career Search     

Nuclear Medicine Technologist


Description

Nuclear medicine technologists have an important role to play in the detection and treatment of various forms of cancer. These trained technologists acquire images that help pinpoint the nature of a disease, and help the doctors learn about how the disease is affecting the body. They can also help doctors learn how a patient is responding to various treatments.

Nuclear medicine technologists use radioactive drugs, called "tracers", to monitor patients. The tracers are usually injected into the patient, although sometimes the drugs are taken orally, in pill form. The tracers concentrate in specific organs, and release a very low level of radiation while the technologist attempts to collect data. This data is recorded by a special detector, called a "gamma camera". Using the data collected, a computer can produce images of the organ from different angles. They can even obtain cross-sectional images. They can transfer the images to a photograph or to a computer printout, which is given to the doctors to examine.

Nuclear medicine technologists are helpful in studying coronary disease, and to learn how the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs are functioning. Their technology can determine the location of tumors, monitor the progression of cancer and the results of cancer treatments, and even diagnose hormonal disorders. Without their expertise, many illnesses would go unnoticed. The early detection of cancer is one of the most important factors in the patient's survival, and the technologists can participate in the detection, and subsequent treatment, of may forms of the disease.
 
View Schools for this Career: 
         Related Careers
arrow Advanced Care Paramedic
arrow Anesthesiologists
arrow Animal Care Worker
arrow [ view all related careers ]



Program Spotlight
Matching School Ad
San Joaquin Valley College

San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.

Programs Offered:
  • Degree - Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Degree - Pharmacy Technology

 

 



  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
$35,870
 
Median Salary:
$48,750
 
Highest 10% of Earners:
$68,710

  Interests and Skills  
Nuclear medicine technologists need to be technologically minded, with a calm, sensitive demeanor, a gentle disposition, and a sense of humor. They are organized, efficient, and safety conscious, with a desire to help people. They must also work well with others, have good communication skills, and be open to other cultures and belief systems in order to succeed in this career.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Explain the procedure to the patient
  • Answer questions as fully as possible
  • Comfort the patient and provide emotional support
  • Correctly position the patient and the equipment
  • Prepare the tracer prescribed by the physician
  • Administer the tracer, by mouth or injection
  • Ensure that the patient, all staff, and visitors are protected from radiation
  • Monitor the patient during procedure
  • Conduct computer analysis to produce medical images
  • Perform any minor repairs to equipment when necessary
  • The typical day for a nuclear medicine technologist will involve working closely with a number of clients. The environment can be tense, due to the nature of the diseases being diagnosed and monitored. Nuclear medicine technologists work indoors, with little opportunity to travel.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Nuclear medicine technologists work in hospitals and health clinics. They work in offices, and in screening rooms. They work with radiation, and so they must be prepared to take safety precautions. They work regular hours, but may be required to work some evenings or weekends, depending on the clinic. They work in small teams of doctors, technicians, assistants, and receptionists.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Nuclear medicine technologists can become supervisors, or become college instructors. They can branch into other forms of radiation technology, or can go on to become public health nurses, teaching people about early detection of cancer. Or, they can become advocates for cancer sufferers and head up fundraising campaigns for research and support groups.
 

  Educational Paths  
In order to become a nuclear medicine technologist the completion a two- to three-year program in nuclear medicine technology is required. Nuclear medicine technologists may be required to join a professional society, depending on where they live.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

Featured Schools

Matching School Ads
Platt College
Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.
Programs Offered:
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography

 
University of Cincinnati Online
Work toward your degree online with University of Cincinnati Online.
Programs Offered:
  • Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science
  • Bachelor of Radiation Science Technology

 
Brightwood College

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.

Programs Offered:
  • X-Ray Technician/Back Office Medical Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technician

 
Unitek College

Unitek College™ is a privately held vocational school dedicated to helping you gain the skills needed to advance your career or begin a brand new career. 

Programs Offered:
  • Pharmacy Technician

 
San Joaquin Valley College

San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.

Programs Offered:
  • Degree - Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Degree - Pharmacy Technology

 
Animal Behavior College
Interested in a career as a professional dog trainer? Animal Behavior College is the place to start.
Programs Offered:
  • Veterinary Assistant

 
US Colleges

U.S. Colleges has been helping students enhance their career skills since 1996.

 

Programs Offered:
  • Phlebotomy Technician I

 
Stratford Career Institute
Earn Your Diploma from Home!
Programs Offered:
  • Fitness & Nutrition

 
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Pursue a certificate, master, or doctorate degree in Psychology at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology.
Programs Offered:
  • Master of Public Health

 
California College San Diego

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

Programs Offered:
  • Healthcare Administration (BS)

 
Matching School Ads
  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Oregon
University of OttawaYork University
Agriculture and Bio-resources | Allied Health and Health Sciences | Applied Business Technology | Architecture
Business Administration | Computer Science | Cosmetology and Esthetics | Culinary, Travel &Hospitality | Dance 
Engineering Technology & Applied Technology |Engineering | Film | Fine Arts and Design | Humanities and Liberal ArtsJustice and Security
Music
| Natural and Applied Sciences | Naturopathic and Holistic MedicineNursingPublic Administration & PolicyReligious and Theological Studies
Sport Sciences and Physical Education | Teacher Education | Theatre
Articles | College News | Videos | Feedback | Career Search
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Faq | Terms of Use | Policy Statement | Site Map | Cities Site Map

Copyright 2003- 2016 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.