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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.
 
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Berkeley College

The Berkeley Advantage®is part of a proven approach to career-focused education that can help students prepare for success.

Programs Offered:
  • Certificate in Patient Care Technician
  • Certificate , Surgical Processing Tech
  • AAS in Medical Assistant
  • And more...

 

 



  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

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Berkeley College

The Berkeley Advantage®is part of a proven approach to career-focused education that can help students prepare for success.

Programs Offered:
  • Certificate in Patient Care Technician
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  • AAS in Medical Assistant
  • And more...

 
Harris School of Business
Jump into the exciting world of technology or medical services at Harris School.
Programs Offered:
  • Multi-Skill Health Technician
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Southern Technical College

Southern Technical College provides education and training in a variety of medical and technical areas that enable graduates to obtain entry-level employment.

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Ultimate Medical Academy Online

Ultimate Medical Academy is a nonprofit healthcare career school—and students are at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we offer exclusive student services through your career training and beyond, beginning from the time you enroll online or at our campus in Clearwater, FL. We’ll also guide you toward the right program for your goals, and help you understand the affordability of your career training. So let us know you’re interested, and we’ll discuss how UMA can help you succeed.

 

Gainful employment information can be found at UltimateMedical.edu/gainful-employment and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement, and occupations.

Programs Offered:
  • A.S. - Healthcare Technology and Systems
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Keiser University Campus

Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career-focused education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals.  Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience. 

Programs Offered:
  • Bachelor of Science in Imaging Sciences—Imaging Administration Concentration
  • Associate of Science in Radiologic Technology
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Brookline College

Get hands-on training with Brookline College. We offer diploma and degree programs in the areas of health care, business, nursing, criminal justice, paralegal, and computer security.

Programs Offered:
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  • Diploma - Medical Assistant

 
Keiser University

Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education. Keiser University Online offers degree programs online to prepare students for in-demand professions.

Programs Offered:
  • Associate of Science in Medical Assisting Science

 
Purdue University Global

Building on Purdue's mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Globaldelivers a fully personalized online experience that's tailored to working adults.

Programs Offered:
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All-State Career - Allied Health
Achieve the career success you deserve at All-State Career���Healthcare Division. * Programs vary by location * Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information
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  • Medical Assisting

 
Florida Career College
Train for the real-world skills that help you launch a successful technology or healthcare career with a degree, or diploma from Florida Career College.
Programs Offered:
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