Nuclear Medicine Technologists

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Also known as:  Certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist, Isotope Technologist, Nuclear Cardiology Technologist, Nuclear Medical Technologist, Radioisotope Technologist, Registered Nuclear Medicine Technologist

ABOUT NUCLEAR MEDICINE TECHNOLOGIST CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
The work of nuclear medicine technologists revolves around tiny particles of matter called radionuclides. They are transformed into substances that the technologist or doctor gives to a patient by mouth or with an injection. Then the technologist operates equipment that tracks these particles in the ...
body. The resulting image can be used to diagnose the patient's condition and to guide a course of treatment.

Because they are working with radioactive materials, nuclear medicine technologists must follow strict safety procedures, including wearing a device to detect unwanted exposure to radiation. They also explain test procedures to patients, do good oral communication skills are important.

The training and certification to do this work can take place at a hospital, community college, or university. The programs range from 2 to 4 years. One-year certificate programs are sometimes available for health professionals such as radiologic technologists who wish to specialize in nuclear medicine.

Often, these technologists also seek additional training so they can handle other kinds of imaging procedures. In every case, they must combine humanity with technology to help the patient feel comfortable.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Prepare, administer, and measure radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer studies using a variety of radioisotope equipment. Prepare stock solutions of radioactive materials and calculate doses to be administered by radiologists. Subject patients to radiation. Execute blood volume, red cell survival, and fat absorption studies following standard laboratory techniques.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
HIGH
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Train or supervise student or subordinate nuclear medicine technologists.
Measure glandular activity, blood volume, red cell survival, or radioactivity of patient, using scanners, Geiger counters, scintillometers, or other laboratory equipment.
Prepare stock radiopharmaceuticals, adhering to safety standards that minimize radiation exposure to workers and patients.
Maintain and calibrate radioisotope and laboratory equipment.
Gather information on patients' illnesses and medical history to guide the choice of diagnostic procedures for therapy.
Record and process results of procedures.
Perform quality control checks on laboratory equipment or cameras.
Dispose of radioactive materials and store radiopharmaceuticals, following radiation safety procedures.
Administer radiopharmaceuticals or radiation intravenously to detect or treat diseases, using radioisotope equipment, under direction of a physician.
Explain test procedures and safety precautions to patients and provide them with assistance during test procedures.
Calculate, measure, and record radiation dosage or radiopharmaceuticals received, used, and disposed, using computer and following physician's prescription.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Physics Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Information Ordering The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
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