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Nuclear Medicine Technologist

   

Nuclear medicine technologists (NMTs) are professionals that prepare and administer radiopharmaceuticals (radioactive materials) in an effort to detect and treat various diseases. They review patients’ medical records and physicians’ orders to determine what dosage of medicine and method of delivery (e.g. oral, inhalation, or intravenous) they should use. They are also in charge of evaluating the patients’ condition and recognizing emergency situations if they should arise. Nuclear medicine technologists use technical laboratory equipment and computers to follow the distribution of these materials through the body. This requires that individuals be comfortable with computers and have specialized training with certain lab equipment. They also use radioactive substances to perform laboratory tests, so nuclear medicine technologists must have knowledge of safety regulations to limit radiation exposure. NMTs often participate in research projects in order to increase the effectiveness of procedures they perform. They may also work in an administration role by supervising other NMTs, students, laboratory assistants, and other personnel. Anyone interested in nuclear medicine technology should work well with others and be able to understand and analyze complicated visual material.


Work Environment:

Nuclear medicine technologists are employed in various facilities including hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centers, research facilities, public health departments, educational facilities, and physician’s offices. NMTs usually work under the supervision of a nuclear medicine physician or a supervisor.

High School Preparation:

Students interested in nuclear medicine technology should take high school courses in algebra, chemistry, physics, biology, computer science, English, health occupations/medical professions education, statistics, geometry, and computer skills.


College Requirements:

Individuals interested in nuclear medicine technology must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Students may complete a one or two-year certificate program, a two-year associate degree program, or a four-year baccalaureate degree program. The Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists both offer examinations that allow students to become certified.

Students interested in nuclear medicine technology should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

The career outlook for nuclear medicine technologists is expected to be very good. There will be a 20% - 35% increase in the number of jobs that will become available in this sector through the year 2012. The growing number of middle-aged and older people will facilitate the increase because they are the primary users of diagnostic procedures. Advances in technology will also add to the dramatic increase in employment opportunities. Cost considerations by hospitals may slow growth, however, because some of the most promising new technologies in nuclear medicine are extremely expensive. Replacing current employees will not yield many jobs because this is a small and competitive field that will not experience a large amount of turnover.
 

 

Salary:

 

Average Annual Salary

$50,900

 

Salary Range

$43,200-$59,100

 

Professional Organizations:

 

Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board

2970 Clairmont Road, NE, Suite 935

Atlanta, GA 30329

Phone: (404) 315-1739

Fax: (404) 315-6502

www.nmtcb.org

 

Society of Nuclear Medicine Technologist

1850 Samuel Morse Drive

Reston, VA 

22090-5316

Phone: (703) 708-9000

Fax: (703) 708-9015

www.snm.org

 

American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
1255 Northland Drive
St. Paul, MN

55120-1155
Phone: (651) 687-0048
www.arrt.org

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