Allied Health Professions/
Nuclear Medicine Technologist
In nuclear medicine, radionuclides—unstable atoms that emit radiation spontaneously—are used to diagnose and treat disease. Radionuclides are purified and compounded like other drugs to form radiopharmaceuticals. Nuclear medicine technologists administer these radiopharmaceuticals to patients, then monitor the characteristics and functions of tissues or organs in which they localize. Abnormal areas show higher or lower concentrations of radioactivity than normal.
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Nuclear Medicine Tech 16 May 2008 [pdf, 165 KB]
Nuclear medicine technologists generally work a 40-hour week. This may include evening or weekend hours in departments that operate on an extended schedule. Opportunities for part-time and shift work are also available. In addition, technologists in hospitals may have on-call duty on a rotational basis.
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Nuclear medicine technology programs range in length from 1 to 4 years and lead to a certificate, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree. Generally, certificate programs are offered in hospitals, associate programs in community colleges, and bachelor's programs in 4-year colleges and in universities.
To find a listing of accredited programs see the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT) website. Search for schools that provide training for this career.
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Allied Health Professions
Last updated: December 11, 2013
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