What does a Nuclear Medicine Technologist do?
Learn all about Nuclear Medicine Technologist duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Nuclear Medicine Technologist.
Published 4 min read
A nuclear medicine technologist is a medical professional who uses radioactive materials to diagnose and treat diseases. Nuclear medicine involves the use of radioisotopes, which are atoms that have been artificially infused with radioactive energy. This energy can be used to create images of the inside of the body or to destroy cancerous cells. Nuclear medicine technologists are responsible for administering these radioisotopes to patients and then monitoring their condition.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist job duties include:
- Prepare and administer radiopharmaceuticals to patients according to physicians’ orders
- Operate nuclear medicine equipment to administer radiopharmaceuticals and to conduct diagnostic procedures
- Position patients and equipment for proper exposure and alignment
- Monitor patients during procedures to ensure their comfort and safety
- Record images of patients’ bodies onto film or computer
- Adjust and maintain nuclear medicine equipment
- Develop film for diagnostic interpretation
- Educate patients on procedure preparation and expected results
- Keep abreast of advances in nuclear medicine technology
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Job Requirements
Nuclear medicine technologists typically need at least an associate’s degree from an accredited nuclear medicine technology program. Many technologists also have a bachelor’s degree. Certification is available from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB). Some states require licensure. Experience is usually gained through an internship or externship during the educational process.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Skills
- Patient care
- Medical imaging
- Radiation safety
- Quality control
- Inventory management
- Equipment maintenance
- Patient education
- Interpersonal skills
- Detail oriented
- Organizational skills
How to become a Nuclear Medicine Technologist
A nuclear medicine technologist is a medical professional who uses radioactive materials to diagnose and treat patients. Nuclear medicine is a branch of medicine that uses radioactivity to diagnosis, manage, and treat diseases. Nuclear medicine technologists are responsible for handling and administering radioactive materials, as well as operating the equipment used in nuclear medicine procedures.
Becoming a nuclear medicine technologist requires completing an accredited educational program. Most programs take two to four years to complete and lead to an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Some states require certification or licensure in order to practice nuclear medicine technology.
After completing an educational program, nuclear medicine technologists must pass a national exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Once certified, technologists must maintain their certification through continuing education credits. Many employers also require certification in CPR and basic life support.
Nuclear medicine technologists typically work in hospitals, clinics, or private practices. They may work full-time or part-time hours, and some positions may require on-call hours. Technologists typically work closely with nuclear medicine physicians and other medical professionals.