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Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Nuclear medicine technologists, also known as ‘nuclear medicine technicians’, are the healthcare professionals who have been trained to utilize radiopharmaceuticals, as well as medical imaging techniques in order to diagnose the health problems. Recent reports have listed this healthcare job position as an amazing healthcare support job for this year. If you are seeking for a healthcare career but not interested to become a doctor, then you can very well opt to become a nuclear medicine technologist. Read on to more about this healthcare job position…

Where can you find this Job Position?

The nuclear medicine technologist job positions can be found in any of the following organizations:

  • Hospitals

  • Physicians’ offices

  • Diagnostic labs

  • Imaging clinics


What are the Roles and Duties of a Nuclear Medicine Technologist?

The roles and duties of a nuclear medicine technologist may include the following:

  • Explaining the imaging procedures to the patients and clear their doubts (if any)

  • Following the safety precautions in order to save themselves, as well as the patients from unwanted exposure to radiation

  • Examining the machines regularly in order to ensure their functionality

  • Preparing radioactive drugs and administering them to the patients

  • Monitoring the patients continuously for any abnormal reactions to the radioactive drugs

  • Operating the equipment to capture images of areas in the patients’ bodies

  • Keeping track of the procedures used

  • Following proper radiation disposal and safety measures


How to become a Nuclear Medicine Technologist?

Educational Requirements:

In order to become a nuclear medicine technologist, you would require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree in nuclear medicine technology. Few people are becoming eligible to become a nuclear medicine technician after completing their bachelor’s/associate’s degree in a related field and by completing a one-year certificate program in nuclear medicine technology.

More often, the programs in nuclear medicine technology would include courses in the following subjects:

  • Human anatomy

  • Human physiology

  • Physics

  • Chemistry

  • Radioactive drugs

  • Computer science


In addition, you will be trained to gain clinical experience under the supervision of a certified nuclear medicine technician.

Remember that, you need to gain the qualification from the accredited programs and the details about these programs are provided by the ‘Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board’ which is providing the certification to the qualified professionals. Another body called ‘American Registry of Radiologic Technologists’ is also providing the certification for nuclear medicine technicians.

When it comes to license, about half of all the states in the U.S. require the nuclear medicine technicians to be licensed.

Job Outlook and Opportunities:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate of nuclear medicine technologists has been estimated to increase by 2% from the year 2014 to 2024.

Pay:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for the nuclear medicine technologists was found to be $73,360 (as of May 2015) per year which is equal to $35.27 per hour.

Summary:

Average Annual Pay:  $73,360

Average Hourly Pay: $35.27

Education:  Associate’s degree

Employment Growth from 2014 to 2024: 2%

On-the-job training: None

Work Experience: None