Nuclear Medicine Technologists

  1. Description

Medicine and Health Care

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Radiation is a fascinating form of energy. Despite its dangers, it is a powerful part of today’s medical efforts. It can reveal tiny parts of the body, such as blood vessels in the kidney or liver, without surgery.

Nuclear medicine technologists (NMTs) use drugs that give off radiation and complex equipment to make images of internal organs. Doctors then look at the images to find out what’s wrong with their patients. The work of NMTs is precise and exacting because lives depend on it.

Nuclear medicine technologists give patients radiopharmaceuticals and then make images of the drugs as they collect in the inner organs. Physicians use these images to diagnose illness.

Did You Know?

Shielded needles and gloves, along with safety procedures, protect technologists and patients from radiation exposure.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Work in a new and exciting field that’s still somewhat experimental
  • Measure, track, and record radioactivity data
  • Use scanners and Geiger counters to measure blood volume, red blood cell survival, and radiation exposure
  • Lift patients
  • Spend much of the day on your feet

It Helps To Be...

A good communicator and team player who is at home with numbers and problem solving. It also helps to be accurate, physically strong, and compassionate.

Make High School Count

  • Take precollege math classes, including precalculus, calculus, and statistics.
  • Pay attention in physics and chemistry. NMTs use the principles you’ll learn.
  • Do your best in biology. It’s good preparation for the anatomy and physiology courses you’ll take in college.
  • Volunteer in a hospital to get the lay of the land.

Did You Know?

Nursing-school grads can move into this field with just one more year of training.