Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Overview and Key Facts
Jobs in 2031
What Do They Do?A nuclear medicine technologist could...
Overview Listen to this sectionMany traditional medical imaging methods, like X-rays, can take pictures of certain parts inside the body, but sometimes these methods are not sensitive enough to detect a problem, or a picture is not enough—the doctor needs to see how a part is functioning, not just how it looks. That's where nuclear medicine comes in. It can be used to see, for example, if bone repair is going on in a certain area, how a kidney is functioning, how a stomach is emptying, or how blood is flowing into and out of a heart. It can also be used to treat certain diseases. Nuclear medicine technologists are the special healthcare workers who administer radioactive drugs, take images of the patient, and then process, analyze, and show the computer images to the doctor.
Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of a Nuclear Medicine Technologist?
Core TasksThink about if you'd like the typical tasks a Nuclear Medicine Technologist might do:
- Administer radiopharmaceuticals or radiation intravenously to detect or treat diseases, using radioisotope equipment, under direction of a physician.
- Detect and map radiopharmaceuticals in patients' bodies, using a camera to produce photographic or computer images.
- Process cardiac function studies, using computer.
- Calculate, measure, and record radiation dosage or radiopharmaceuticals received, used, and disposed, using computer and following physician's prescription.
- Produce a computer-generated or film image for interpretation by a physician.
- Record and process results of procedures.
- Explain test procedures and safety precautions to patients and provide them with assistance during test procedures.
- Prepare stock radiopharmaceuticals, adhering to safety standards that minimize radiation exposure to workers and patients.
- Perform quality control checks on laboratory equipment or cameras.
- Dispose of radioactive materials and store radiopharmaceuticals, following radiation safety procedures.
- Gather information on patients' illnesses and medical history to guide the choice of diagnostic procedures for therapy.
- Maintain and calibrate radioisotope and laboratory equipment.
- Measure glandular activity, blood volume, red cell survival, or radioactivity of patient, using scanners, Geiger counters, scintillometers, or other laboratory equipment.
- Train or supervise student or subordinate nuclear medicine technologists.
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