Nuclear Medicine Technologist

How To Become A Nuclear Medicine Technologist - TheCareerHub
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    RS 15000-20000

Who is Nuclear Medicine Technologist?

Nuclear medicine incorporates chemistry, physics, mathematics, health care, computer technology, and medicine to use radioactivity to diagnose and treat illness, as it provides information virtually about both the structure and function of organs. The nuclear medicine technologist is a highly specialised health care specialist who looks at how the body functions to aid in diagnosis and treatment of a variety of conditions and diseases. In the case of a nuclear disaster they can also serve as first responders.

Typical day at work

What does Nuclear Medicine Technologist do?

Nuclear medicine technologists use a range of radioisotope equipment to prepare, administer, and quantify radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer research. Prepare radioactive material stock solutions and determine doses for radiologists to administer. They expose patients to ionising radiation. Follow conventional laboratory procedures to conduct blood volume, red cell survival, and fat absorption investigations.

  • Prepare and administer small dose of radiopharmaceuticals (also known as radioactive drugs or chemical compounds) or radiation intravenously to monitor the structure and functions of organs or tissues, using radioisotope equipment, under physician’s direction
  • Detect and monitor radiopharmaceuticals in the bodies of patients, using a camera to produce photographic or computer images
  • Use radioactive drugs to obtain images of heart and cardiac function process
  • Calculate, monitor, and record radiation dosage or radiopharmaceuticals obtained, used, and disposed, using computer and following doctor’s prescription
  • Record and process procedures results
  • Produce a computer-generated image or video for doctors to view
  • Plan radiopharmaceuticals stock, complainant to health standards to reduce radiation exposure to staff and patients
  • Clarify test procedures and patient safety protocols and assist them during test procedures
  • Conduct quality assurance checks of laboratory equipment or cameras
  • Safeguard radioactive material disposal, handling, and storage based on safety procedures
  • Collect patient’s medical history to guide diagnostic therapy procedures
  • Maintain and calibrate laboratory and radioisotope equipment
  • Measure glandular activity, blood volume, red cell survival, or radioactivity of patients, using scanners, Geiger counters, scintillometers, or other equipment
  • Train, educate, and supervise students or subordinates
  • Place radiation fields, radiation beams, and to provide effective treatment to the patient for the disease
  • To assess the drug or hormone levels, apply radioactive substances to biological samples, such as blood, urine or faeces.
  • Create nuclear medicine treatment procedures for research programmes
  • Examine the patient to determine any side-reactions to the drugs
  • Maintain detailed procedures records
  • Conduct imaging procedures in patient with the help of radiation-detection instrumentation
  • Give images, data analysis, and patient history to the doctor for diagnostic purposes
  • Maintain and operate equipment like gamma cameras and computing systems to obtain images and process for analysis.
Abilities & aptitude needed

What are the skills, abilities & aptitude needed to become Nuclear Medicine Technologist?

Nuclear medicine technologists should emphasise precision and be comfortable working with equipment that requires careful monitoring, in addition to knowing how to handle and set up complex laboratory technology. They need knowledge in anatomy and ability to understand electronic medical health records and have computer skills.

They need to be well-organised, have observation skills, and be detail oriented in order to conduct procedures with accuracy and precision. They must have excellent reasoning and judgement, as well as logical reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. They are inquisitive, intelligent, introspective, interested, methodical, scientific, rational, analytical, and investigative people.

They must follow exact instructions so that the tests or procedures are performed correctly. Thus, they must learn to work well in a stressful environment. They need to be skilled with their hands and work closely, safely, and effectively with needles, chemicals, and other laboratory instruments. Thus, good hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity, and fine motor skills are necessary.

In the laboratory, they must also follow all conventional safety procedures and quality control standards, as well as understand and follow legal and health-care processes. They must be able to manage time and prioritize tasks effectively while maintaining the quality of work. While the patient is in surgery, they must work rapidly and methodically to provide results.

They should be able to effectively communicate, both verbally and in writing as well as have interpersonal skills. Lastly, they need physical stamina as they may work on their feet for long periods and at times, may need to lift or turn disabled patients to collect samples for testing.


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Career Outlook

What does the future look like for Nuclear Medicine Technologist?

These professionals can find employment in private medical laboratories, clinics, research facilities, medical centers, outpatient imaging facilities, educational institutions, and private, community, or government hospital laboratories. Those working in labs that are open around the clock may need to work night shifts. Nuclear medicine technologists often work 8-hour shifts; however the shifts may be flexible. Technologists can be asked to work overtime at times.

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