Nuclear Medicine TechnologistPrint
NUCLEAR MEDICINE TECHNOLOGISTS administer radiopharmaceuticals to patients, then monitor the characteristics and functions of tissues or organs in which they localize. They explain the test procedure to patients. They calculate and prepare the correct dosage and administer it to the patient by mouth or injection. They follow strict safety standards when preparing radio-pharmaceuticals to keep the radiation dose as low as possible. They operate cameras that detect and map the radioactive drug in the patient's body to create images on photographic film or a computer monitor. They produce the images on a computer screen or film for a physician to interpret.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $66,500 average per year ($32.00 per hour)
- A small occupation (21,600 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.6% per year)
Programs for NUCLEAR MEDICINE TECHNOLOGISTS range from 1 to 4+ years and lead to a certificate, or associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree. Certificate programs are offered in hospitals, associate in community colleges, and bachelor's and master's in 4-year colleges and universities. Courses include physical sciences, the biological effects of radiation exposure, radiation protection, and imaging techniques. All nuclear medicine technologists must meet federal standards on administration of radioactive drugs and operation of radiation equipment.