If you are planning a career in medicine but yet you don’t really want to become a medical doctor, then a nuclear medical technologist could be just the right job for you. A nuclear medical technologist is a well trained specialist who performs nuclear medical assessments working with specialized technology to create high quality images of tissues inside the human body. Following the evaluation, the technologist analyzes the images as well as the patient’s medical records with a doctor qualified in the interpretation of nuclear medicine treatments who makes a final medical diagnosis.
Both the doctors and the technologists are actually supported by specifically certified physicists as well as pharmacists who verify the integrity along with the quality of the equipment and also the safety of the radiopharmaceuticals that are used in the delivery of nuclear medicine tests.
A nuclear medical technologist basically helps identify health issues.
In contrast to radiographic diagnostic technologies, that use radiation treatment outside of the body to get images of body organs, nuclear medicine is released into the body through a shot or through food or drink.
While working under the guidance of a medical doctor, a nuclear medical technologist will describe the test course of action to the patient, prepare and then give the radioactive treatment orally or through a shot, work with a gamma scintillation camera, or scanning device, to produce an image of the drug as it travels through the patient’s body and then also puts the images on a display screen so that the doctor can analyze them. Typically the Nuclear Medical Technologist is also in charge of the servicing of related equipment such as cameras and other laboratory components.
Normally, nuclear medical technologist training courses take from 1 to 4 years to complete and will lead to a certificate, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s college degree.
A number of companies and also states call for licensing for nuclear medical techs. The Joint Review Committee on Education Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology provides accreditation for the associate as well as the bachelor degree training programs. The granting of licenses often vary by state, and a lot of health insurance providers will only cover nuclear imaging treatments performed by certified nuclear medical technologists.
As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nuclear medical technologist can anticipate job growth to be around 16% from 2008 through 2018. This better than usual rate of growth is being driven by advances in innovative diagnostic technologies, great new radiopharmaceuticals along with cutting edge therapies. Also the BLS announced that the average income for nuclear medical technologists was around $68,000 in 2009.
Almost all nuclear medical technology jobs tend to be found in medical centers. The fact is, that almost 70% of all nuclear medical technologists are employed in either a private or public hospital. Of course, you will also find nuclear medical techs working in private doctors’ offices, in medical clinics, and also in research laboratories.