Nuclear medicine is a subspecialty of radiology that uses radioactive materials in the body to diagnose and treat disease. The Associate of Arts degree program in Nuclear Medicine Technology covers all aspects of a nuclear medicine technologist’s job, including a wide variety of imaging and therapeutic procedures; preparation and administration of radiopharmaceuticals; use of radiation detectors including gamma cameras and PET tomographs; and use of a variety of computer systems. More than 2/3 of the program is devoted to training in area hospitals and clinics. The program uses a selective-admissions process, with admissions guidelines published annually.
Degree recipients should possess the skills & abilities described below:
- Perform nuclear medicine functions of all kinds, including imaging, non-imaging, and therapy procedures; quality control procedures; radiopharmacy skills; and radiation safety/protection techniques and procedures.
- Operate nuclear medicine equipment including gamma cameras, SPECT systems, PET scanners, and CT scanners co-located with SPECT or PET systems; and nuclear medicine computers, including scheduling, radiopharmacy, imaging, and archiving systems.
- Review requests for appropriateness and schedule nuclear medicine studies, consulting as necessary to attain the best quality of patient care.
- Assess technical results of nuclear medicine procedures and functions and determine appropriate actions based on those results.
- Communicate effectively with patients, family members, hospital staff, and the general public, and demonstrate professionalism in all actions and communications.
- Provide nursing and emergency care as appropriate to the situation and scope of practice.
- Use appropriate resources to advance their understanding of new directions within the field of nuclear medicine.