Nuclear Medicine Technology
Nuclear medicine technology involves the use of radioactive materials, called radiopharmaceuticals, to create images of organs, study body functions, analyze biological specimens and treat disease. Nuclear medicine technologists (NMTs) apply the art and skill of diagnostic imaging and therapeutics through the safe and effective use of radionuclides.
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More about Nuclear Medicine Technology
For organ-imaging procedures, radiopharmaceuticals are administered to patients intravenously, orally or by inhalation. The radioactive material concentrates in a specific organ or organ system. Instruments
called scintillation cameras can detect the radiation emitted by the radiopharmaceutical concentrated in the organ. The camera produces a computer image of the organ. The images allow medical professionals to
study the structure and measure the function of the organ, and to identify tumors, areas of infection or other disorders. The radiation dose is small, and the patient experiences little or no discomfort during the procedure.
NMTs play an integral role in the health-care team, working with patients, physicists, nuclear
pharmacists, computer specialists, nurses, secretaries and other health-care professionals.
The field of nuclear medicine technology has grown significantly over the past few years. Career opportunities for nuclear medicine technologists are very good. With the growth of the middle-aged and
elderly populations, demand will increase for diagnostic procedures, including nuclear medicine testing. In addition, advances in medical technology will likely increase the diagnostic use of nuclear medicine.
NMTs are employed in hospitals, universities, medical clinics and research centers across the United States and abroad. There are more than 13,000 NMT positions throughout the country. After further study in nuclear medicine, you may advance to positions such as chief technologist, research technologist or educator.
Mayo Clinic jobs
The Mayo Clinic Department of Radiology actively recruits nuclear medicine technologists as needed to serve patient needs.
According to the United States Department of Labor, annual salaries are between $49,130 and $91,970 with the median of $68,560. Salaries depend on employer and location, as well as work experience. According to a recent survey conducted by the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board, many survey respondents had over 20 years of experience, indicating significant job retention and satisfaction.
Visit the following Web sites to learn more about nuclear medicine: