Nuclear medicine involves the use of radioactive tracers in studying a wide variety of normal and abnormal body functions and in treating certain diseases. Under the direction of a qualified physician, a nuclear medicine technologist prepares and administers radiopharmaceuticals, operates radiation detection equipment that measures the quantity or distribution of the radiopharmaceutical in the patient, and performs any calculations or computer analyses needed to complete the patient's exam.
Certified nuclear medicine technologists work primarily in hospital settings or outpatient clinics. Professionals in the nuclear medicine imaging sciences must be able to work well with others including co-workers, physicians, hospital employees, and especially patients. Technologists must demonstrate a high degree of motivation, be able to work independently, provide excellent communication skills, and effective writing skills.
Advancement in the nuclear medicine imaging sciences include the Nuclear Medicine Advanced Associate degree, computed tomography, and specialty board certifications for nuclear cardiology and PET.