Nuclear medicine uses radioactive materials to diagnose and treat various medical problems. It is practiced in the radiology departments of hospitals.
Nuclear Medicine Programs
One- to four-year programs are available in nuclear medicine technology these days. Graduates have an opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree, associate degree, or a certificate.
It’s very important to underline that many employers and an increasing number of States require certification or licensure. As a rule, certificate programs are offered in hospitals, associate degree programs in community colleges. One can get a Bachelor’s degree in 4-year colleges and universities. Courses usually cover the physical sciences, biological effects of radiation exposure, radiation protection and procedures, the use of radiopharmaceuticals, imaging techniques, and computer applications.
One-year certificate programs are typically for health professionals who already possess an associate or bachelor’s degree (radiologic technicians and diagnostic medical sonographers), but who wish to specialize in nuclear medicine. Medical technologists, registered nurses, and others who wish to change fields or specialize are also attracted by these programs.
Nuclear Medicine Technologists Licensing
Requirements for licensure of nuclear medicine technologists may vary from state to state. That is why it is important to check the requirements of the State in which you plan to work beforehand. Nowadays certification is available from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and from the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB). Some technologists receive certification from both agencies. ARRT and NMTCB have different eligibility requirements. But both of them require that workers pass a comprehensive exam to become certified.
In addition, certified technologists must complete a number of continuing education hours to retain certification. Continuing education is required because of the frequent technological and innovative changes in the field of nuclear medicine.
Technologists may advance to supervisory positions or to chief technologist with significant work experience. With advanced education, it is possible for some technologists to become department administrators or directors.
Nuclear Medicine Colleges
After the completion of a degree some graduates specialize in clinical areas, such as nuclear cardiology or PET scanning. Some graduates become instructors in, or directors of nuclear medicine technology programs. Others become radiation safety officers in regulatory agencies or hospitals.
- Miami Dade College
- Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
- University of Alabama
- University of Iowa
- University of Nevada-Las Vegas
- Wayne State University
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- University at Buffalo
- University of New Mexico-Main Campus
- Old Dominion University
- Emory University
- Ball State University
- Saint Cloud State University
- University of Alabama at Birmingham
- Saint Louis University-Main Campus
- Indian River State College
- Rochester Institute of Technology
- Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus
- Ferris State University
- Bellevue College
- University of Central Arkansas
Featured Online Radiology Degree Programs
Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences
Radiology Schools by States
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- Radiation Protection Technicians
- Radiology Schools in Ohio