Nuclear medicine is the medical specialty that uses radioactive isotopes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The invasion of nuclear technology in medicine has made progress in the treatment of diseases to a marginal extent; it is a boon to medicine.
It is a rapidly expanding and booming field; it is becoming extremely important in the health-care sector.
The various anomalies in the body due to different diseases are easily identified through nuclear medicine technology even before other diagnostic tests can detect it, thus yielding to an early prognosis and treatment. The nuclear medicine scan produces detailed images; giving a clear picture of the location of the tumor or any diseased part of the body such as the heart, kidney, bone etc.
It can ease the pain and trauma of a surgery; it is used by all specialized healthcare centers. Nuclear Medicine Technologist is an allied health professionals; their work is associated with doctors, nurses, other healthcare professionals and patients.
Educational requirements to pursue NMT:
‘The Society of Nuclear Medicine Technologist Section (SNMTS) proposes Baccalaureate Degree become the standard for entry level Nuclear Medicine Technologists by 2015. ‘
To pursue Nuclear Medicine Technology Program entry requirements are high school graduation or equivalent .
It should be pursued by an accredited NMT program which ranges in length from 1-4 years, leading to a 1 year certificate program or to a two year Associate degree or a four year Bachelor’s degree program. Certificate Programs enable experienced technologists such as the Radiologic Technologist and Diagnostic Medical Sonographers to become Nuclear Medical technologist.
The program also attracts other allied health professionals such as Medical Technologists, Registered Nurses etc. to switch on to change fields or specialize. The curriculum involves theoretical knowledge and clinical training. Specialization area in Nuclear Medicine Technology includes Nuclear Cardiology or PET scanning etc.
Licensure requirements vary from state to state.
Certification is essential to be absorbed as Nuclear Medicine Technologist. Certification is provided by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). It is also offered by the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB).
A certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist has to pursue continuing education for a certain number of hours to recognize the certificate. The average salary of NMT is $ 66,000.The job prospects for technologist is excellent for certified and experienced technologist and for those advanced in specialty.