Nuclear Medicine Technologists Job Description video

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The work of Nuclear Medicine Technologists revolves around tiny particles of matter called “radionuclides.” They are transformed into substances that the technologist or doctor gives to a patient, by mouth or with an injection. Then the technologist operates equipment that tracks these particles in the body. The resulting image can be used to diagnose the patient’s condition and to guide a course of treatment. Because they are working with radioactive materials, nuclear medicine technologists must follow strict safety procedures, including wearing a device to detect unwanted exposure to radiation. They wear a device to detect exposure to radiation. They also explain test procedures to patients so good oral communication skills are important. The training and certification to do this work can take place at a hospital, community college or university. The programs range from two to four years. One-year certificate programs are sometimes available for health professionals such as radiological technologists who wish to specialize in nuclear medicine. Often, these technologists also seek additional training so they can handle other kinds of imaging procedures. In every case, they must combine humanity with technology--to help the patient feel comfortable.

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