Nuclear Medicine Technologist

The main responsibility of a nuclear medicine technologist is to administer tests that help detect cancer and tumors. The most common test they conduct on patients uses a form of radioactive drug that is either swallowed or injected into patients. The drug allows the nuclear medicine technologist to collect information and produce images of a patient’s internal organs. The images that are produced are analyzed by doctors to determine if cancer tumors or other diseases are present or to determine if a previous treatment worked. This form of medical testing is highly technical and advanced. In order to be successful in this career a nuclear medicine technologist must be highly organized be good with technical equipment and have a true desire to help people who may be struggling with a cancer diagnosis. Because of the sensitivity required when working with cancer patients nuclear medicine technologists must have a calm comforting and competent demeanor. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that nuclear medicine technologists must have a minimum of an associate’s degree but many have bachelor’s degrees. While certification is voluntary many employers require it. Also some states require that nuclear medicine technologists have a specific license. According to nuclear medicine technologists normally earn a salary in the range of $54000 to $70000. Those that earn salaries on the higher end of this range typically have advanced training. Exact salary levels also depend on the location of the job whether or not the nuclear medicine technologist has any special certifications and whether or not the role is supervisory in nature.

Education Required: Associate's Degree
Avg Salary: $62000
High Salary: $70000
Low Salary: $54000
Tasks: Operates high tech medical equipment.
Assists with radiotherapy procedures.
Uses cameras that map radioactive drugs in a patient's body.
Analyzes radioactive test results to help doctors diagnose and treat diseases.
Also Called: Diagnostic Imaging Specialist
Radiation Specialist
Radiologic Technologist
Diagnostic medical sonographers
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