Nuclear Medicine Technologists

Description

Prepare, administer, and measure radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer studies using a variety of radioisotope equipment. Prepare stock solutions of radioactive materials and calculate doses to be administered by radiologists. Subject patients to radiation. Execute blood volume, red cell survival, and fat absorption studies following standard laboratory techniques.

Tasks

  • Administer radiopharmaceuticals or radiation intravenously to detect or treat diseases, using radioisotope equipment, under direction of a physician.
  • Detect and map radiopharmaceuticals in patients' bodies, using a camera to produce photographic or computer images.
  • Produce a computer-generated or film image for interpretation by a physician.
  • Calculate, measure, and record radiation dosage or radiopharmaceuticals received, used, and disposed, using computer and following physician's prescription.
  • Perform quality control checks on laboratory equipment or cameras.
  • Maintain and calibrate radioisotope and laboratory equipment.
  • Dispose of radioactive materials and store radiopharmaceuticals, following radiation safety procedures.
  • Process cardiac function studies, using computer.
  • Prepare stock radiopharmaceuticals, adhering to safety standards that minimize radiation exposure to workers and patients.
  • Record and process results of procedures.
  • Explain test procedures and safety precautions to patients and provide them with assistance during test procedures.
  • Gather information on patients' illnesses and medical history to guide the choice of diagnostic procedures for therapy.
  • Measure glandular activity, blood volume, red cell survival, or radioactivity of patient, using scanners, Geiger counters, scintillometers, or other laboratory equipment.
  • Train or supervise student or subordinate nuclear medicine technologists.
  • Position radiation fields, radiation beams, and patient to allow for most effective treatment of patient's disease, using computer.
  • Add radioactive substances to biological specimens, such as blood, urine, or feces, to determine therapeutic drug or hormone levels.
  • Develop treatment procedures for nuclear medicine treatment programs.

Knowledge

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Biology
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Chemistry
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
English Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Skills

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Coordination
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Science
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Abilities

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Work Activities

Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Work Context

Exposed to Radiation
How often does this job require exposure to radiation?
Telephone
How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Exposed to Disease or Infections
How often does this job require exposure to disease/infections?
Face-to-Face Discussions
How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled
How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets
How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?
Contact With Others
How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Work With Work Group or Team
How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Physical Proximity
To what extent does this job require the worker to perform job tasks in close physical proximity to other people?
Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection
How much does this job require wearing specialized protective or safety equipment such as breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suits, or radiation protection?

Interests

Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Work Values

Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist (CNMT)
Isotope Technician
Medical Radiation Dosimetrist
Nuclear Cardiology Technologist
Nuclear Medical Technologist
Nuclear Medicine Technician
Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Radiation Safety Officer
Radioisotope Technician
Radiologic Technologist
Radiological Technologist
Registered Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Staff Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Supervisor Nuclear Medicine

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$33.74 hourly, $70,180 annual.
Employment (2008):
20,480 employees