Nuclear Medicine Technician Education Requirements and Career Info
Nuclear medicine technicians are trained to use radiopharmaceuticals and medical imaging to help detect health issues. The field of nuclear medicine technology requires specialized training from an associate's or bachelor's degree program. Graduates must then gain certification before they can pursue a career as a nuclear medicine technician.
Nuclear Medicine Technician Education Requirements
Individuals interested in becoming nuclear medicine technicians should first enroll in an education and training program that has been accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT). Candidates can enroll in either an associate's or bachelor's degree program for nuclear medicine technology. These programs provide in-class work as well as clinical on-site training. Radiopharmaceuticals, tomographic imaging, radiation physics and human anatomy are common courses found in an undergraduate degree program.
Nuclear medicine technician programs prepare graduates for taking two national certification exams hosted by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and Nuclear Medicine Technologist Certification Board (NMTCB). Passing at least one of these exams is required to work as a nuclear medicine technician; some professionals choose to acquire both credentials to improve employment prospects.
Not all states require nuclear medicine technicians to be licensed. For those that do, requirements for licensure vary; typically, they include the completion of an accredited education program and becoming certified. It's important to check individual states to find out its specific criteria for nuclear medicine technician licensing. Many states also require continuing education courses to maintain or renew a license.
A nuclear medicine technician is trained to help diagnose health issues by using medical imaging technology coupled with radioactive materials. Radiopharmaceuticals are administered to patients, and the technician then captures images of how it disperses throughout the body. These professionals are highly trained in safety procedures to ensure minimal exposure and proper handling of radiopharmaceuticals. Nuclear medicine technicians work closely with physicians and are required to document all procedures on patient medical records.
From 2008-2018, employment opportunities in nuclear medical technology are projected to grow 16%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). However, there may be heavy competition for open positions due to an increase in trained individuals. More opportunities might exist for nuclear medicine technicians skilled in several diagnostic technologies, such as nuclear cardiology or diagnostic medical sonography.
Related to Nuclear Medicine Technician
- Recently Updated
Read about graduate programs in nuclear medicine. Find out about degrees available, educational requirements, potential...
Workers in the field of nuclear medicine are often referred to as nuclear medicine technologists. Nuclear medicine technology...
Nuclear medicine is a specialty within medicine and imaging technology that uses radiation and radioactive principles to...
See our list of the top free online nuclear medicine courses. Learn about what courses are available and what topics they cover...
- Nuclear Medicine Bachelors Degree Program Information
- How to Choose a School with a Nuclear Medicine Practitioner Program
- Nuclear Medicine Technologist: Job Information and Requirements
- Salary and Career Info for a Pharmaceutical Patent Lawyer
- Master of Arts (MA in Education): ESL Degree Overview
- Automotive Technology Certificate for Diesel & Industrial Technicians
- Business Management (Major): Summary of Coursework