Nuclear Medicine Technologist
What does a nuclear medicine technologist do?
Nuclear medicine technologists use radioactive drugs for diagnosis and medical research. They prepare these drugs (radiopharmaceuticals), and give them to patients for diagnosis. Technologists operate high-level imaging equipment which allows the medical team to study and diagnose an infection or disorder. They also give doses of radiation to patients internally to treat medical conditions.
People they work with: Doctors, medical physicists, nuclear pharmacists, computer specialists, nurses, administrative staff and patients
Where they work: Hospitals, universities, medical clinics, imaging clinics, diagnostic labs and research centers
Career outlook for a nuclear medicine technologist
Nuclear medicine technologists are in demand throughout the U.S. and career opportunities are good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of nuclear medicine technologists to grow faster than average. With the growth of the middle-aged and older adult populations, demand will increase for diagnostic procedures, including nuclear medicine testing. In addition, technological advancements will likely increase the diagnostic use of nuclear medicine.
With additional training and experience, a nuclear medicine technologist could become a lead technologist or a research technologist. They could also move into a management or education role. Technologists can also earn specialty certificates to increase opportunities for advancement such as in positron emission tomography.