What do you think of when you see the title "nuclear technologist"? Energy? Bombs? Waste? Nuclear Medicine Technologists use safe, painless, and cost-effective techniques to image the body and treat disease. Nuclear medicine is one of the best ways to test for and diagnose illness like cancer, kidney failure and heart disease. Nuclear medicine technologists administer very small amounts of radioactive materials (not dangerous!) into the patient and gamma cameras that work with computers provide very precise pictures about the area of the body being imaged.
A Nuclear Medicine Technologist:
Most nuclear medicine technologists work in hospitals and clinics. They work with specialized equipment and must follow strict safety procedures. They have to interact with doctors and patients on a daily basis. The job is both physically and mentally demanding as they spend most of the time on their feet and sometimes deal with stressful situations. The technologist may work shift work and/or 24 hour on call.
$43 000 - $50 000 per year.
(a) Personal Characteristics
It is important for Nuclear Medicine Technologists to have good communication skills, patience and consideration for people of all ages and backgrounds. Good physical health, a sense of responsibility and careful work habits are also beneficial. Good technical skills are a must.
(b) High School
High school completion with an emphasis on English, math, physics, and chemistry is a must. Admission requirements for post-secondary should be checked carefully.
(c) Post Secondary
As of 2005, nuclear medicine technologists are required to hold a bachelors of Health Science degree in the Nuclear Medicine stream. Nuclear Medicine Technology is a 4 year degree program at Dalhousie University and includes both theory and practice.
Graduates of the 4 year degree program must write national registration exams and meet the clinical competency requirements as set by the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) in order to practice. This exam is recognized in all provinces. Successful candidates then become "Registered Technologists in Nuclear Medicine" (RTNM). Before practicing in Nova Scotia, NMT's are required to obtain membership in the Nova Scotia Association of Medical Radiation Technologist (NSAMRT)
According to UNB Saint John, Nuclear Medical Technologists are in great demand across North America. 100% of their recent graduates have found employment in the Nuclear Medicine community.
What Can I do Now?