A nuclear medicine technician is a highly trained health care professional who is responsible for administering specialized medications to patients. These medications, also referred to as radiopharmaceuticals, are nuclear-based drugs that require a great deal of care and skill to handle. Nuclear medicine technicians not only administer these drugs, he or she also monitors patient reactions, the effects of the drugs, and document all information collected. He or she works directly with nuclear medicine physicians to create treatment plans, and diagnostic programs.
Nuclear medicine technicians also create diagnostic images using specific radiation-detection test equipment, as well as analyzing samples collected in a laboratory setting. Other common duties include: carrying out patient scans, injecting medications, educating patients, and developing tests. He or she must also set certain protocols to ensure all data collected is accurate and untainted.
In order to become a nuclear medicine technician, an Associate’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree in nuclear medicine technology is required. Certification is also needed, and technicians must continue to earn educational credits while working in the field due to the ever-changing landscape of nuclear medicine. Other necessary skills include: keen attention to detail, analytical skills, the ability to follow regulations, exceptional communication skills, computer skills, and the ability to work as part of a team.
The typical average salary of a nuclear medicine technician is about $62,000 per year