What is Nuclear Medicine and Why is it Important?

PET Scan. Photo credit here.

PET Scan. Photo credit here.

Around the world there are medical professionals who work with radioactive materials that both diagnose medical conditions and save lives on a daily basis. They are commonly known as nuclear medicine technologist personnel and they occupy one of the more coveted positions in the medical field.

What is a Nuclear Medicine Technologist?

In essence, nuclear medicine is the use of radioactive drugs that help diagnose and treat a variety of illnesses and medical issues. A nuclear medicine technologist is a person trained to perform several functions;

–       Prepare and Administer Radioactive Drugs

–       Analyze what the Drug reveal of the Effects that they Cause

–       Maintain proper Safety Procedures

–       Keep Records of Radioactive Drug Administration

–       Comfort Patients, Answer Questions and Monitor Equipment

Radioactive drugs are generally used to either reveal information about the body or treat a specific illness or medical condition in the body. A nuclear medicine technologist will most likely work in a hospital setting, but some do have their own offices or diagnostic facilities. There are colleges in Arizona that both train and employ nuclear medicine technologist personnel.

The schedule for a nuclear technician can be anytime of the day or night since their services are needed 24/7. They handle radioactive material and employ safety procedures to protect both patients and the medical personnel as well. Their job is to provide the utmost care and do their best to keep everyone out of harm’s way.

Why is their Work Important?

Although radioactive materials have the reputation to cause harm to the human body, when used in small, precisely controlled amounts they can both reveal valuable information and treat certain types of medical conditions.

X-rays are perhaps the most common use of radioactive materials that reveal the inside of the human body. In use for many decades, x-rays have allowed physicians to discover and diagnose patients with a wide variety of injuries, illnesses and medical conditions in which the proper treatment can be made.

Radiation treatments are often used to destroy cancer cells, in particular cancerous tumors that are located in areas of the body that may be difficult to impossible for other types of treatments to have any discernable effect. Everyday, new treatments are being developed using radioactive materials that cure diseases such as cancer and save lives.

How to Become a Nuclear Medicine Technologist

There are certainly many colleges in Arizona and the rest of the US that offer this type of training. While licensing varies from state to state, all who enter the program must graduate and meet the requirements that the state they live in offers as well as pass a national certification exam.

In order to qualify for higher positions in the profession, a bachelor’s degree is usually required, but many can obtain associate’s degrees which helps them obtain entry level positions in the field. You can find out more information by going to this website.

Becoming part of the nuclear medicine field is tough, but rewarding work as advances are made each day towards discovering, diagnosing and curing diseases and other medical conditions.

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