If you want to impress your next date, tell him or her that you are studying to be a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. It sounds really important, doesn’t it? Like you’re setting off little nuclear reactions all day? That’s actually not a bad description, though as always, the reality is slightly less glamorous than the expectation. Nuclear medicine technologists administer radiopharmaceuticals, little radioactive pills that travel through the body creating diagnostic images that alert doctors to abnormal tissues or organs. While related to a career as a pharmacy technician, nuclear technologists prepare the pills, injections, or even inhalations that hold the radiopharmaceuticals, then position patients, and run the gamma scintillation camera that shows where the radioactive meds are in the body.
Nuclear medicine is relatively new, and as scientists discover more ways to use it, the job of handling radiopharmaceuticals will be increasingly in demand. However, the number of job openings is predicted to be low since there is already an adequate supply of trained nuclear medicine technologists. However, those who have training in multiple diagnostic methods, like ultrasound technicians, radiologic technologists, and X-ray technicians, will have an advantage in the job market. The median annual income of nuclear medicine technologists in 2008 was $66.660, and even the lowest wages were above $57,000.
Considering the competition for this career, more education is better to ensure you find a position. Certificate programs are often offered in hospitals and community colleges, but there are also bachelor’s degree programs that take 4 years to complete. Courses are in physical sciences, the effects of radiation on live tissue, radiation protection, imaging techniques, computer applications, and of course, how to use radiopharaceuticals. For those who already have an AA or BA and work in healthcare, like nurse practitioners, there are one-year certificate programs that allow them to specialize in nuclear medicine. Aspiring technologists should check their state’s requirements.
There are multiple educational paths that students can take to become an ultrasound technician or diagnostic medical sonographer. The schools below do not offer ultrasound-specific training, but they do offer medical assisting and other healthcare programs that are closely related. You can request information by clicking on any of the links below.
||DeVry University — For over 80 years, DeVry University has focused on relevant areas of study, offering associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs and specializations that cover 34 different career fields. Earn your associate degree in Health Information Technology from DeVry University, and prepare to be an HIT leader in contemporary hospitals, physicians' offices, medical clinics, and more. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.|
||Hodges University — Founded in 1990, Hodges University is one the premier private universities in the State of Florida. The AS in Health Information Management and AS in Health Administration programs, while not ultrasound training programs, do teach students how to use information technology to meet the needs of the healthcare industry. Hodges University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.|
||Keiser University — Keiser University, founded in 1977, is a private, regionally accredited career university offering certificates, associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. The AS in Medical Assisting program prepares students to perform medical assisting duties under the direction of a physician or practitioner. Keiser University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.|
||Herzing University — With a 45 year history, Herzing University is an accredited university that offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees as well as diplomas in over 45 different programs. The AS in Medical Assisting program builds on the online diploma program by incorporating the general education requirements required for this level of degree. Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.|
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