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Become A Director Of Nuclear Medicine

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Working As A Director Of Nuclear Medicine

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Stressful

  • Make Decisions

  • $84,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Director Of Nuclear Medicine Do

Nuclear medicine technologists operate equipment that creates images of areas of a patient’s body. They prepare radioactive drugs and administer them to patients. The radioactive drugs cause abnormal areas of the body to appear different from normal areas in the images. 

Duties

Nuclear medicine technologists typically do the following:

  • Explain imaging procedures to the patient and answer questions
  • Follow safety procedures to protect themselves and the patient from unnecessary radiation exposure
  • Examine machines to ensure that they are working properly
  • Prepare radioactive drugs and administer them to the patient
  • Monitor the patient to check for unusual reactions to the drugs
  • Operate equipment that creates images of areas in the body, such as images of organs
  • Keep detailed records of procedures
  • Follow radiation disposal and safety procedures

Radioactive drugs, known as radiopharmaceuticals, give off radiation, allowing special scanners to monitor tissue and organ functions. Abnormal areas show higher-than-expected or lower-than-expected concentrations of radioactivity. Physicians and surgeons then interpret the images to help diagnose the patient’s condition. For example, tumors can be seen in organs during a scan because of their concentration of the radioactive drugs.

After graduation from an accredited program, a technologist can choose to specialize in positron emission tomography (PET) or nuclear cardiology. PET uses a machine that creates a three-dimensional image of a part of the body, such as the brain. Nuclear cardiology uses radioactive drugs to obtain images of the heart. Patients may exercise during the imaging process while the technologist creates images of the heart and blood flow.

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How To Become A Director Of Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine technologists typically need an associate’s degree from an accredited nuclear medicine technology program. Technologists must be licensed in about one half of the states; requirements vary by state.

Education

Nuclear medicine technologists typically need an associate’s degree in nuclear medicine technology. Bachelor’s degrees are also common. Some technologists become qualified by completing an associate’s or a bachelor's degree program in a related health field, such as radiologic technology or nursing, and then completing a 12-month certificate program in nuclear medicine technology.

Nuclear medicine technology programs often include courses in human anatomy and physiology, physics, chemistry, radioactive drugs, and computer science. In addition, these programs include clinical experience—practice under the supervision of a certified nuclear medicine technologist and a physician or surgeon who specializes in nuclear medicine.

The Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology accredits nuclear medicine programs. Graduating from an accredited program may be required for licensure or by an employer.

High school students who are interested in nuclear medicine technology should take courses in math and science, such as biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physics.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

As of 2015, about half of all states required nuclear medicine technologists to be licensed. Requirements vary by state. For specific requirements, contact the state’s health board.

Most nuclear medicine technologists become certified. Although certification is not required for a license, it fulfills most of the requirements for state licensure.

Some employers require certification, regardless of state regulations. Certification usually involves graduating from an accredited nuclear medicine technology program. Certification is available from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB).

In addition to receiving general certification, technologists can earn specialty certifications that show their proficiency in specific procedures or on certain equipment. A technologist can earn certification in positron emission tomography (PET), nuclear cardiology (NCT), or computed tomography (CT). The NMTCB offers NCT, PET, and CT certification exams.

Important Qualities

Ability to use technology. Nuclear medicine technologists work with computers and large pieces of technological equipment and must be comfortable operating them.

Analytical skills. Nuclear medicine technologists must understand anatomy, physiology, and other sciences and be able to calculate accurate dosages.

Compassion. Nuclear medicine technologists must be able to reassure and calm patients who are under physical and emotional stress.

Detail oriented. Nuclear medicine technologists must follow exact instructions to make sure that the correct dosage is given and that the patient is not overexposed to radiation.

Interpersonal skills. Nuclear medicine technologists interact with patients and often work as part of a team. They must be able to follow instructions from a supervising physician.

Physical stamina. Nuclear medicine technologists must stand for long periods and be able to lift and move patients who need help.

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Director Of Nuclear Medicine Typical Career Paths

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Highest Director Of Nuclear Medicine Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director of Regenerative Medicine Unit Emmaus Medical, Inc. Torrance, CA Oct 01, 2014 $167,300
Director of Regenerative Medicine Unit Emmaus Medical, Inc. Torrance, CA Oct 01, 2011 $167,300
Nuclear Medicine Tehcnologist Community Medical Centers Fresno, CA Apr 16, 2011 $71,855 -
$93,915
Director of Oriental Medicine International Medical Center Inc. Annandale, VA Apr 01, 2011 $66,012
Director of Oriental Medicine International Medical Center Inc. Annandale, VA May 01, 2011 $66,012
Director of Chiropractic Medicine International Healthcare Alliance LLC Arlington Heights, IL Nov 01, 2011 $66,000
Pgy-3 Nuclear Medicine Medical University of South Carolina Charleston, SC Jan 07, 2016 $65,358

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Top Skills for A Director Of Nuclear Medicine

  1. Nuclear Medicine
  2. Procedure Manuals
  3. Radiation Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conducted a variety of nuclear medicine studies according to the hospital protocols operating various gamma cameras.
  • Developed and implemented radiation safety protocols, procedure manuals and arranged for regulated shipment of radiopharmaceuticals.
  • Served as Deputy Radiation Safety Officer and Secretary of the Radiation Safety Committee.
  • Participate in chart reviews, make necessary corrections with the Utilization Review Committee to ensure compliance with program regulations.
  • Spotlighted Achievements - ICANL Certification and Re-certification.

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Top 10 Best States for Directors Of Nuclear Medicine

  1. Oregon
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Arizona
  4. New Mexico
  5. North Carolina
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Mississippi
  8. Washington
  9. Connecticut
  10. Alaska
  • (232 jobs)
  • (693 jobs)
  • (237 jobs)
  • (91 jobs)
  • (342 jobs)
  • (238 jobs)
  • (55 jobs)
  • (374 jobs)
  • (160 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)

Director Of Nuclear Medicine Demographics

Gender

Male

54.5%

Female

34.0%

Unknown

11.6%
Ethnicity

White

59.9%

Hispanic or Latino

15.0%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

9.6%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.4%

Chinese

11.1%

German

11.1%

Cantonese

11.1%

Urdu

11.1%

Navajo

11.1%
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Director Of Nuclear Medicine Education

Schools

Ferris State University

8.5%

Eastern Michigan University

6.4%

University of Toledo

6.4%

University of Phoenix

6.4%

Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science

6.4%

Community College of Allegheny County

6.4%

Austin Peay State University

4.3%

Arizona State University

4.3%

University of Saint Francis

4.3%

Arkansas State University

4.3%

Grossmont College

4.3%

Saint Leo University

4.3%

Harvard University

4.3%

Ohio State University

4.3%

Texas State University

4.3%

Thomas Edison State University

4.3%

Pennsylvania State University

4.3%

Amarillo College

4.3%

West Virginia University

4.3%

University of Findlay

4.3%
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Majors

Medicine

20.0%

Business

15.7%

Nuclear And Industrial Radiologic Technologies

11.9%

Chemistry

8.1%

Nursing

7.6%

Medical Technician

6.7%

Health Care Administration

5.7%

Management

3.8%

Alternative And Complementary Medicine And Medical Systems

2.4%

Public Health

2.4%

Health Sciences And Services

2.4%

Clinical Psychology

2.4%

Pharmacy

1.9%

Education

1.9%

Hospitality Management

1.4%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

1.4%

Electrical Engineering

1.4%

Veterinary Science

1.0%

Social Sciences

1.0%

Biology

1.0%
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Degrees

Masters

27.3%

Other

24.2%

Bachelors

18.1%

Doctorate

13.8%

Associate

9.6%

Certificate

5.4%

Diploma

1.5%
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