Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Columbus State University
In this paper I will explain and describe how nuclear medicine uniquely provides information about both the structure and function of virtually every major organ system within the body. It is this ability to characterize and quantify physiologic function which separates nuclear medicine from other imaging modalities, such as x-ray. Nuclear medicine procedures are safe; they involve little or no patient discomfort and do not require the use of anesthesia. The Nuclear Medicine Technologist is a highly specialized healthcare professional who works closely with the nuclear medicine physician.
The Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Nuclear medicine technology involves the use of radioactive materials, called radiopharmaceuticals, to create images of organs, study body functions, analyze biological specimens and treat disease. Nuclear medicine technologists (NMTs) apply the art and skill of diagnostic imaging and therapeutics through the safe and effective use of radionuclides. For organ-imaging procedures, radiopharmaceuticals are administered to patients intravenously, orally or by inhalation. The radioactive material concentrates in a specific organ or organ system. Instruments called scintillation cameras can detect the radiation emitted by the radiopharmaceutical concentrated in the organ. The camera produces a computer image of the organ. The images allow medical professionals to study the structure and measure the function of the organ, and to identify tumors, areas of infection or other disorders. The radiation dose is small, and the patient experiences little or no discomfort during the procedure.
Nuclear Medicine technologists are...